From the Desk of the Board Chair

Dear Members and Friends,

As we move forward to the new year 2010, 2009 had shown us that we can support each other and our communities by remembering our core mission: to provide information, resources, and enlightenment to our members at large. There have been a multitude of challenges; but through it all VA-NGO Network has continued to grow and thrive.

Successful Capacity Building Workshops in 2009 trained 468 educators and volunteers from 12 VA-NGOs and 22 agencies in 8 provinces, and one Regional Meeting in Orange county focused on Human Trafficking last September.

Read More


December 7, 2008 – 1 – 3 pm
San Jose, CA

Yet another year, 2008, is quickly coming to an end. Please come share an afternoon of beautiful friendship – một buổi chuyện trò – surrounded with artworks from celebrated US & Vietnam artists, provided by Mandala Art Gallery, with home made rượu nếp, xôi vò and delicacies.

Anh Hiền and chị Quyên had graciously offer to host this event at their home. Rare artworks from the renowned Trương Thị Thịnh are featured, along with new work from artists throughout Vietnam.

Born in Hue in 1928, Ms. Truong came to the United States in 1986 and now lives in San Jose. Trained at Vietnam’s Gia Dinh National College of Fine Arts, where she also became a professor, Ms. Truong is known for her fine portraiture and depictions of village life in vibrant colors. Her work has been exhibited in Vietnam, the United States, Australia, France, Japan, and elsewhere. In 1995, her paintings were included in the exhibition An Ocean Apart” which a touring of contemporary Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American art curated by the Smithsonian Institute.

Co-sponsoring organizations include: Catalyst Foundation, Compassion Flower, Children of Peace International (COPI), Friends of Hue Foundation(FHF), Our1World (O1W), Pacific Links Foundation (PALS), Vietnamese American Entrepreneurs Association (VAEA), and Volunteers in Asia (VIA). 30% of the sale proceeds will be donated to the VA NGO Network.

Cheers,

Cathy Hà Lâm,

VA NGO Network Coordinator


Sunday, December 7th, 2008, 11am-1pm
San Jose, CA

On Sunday, December 7th, 2008, from 11am – 1pm, VA-NGO Network will be holding a forum on the topic of trafficking of human beings (THB) in Vietnam. It will be an open discussion to achieve the following goals, but not limited to:

1. Building a shared understanding of which NGOs are operating anti-THB related projects or have intentions to start new anti-THB related projects and their operational objectives for 2009.
2. Encouraging NGOs to explore opportunities to collaborate with each other and with the VA-NGO network on anti-THB projects or a component of the project when possible.
3. Assisting VA-NGO Network to explore and define its roles in working on anti-THB and assisting different NGOs to further their anti-THB project objectives.
4. Forming an anti-THB working group to further define objectives as discussed and agreed upon in this forum.

For organizations and individuals who are already working or plan to implement new anti-THB project, you are cordially invited and encouraged to attend this open discussion on the topic of trafficking of human beings. You inputs will be invaluable to this process and will allow us to have better and collaborative strategies to work on this daunting issue in Vietnam!


Seeds of Change: In the Best Interest of the Child – Hue, Vietnam – March 2008

Please join us to celebrate the VA NGO Resource Center!

Saturday, March 1, 2008: Inauguration and Reception for the VA NGO Resource Center.

Sunday-Tuesday, March 2-4, 2008: Capacity Building Workshops, conducted by member organizations of the VA NGO Network for their local partners, staff, and volunteers.
8:00am – 5:00pm

Khu Quy Hoạch Nam Vỹ Dạ, Huế, Trường Trần Hưng Đạo, Nguyễn Sinh Sắc St

“Seeds of Change” is the theme for a series of on-demand workshops on social work, building self-esteem, child development, targeted to educators, counselors, and other childcare providers, with the goal of providing practical skills for successful living. The workshops are conducted by member organizations of the VA NGO Network for their local partners, staff, and volunteers.

Through these workshops, and the Resource Center, the VA NGO Network is carrying forward the spirit of the 3rd VA NGO Conference in September 2007, and is realizing our common dream with our local partners and clients in Việt Nam.

