Below is a blog version of the latest newsletter. For the official version, please feel free to contact us at info@va-ngo.org.

OneHeart, Issue 04

AUTUMN 2019 – SPECIAL ISSUE – CALL TO ACTION

VYAG PHEs (Very Young Adolescent Girls), HIPE Summer Training Camp (2019)

Be Good.

By Cathy Lam, Treasurer (VANGO Network), Co-Founder & President (Our1World)

Over the years, I said these words every time I parted from our two children. The meaning changed–from toddler to adolescent years, and then into adulthood, but the core idea is always the same: Be good to yourself, so you can be good to the community.

Be good and find your place in the world and navigate through the oceans of life while being mindful of how your actions affect others.

Be good and truly hear your own voice as well as others. And be the voice for those who cannot find theirs, or have yet to find the courage to do so.

Be good and learn from your mistakes, turning them into lessons that can be shared with others.

Be good and include mental health as part of the whole physical self. If you cannot find happiness, it would be hard pressed to be physically healthy nor will you be able to help others.

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This past week was one for the books. As we said earlier, Thien-Nhien Luong (Design Capital Asia) and Cathy Lam (Our1World) are in Hue to find a new property for DCA’s Rong Center. This week we were joined by Ha-Noi business consultant Tuan Nguyen, who facilitated the strategic planning sessions. Members of Design Capital Fund (DCF), Design Capital Asia (DCA), Our1World, VANGO, and HIPE came together under the guidance of Tuan Nguyen to discuss and discover the mission, vision, and next steps for the community center.

Rong Center Vision
Rong Center Vision

We were so excited to hear new voices stepping up and speaking out about the needs in this community, using the leadership, presentation, and critical thinking skills cultivated through the HIPE program. Participating core-team members talked about some realistic ways we can address these issues as well as their concerns about the potential obstacles we will face, but overall were happy to hear that this center is for them too, as they shared their own needs.

HIPE Coreteam members presenting their interpretation of “habitat” using limited LEGO pieces

We know this won’t be easy, but needless to say, we’re so excited, inspired, and motivated to actualize our dreams and goals for this center and for Hue.


We at VANGO are so happy to share some exciting news about member Design Capital Asia’s latest in-the-works project.

As you may already know, DCA has achieved such wide success with their Healthy Initiatives through Peer Education and SEED economic development programs, so much so that they are now in the planning stages of their next step. And trust us, it’s a big one.

With the dedicated and generous efforts and assistance of the DCA team, staff, and volunteers, currently Thiên-Nhiên Lương (DCA) is and soon Cathy Lâm (Our1World) will also be in Hue, looking at properties (that’s right, I said it…properties!) to open up an innovative, one-of-a-kind community center.

This center was always the dream, and we are so excited to see it finally coming to fruition. Careful calculations are going into the choice of this location, with a few choice commodities that will not be compromised (i.e., large conference area, ample space for motorbike parking, usable garden, etc.) so that the center can properly serve the needs of the community in the way that we envision.

Currently, the center is called Rong Center, a nod to the simple yet distinctly vital and indispensable role seaweed plays in the marine ecosystem. They’re the first organism in the food chain, they provide shelter and habitat for countless animals, and they are nurseries for many species. And that’s what we want for the Rong Center–a self-sustaining place that will help support the community, a comfortable haven where people feel free to gather, and lastly, a center where people are encouraged to cultivate their experience and knowledge via capacity-building workshops, and so on.

Needless to say, we can’t believe the dream is finally here. And we will definitely keep everyone updated.


We had the privilege of joining Vân-Ánh Võ and her world-music ensemble in the studio this week, and we want to bring special attention to their creativity in using parchment paper in their music–crinkled to sound like rustling bird nests and wrapped around the marimba mallets to produce a special and unique sound. Who knew something so simple could sound so cool?!

See how the parchment paper plays a role in her latest production 3L: Love, Life, Loss about Vietnamese, Chicano, and African American communities in the Santa Clara Valley next Saturday, June 22, 2019 at Sunnyvale Theater!

For more information about the show and where to buy tickets, click here! 3L: Love, Loss, Life is brought to you by Mosaic Silicon Valley an initiative of Sangam Arts, fellow Bay Area non-profit providing an innovative platform for artists from diverse backgrounds to come together to collaborate and co-create world-class music and dance performances.