Health Education Initiative (HEI) is a collaboration of VANGO Network, Project Vietnam Foundation (PVNF), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and many organizations and individuals who care about children and their well-being.

Its Mission:

  • Provide local caregivers and teachers with high quality health education and access to updated CPR and first aid techniques for children.
  • Create and facilitate a community-based child care network
  • Ensure a safer environment for children

With underlying statistics that 20 children die from injuries in Vietnam everyday, and because a great percentage of preschool teachers and caregivers in Vietnam do not have pediatric first aid training, HEI Program created PedFACTs-Vietnam, a standardized and comprehensive pediatric first aid training program for caregivers and teachers, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  HEI uses AAP’s PedFACTs as its framework to train first aid providers and instructors.

From 2010 through 2017, through HEI Program, we have trained 175 Instructors, 3,246 child caregivers, benefited 800,000+ children.  In the year 2017, the program trained 32 Instructors, 1,339 child caregivers, benefited 300,000+ children.

For the year 2018, with VA NGO Network’s strategy on partnership & train-the-trainers, we have found new partnership in 2017 with Hoa Huong Duong Kindergarten, and our new trainers have established 2018’s program plan to organize 18 training events:

  • 2 trainings for 60 participants in Binh Thanh District, HCM
  • 2 trainings for 40 participants in Quang Nam
  • 2 trainings for 60 participants in Tan Binh District, HCM
  • 1 training for 30 participants in District 3, HCM
  • 4 trainings for 80 participants in remote areas
  • 2 trainings for 40 participants in Mam Non La Xanh
  • 3 trainings for 160 participants in Hue
  • 2 trainings for 80 participants in Vinh Long



Healthy Initiatives through Peer Education (HIPE) exceeded targets set for 2016 and while the regular health education sessions in schools continue to be important, more children and youths are being reached through the community-based health prevention and promotion program.

Since the inception of HIPE in 2010, we have increasingly been training more youths to become Peer Health Educators who have led more health education in many more schools and shelters.

Over the years, we have trained 357 students and qualified 293 to become Peer Health Educators who have actively participated in health education and promotional programmatic activities in schools and communities.

We have been measuring knowledge, attitude, and behavioral change whenever possible. We have experienced knowledge change most significantly when HIPE school-based health education program is new to a school. As our health education program reaching more students over the years, the knowledge gain is less significant but attitude and behavioral changes begin to take root and act upon through our community activities.

The key feature of the community-based health prevention and promotion program is the community health fair to allow for HIPE youths with elevated leadership responsibilities to lead and organize health-focus events to engage other youths, community organizations and members, and businesses.

The contrast of 12 PHEs in 2010 vs. 90 PHEs in 2016 is significant and likewise their abilities and commitment to educate 2,575 then vs. 13,478 students in 2016 depend heavily on the financial and resources commitment from many!

Dear VA-NGO Network Members & Friends,

It is with deep sorrow that the board of VA NGO Network announces the passing away of James Do Ba Phuoc, one of our leading lights.  Anh Phuoc was a pioneer in many fields and bravely blazed new trails:

  • In humanitarian work in Vietnam after 1975 by bringing IT boot camps to train Vietnam youth into a skilled workforce for economic development of the country,
  • As founding member of VN-Help, Pacific Links Foundation, VA-NGO Network and of the Nom Foundation.

In keeping with the family tradition of cultural contribution, he spearheaded the digital translation of Nom characters, the ancient Vietnam writing, into unicode and was one of the founders of the NOM Foundation, publishing a Nom dictionary on the internet.

His lifelong passion led him to continue the cultural endeavors while fully engaged with IT development in Vietnam.

I will always remember anh Phuoc as a gentle man with a dry sense of humor, but a determination of iron. His support allowed chi Kim-Anh Tran, his lifelong partner, to lead the longterm Capacity-Building Workshops to enhance Early Childhood Development Program for the VA-NGO Network and promote life-saving skills in Pediatric First Aid for caregivers.  He was at all time the wind beneath her wings.

His sudden death was a tragic shock for us all, a small network of professionals working closely in humanitarian assistance, and a reminder of lost opportunities in enjoying family and friends as a priority.

  • To anh Phuoc: we thank you for leading the way in contributing professional talents wherever life places us, you will be remembered as a guding beacon of selfless dedication.
  • To chi Anh: we pledge to stand by for you and continue the work that both of you started together.
  • To Minh: your father inspired us all, please consider us as family-at-large.

Cathy Lam flew to Vietnam to represent the US non-profit partners he has worked with, and to give support to the grieving family.  Farewell anh Phuoc, until we meet again…

With sadness in our hearts, and hope in anh Phuoc’s everlasting spirits,

Quynh Kieu, MD
VA NGO Network Chairperson