Please pass along this information, and encourage your staff and volunteers to sign up early. Workshop attendance and materials are complimentary to member organizations of the VA NGO Network, their staff and volunteers. Space is first limited to three participants from each VA NGO Network member, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

(1) Education
Effective Communication – Presenting You! (3 sessions) Knowing how to present yourself is an important skill to succeed in society. Participants will learn to list their marketable skills, and to present them by verbal or written method to enhance their professional growth. This workshop will be conducted as a two-day-long living inquiry into the relationship between learning and leading, applying the term leader to anyone who influences people and events.
Participants will:

  • Develop a link between deep personal values and the ways they choose to affect people in the workplace
  • Get practical ideas on:
    • Building self-esteem
    • Developing reflective and thinking skills on a creative level

Presenter: Bình Nguyễn Rybacki
* * *
Learning through Play: How does play prepare for learning? How can parents/teachers encourage children’s play? These hands-on workshops will address the importance of play. This workshop will help participants to explore a greater appreciation of art and enhanced language learning. These workshop include:

  • Exploring science
  • Using music to teach language
  • Using poetry and story, we will work/play to bring the spoken words alive, filled with gesture, color, imagination, and life. Learn some of the basic elements of storytelling.
  • Presenters: Trần Kim Ánh & Nguyễn Thị Kinh
    * * *
    Bookmaking workshop – How To Make Books: Fold, Cut & Stitch to a One-of-a-Kind Book
    Kids love to find out how books are written, how pictures are created, and the publishing process that puts those books on the shelf. Participants will learn the steps of creating small, handbound, illustrated books, including accordion-fold books, and a few whimsical, non-traditional books filled with creative literary and visual experiences of the imaginations of young children. Participants will enjoy hands-on activities which encourage creative expression. Participants will also discuss the usefulness and age-appropriateness of different types of books, as well as how to overcome limitations such as materials and budget constraints. Join us for a motivating and fun activity!
    Presenters: Lucie Smith & Trần Kim Ánh
    * * *
    Setting Limits: How to make children feel good about themselves. Limits are set to assure the safety of children and adults as well as the acceptance of responsibility for one’s actions. This workshop provides information on the importance of setting limits with children, on techniques and strategies used in positive disciplines, as well as special focus on communicating with love and respect.
    Participants will learn the tools needed to stop disruptive behavior when it happens and to gain the cooperation that is expected, without giving in or exhausting oneself with coercive power struggles. Participants will learn some wonderful and fun ways to introduce limits into day care and the home. This workshop also offers songs and games to use during daily routines and transitions. Turn stressful times into fun and playful games!
    Presenter: Trần Kim Ánh & Lâm Ánh Nguyệt

    (2) Health Care
    Women’s Health Workshop A roundtable discussion presenting an opportunity for networking and resource identification, sharing information about women’s health education activities focused on issues affecting women over 18 years of age. Topics for discussion include tuberculosis, Pap smear, breast health, sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, depression, drug use, domestic violence prevention, arthritis, exercise, nutrition and heart health.
    Presenter: Nguyễn Thị Saly, MD
    * * *
    Nutrition for Healthy Living: How nutrition in everyday foods can play an important role to healthy living? What better nutrition means to children? What foods are nutritious? This workshop will discuss the major food groups and portions, valuable nutrient-rich foods, and how to preserve the nutrients in cooking, the main meal of the day and hygiene around food. Nutritious snacks will be prepared and participants will also practice some simple stretch exercises to release stress.
    Presenter: Cathy Hà Lâm

    (3) Social Work
    Clinical Social Work with children and youth a clinically interdisciplinary approach. The workshop addresses clinical social work skill of a social worker when working with youths including crisis interventions, investigations/interviews, interventions/treatment plans, and case management/follow-ups.
    Presenters: Trần Khánh Tuyết and Trần Ái Mỹ
    * * *
    Life skill education for youth: The workshop provides knowledge and life skills for self-sufficiency to empower vulnerable adolescents. Update on the National Youth Development Strategy.
    Presenter: Trần Công Bình
    * * *
    Overview of Clinical Social Work: Case studies and roundtable discussion.
    Presenters: Trần Khánh Tuyết and Trần Ái Mỹ

    Who should attend?

    Staff/volunteers of NGOs and grassroot organizations working in rural communities; school personnel and all personnel involved with education projects.

    Staff/Volunteers who want to sharpen their skills on how to present or talk to others and/or the media about their work and their nonprofit organizations

    Professionals who want to polish their presentation skills to increase capacity

    About the Presenters

    Cathy Hà Lâm is an advocate of environmental sustainability. She co-founded Our1World with projects such as Solar Energy Appliances, Creative Play and Artwork and Literacy. In 2003, she joined two medical missions with Project VietNam and with Giao Điễm Humanitarian Foundation. In 2003, she joined two medical missions with Project VietNam and with Giao Điễm Humanitarian Foundation. Cathy was actively involved with Soymilk Nutritional Supplement program. She presented workshops in Central Việt Nam in 2005-2007 to teachers and community partners on how to prepare concentrated soymilk, and on hygiene and maintenance of equipments. She teaches ReThink/ReDuce/ReUse/ReCycle and water conservation for schoolchildren, and advocates solar PV and electric cars. Cathy hold a BS degree in EE from U.C. Irvine.

