Thank you to everyone who participated in our ConnectNGive Giving Tuesday fundraiser this May 2020. We set a goal of $3,000 and exceeded it, raising $3,140 to support bringing PPE donations to communities in need.

For more information about how to support VANGO Network COVID-19 relief efforts, feel free to contact us at 1-714-330-3589 or

To donate, please visit our donation page here.

DCA staff in Hue have been hard at work for the past year figuring out how to best address the needs of the youth at RONG House Community and Youth Center, with Hằng leading this journey. We asked her to share some of her thoughts about what RONG House means to her and what she hopes it will bring to the community.

Hằng, intern Nhung, and 3 RONG children at 3R: RONG Reading Room, the free weekend library

Rong, to me…

By Lê Thị Nhật Hằng, RONG and HIPE Coordinator

Vietnamese below.

RONG House is a social enterprise, with the mission to provide children a safe and useful environment with experiential, fun, and educational activities.

I hope that RONG House will be a dream home, beloved by all children of Hue. Children will come to RONG House to play, to have new experiences, to nourish their beautiful soul, and to learn much knowledge and skills.

The idea behind RONG House stems from HIPE youth and staff. We understand the obstacles, difficulties, and hopes of the children and youth of Thua Thien Hue Province, and for this reason, we wish to build an environment of learning through play, inspiring a sense of passion and service in children and youth here.

To me, to be able to work, to be able to dedicate myself to bringing good to the community is the joy, happiness, and meaning of life. Watching the children smile while reading, playing and having these experiences gives my soul a sense of peace because I’ve contributed to these good things.

RONG House là một doanh nghiệp xã hội, với sứ mệnh mang lại cho trẻ em một môi trường an toàn và hữu ích với các hoạt động trải nghiệm, vui chơi và học tập.

Tôi mong rằng, RONG house sẽ là một ngôi nhà yêu thương, mơ ước của tất cả các em nhỏ ở Huế. Các em đến RONG house để chơi, để trải nghiệm, để nuôi dưỡng tâm hồn đẹp và để học hỏi được nhiều kiến thức và kỹ năng.

Ý tưởng RONG house được bắt từ đội ngũ nhân viên, thanh thiếu niên tham gia chương trình HIPE. Chúng tôi hiểu được những trở ngại, những sự khó khăn, những mong muốn của trẻ em và thanh thiếu niên ở trên địa bàn tỉnh Thừa Thiên Huế. Do vậy, chúng tôi mong muốn góp phần xây dựng một môi trường vừa chơi vừa học, khơi gợi đam mê và hữu ích cho các em nhỏ và thanh thiếu niên nơi đây.

Với tôi, được làm việc, được cống hiến và mang lại những điều tốt đẹp cho cộng đồng là niềm vui, hạnh phúc và ý nghĩa của cuộc sống. Nhìn những em nhỏ mỉm cười khi đọc sách, khi chơi và khi trải nghiệm làm cho tâm hồn của tôi trở nên bình yên vì mình đã góp phần làm nên những điều tốt đẹp.

About the author: Huế-native Hằng received a BA in English from Hue University, College of Foreign Languages and a second BA in Business Management from Danang University, College of Economics. Her main role at HIPE is to support the project manager and associate with other coordinators and volunteers to offer health education led by school-age peer educators in schools and high risk communities in Thưa Thiên Huế Province. Aside from her HIPE duties, she is also an English teacher, teaching both children and adults. She has experience in Human Resources and Administration procedures, training, and customer service. Most of the time, you can find her with her lively niece by her side.


A group of small businesses and nonprofit community-based organizations are launching a community-giving effort through two operations: Meals of Love, to bring meals, and Safety for All, to bring PPEs. VANGO participation is part of our ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts in USA and Vietnam.


The Operation on Meals of Love will deliver 10,000 meals prepared and packed by different restaurants and will be delivered in one day to healthcare workers, first responders, seniors, women at shelters, and vulnerable community members. In celebration of Mother’s Day, organizers also are preparing flower bouquets to distribute to mothers in need.


Media availability all day Friday, May 8, as volunteers prepare for special meal delivery and news conference at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 10, 2020 when volunteers will begin making meal deliveries.


Rong Bien Restaurant at Grand Century Mall, 1111 Story Road, San Jose, CA


The volunteers will adhere to physical-distancing guidelines at the parking lot for members of the news media as they detail their plans for food delivery in San Jose and surrounding communities. After the brief news conference, they will immediately begin delivering the food items, Mother’s Day bouquets, and other much-needed supplies.