    Nguyễn Thị Kinh is a native of Huế and has devoted her life to humanitarian assistance projects for Vietnamese. Kinh was a Senior Lecturer on Agriculture at the University of Hue and later served as Vice-Rector of the University. In 2002, she retired from the teaching profession and joined the Center for School Cooperation and Humanity Education for Hue as Director. Through the Center, Kinh mobilizes and organizes Vietnamese academics and professionals to promote equity in education, health, and social development for the youths in Central Vietnam. The Center focuses on reaching out to children and young people from rural communities in Việt Nam. For the past 10 years, Kinh and her center has cooperated with the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Program of Pacific Links Foundation (PALS).

    Nguyễn Thị SaLy, M.D. serves as the Head of Public Health Departement of Huế Medical College. Dr. Nguyễn graduated from Huế Medical University in 1986, specialized in Microbiology. She has over 20 years of teaching experience in the field of public health and is a national lecturer of numerous health programs in Vietnam including Information-Communication-Education of Health (ICE), BreastFeeding, Population-Family Planning, Control Diarrhae Diseases (CDD). She obtained her Masters of Public Health in 2003 and has participated in numerous public health related activities aiming to improve health conditions of communities, especially in the poor and remote communities of Thừa Thiên-Huế province.

    Bình Nguyễn Rybacki worked for Hewlett-Packard for 25 years when she decided that humanitarian work yield more satisfaction, peace of mind and betterment for future generations in Vietnam. Binh also trained Clean Room employees and the junior staff in customer services. Some of Binh’s favorite workshops are Woman in Project Self-Sufficiency and Children at Risks for college and high school students and teachers. Binh is also the founder for Children of Peace International (COPI). COPI has been working in Vietnam since 1993 and chartered in partnership with Vietnamese caring for its orphans and under-privilege children in all of Vietnam. COPI also held two medical missions, a partnership between American and Vietnamese medical professions, each year to rural communities of Vietnam. Kiwanis International has awarded its 2002 World Service Medal to binh and COPI for their extraordinary service and compassion to the world’s children.

    Lucie Smith has served as Resource Specialist in Curriculum Development for Mount Diablo Unified School District since 2001. She holds California Administrative Services Credential, and worked California Bilingual Crosscultural Language Academic Development Programs and Summer Intercession, Home and hospital Programs. Over 40 years of teaching experience in most subjects: ELD, Bilingual Math, Science and Foreign Languages for California Schools. MA. French Language & Literature, Dept of French U.C. Berkeley. Post M.A. in Linguistics, Advanced to Ph. D. Candidacy, Dept of Linguistics, U. C. Berkeley.

    Trần Kim Ánh co-founded Pacific Links Foundation (PALS), and serves as Chair of its Board of Directors. With her extensive experience in conducting Early Childhood and Care Education (ECCE) training in the US, she spearheads the ECCE training programs conducted by Pacific Links Foundation for early childhood educators throughout Việt Nam, through collaboration with provincial offices of education and teacher training colleges. She authors “Nuôi dạy trẻ vui mạnh: A Parenting Guide” for Vietnamese American parents, published in May 2007. She co-founded Việt Nam Health, Education & Literature Projects (VNhelp) in 1991. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Asian Health Services in Oakland.

    Trần Khánh Tuyết has been in the field of Social Services since 1950 providing counseling, outreach, crisis intervention, case management, and direct clinical services. Past experience also included serving the Vietnamese, Asian and Refugee community to provide cross-cultural counseling, bilingual education services, special education and students’ assessments, training to childcare providers, elderly support and counseling on aspects of aging, family and health issues. She continues to volunteer for American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Bananas Child Care Resources, Vietnamese Community Heath Prevention Project-Sức Khỏe Là Vàng. She has published ‘Reflection from Captivity’, ‘ The Little Weaver of Thai-Yen Village’ and ‘ The Children of Vietnam’. Trần Khánh Tuyết hold a Master in Social Work, Gerontology from UC Berkeley, a BA in Sociology with a Minor in Gerontology, SFSU.