Almost every segment of the economy and many people’s livelihood have been greatly affected and compromised during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Yet, many members of the community have chosen to step up and give back in many ways to help their fellow neighbors.

“We would like to call on individual businesses to join us in this meaningful community wide effort,” said Tina Tien, owner of several popular Vietnamese restaurants in San Jose. “Their participation and contribution will make a positive difference for many people and will help showcase the strength of our community coming together during this grave time of need.”


Jennifer Chung, 408-623-5239 or

The Operation on Safety for All will be scheduled at a later date and will donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers at local clinics and nursing homes as well as to food workers at restaurants. The goal is to donate 10,000 units of PPE supplies.

For more information about how to support VANGO Network COVID-19 relief efforts, feel free to contact us at 1-714-330-3589 or

To donate, please visit our donation page here.

Press Release

Contact:           Cathy Lam [, 1-714-330-3589]

Date:                Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Vietnamese American Non-Governmental Organization Network Awarded California Arts Council Artists in Communities Grant

State funds support “MEKONG—The Water’s Tales,” a project highlighting the music and life along the Mekong River, through a workshop series joining Southeast Asian diasporic communities in Northern California, exploring the crucial perspective of those who now live far away from but are still connected to and affected by their Mekong origins.

Hayward, CA – Yesterday the California Arts Council announced a grant award of $20,000.00 to Vietnamese American Non-Governmental Organization (VANGO) Network as part of its Artists in Communities program.

Vân-Ánh “Vanessa” Võ’s project “MEKONG—The Water’s Tales” uses the music of the Mekong as the thread between the peoples of the Greater Mekong Subregion to have a discussion about the lives who depend on the river, how their presence through history has affected the course of its path, and what that means for the future of the river and those who live upon it. This residency project will create a safe space where Bay Area Southeast Asian communities feel comfortable to explore and share in their experience through art. Additionally, she will be able to find understanding with and of these communities and to nourish the relationships between them in order to accurately and respectfully represent these cultures in this project. “MEKONG—The Water’s Tales” will engage members of these communities both in America and in the Greater Mekong Subregion to contribute to and inspire the creation of the new art works that will be part of the production itself, which is set to hold its world premiere at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in May 2021.

“We’re so excited to co-commission this project and support Vân-Ánh Võ’s efforts to bring the Southeast Asian community together through art and to present the music and traditions of these cultures in this way. And we feel so proud to be in the company of the amazing projects in California Arts Council’s Artists in Communities program,” said Thien-Nhien Luong, VANGO Network Board secretary and Design Capital Asia Co-founder and CEO.

 VANGO Network was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council of more than 1,500 grants awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state for their work in support of the agency’s mission to strengthen arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. The investment of nearly $30 million marks a more than $5 million increase over the previous fiscal year, and the largest in California Arts Council history.

Organizations were awarded grants across 15 different program areas addressing access, equity, and inclusion; community vibrancy; and arts learning and engagement; and directly benefiting our state’s communities, with youth, veterans, returned citizens, and California’s historically marginalized communities key among them. Successful projects aligned closely with the agency’s vision of a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Arts Council recognizes that some grantees may need to postpone, modify, or cancel their planned activities supported by CAC funds, due to state and local public health guidelines. The state arts agency is prioritizing flexibility in addressing these changes and supporting appropriate solutions for grantees.

“Creativity sits at the very heart of our identity as Californians and as a people. In this unprecedented moment, the need to understand, endure, and transcend our lived experiences through arts and culture is all the more relevant for each of us,” said Nashormeh Lindo, Chair of the California Arts Council. “The California Arts Council is proud to be able to offer more support through our grant programs than ever before, at a time when our communities’ need is perhaps greater than ever before. These grants will support immediate and lasting community impact by investing in arts businesses and cultural workers across the state.”

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VANGO Network’s mission is to lead effective collaborations and strengthen the humanitarian, cultural, and development work by delivering capacity building workshops to underserved communities. Since 2004, member organizations have collaborated on ongoing projects in health education, arts and culture, childhood education, and personal/professional development both in the USA and Vietnam.

The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Jaime Galli, Larry Baza, Lilia Gonzales Chavez, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Stanlee Gatti, Donn K. Harris, Alex Israel, Consuelo Montoya, and Jonathan Moscone. Learn more at

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit