Trafficking Challenge Grant

The Center for the Encouragement of Self-Reliance (CESR) is a small private 501(c)(3) organization founded by the family of Dr. Doan L. Phung with the purpose of encouraging Vietnamese both inside and outside Vietnam to look for ways to help themselves and their countrymen. Observing with horror the suffering of unsuspecting young Vietnamese women and children being tricked into modern day slavery, CESR puts up $100,000 as a challenge grant to assist and encourage its fellow VA NGO members to double up the efforts to fight trafficking of Vietnamese nationals. CESR also creates an annual Effectiveness Prize to acknowledge an individual or organization that has been significantly effective in effort to prevent people from being victims, protect the victims, and/or prosecute the perpetrator(s).

What Is the Counter-Trafficking Challenge Grant (CTCG)?

The CTCG aims at assisting and encouraging projects to raise money and enlist volunteers to fight trafficking of unsuspecting Vietnamese into slavery for labor or sex exploitation. These projects that engage in the prevention of trafficking, protection of the victims, and prosecution of perpetrators inside or outside of Vietnam

The $100,000 has deposited with the coordinating office of the VANGO and will be used to match funds raised by VA NGO members or collaborative organizations for the stated purpose.

Priorities for accessing funds from the CTCG include:

(1) Influence decision makers inside Vietnam to establish and implement policies aimed at protecting Vietnamese nationals from being trafficked.

(2) Obtain support from international government, organizations and leaders to help protect Vietnamese nationals from being exploited while in a foreign land.

(3) Deliver direct services to vulnerable communities and victims

(4) Raise awareness at all levels about the increasing risks of trafficking in Vietnam under the smokescreen of labor export and individual freedom in marriage.

Selecting Applications for Award

A review panel from the VA NGO Network will receive and screen all applications. It will pass on its confidential recommendations to the VA NGO Board of Directors which will make decisions on awards on a quarterly basis in consultation with CESR. Only information on selected projects will be made available.

Awards are given at two project levels:
Start-up Projects:

  • Awards up to $5,000. At least 35% of total budget (including in kind) comes from other sources outside of the CTCG.
  • For initiatives or to groups not previously engaged in the fight against trafficking
  • Projects must be completed within twelve months of award being made

Scale & Spread Projects:

  • Awards from $5,001 to $25,000. At least 60% of total budget (including in kind) comes from other sources outside of the CTCG.
  • Projects (or service goals if in multi-year programs) must be completed within 24 months of award
  • Collaboration among VA NGOs will be given high priority.

Who Can Apply for a Grant?

Any individual, organization or group affiliated with the VA NGO Network is eligible to apply. Membership in the Network is not required but priority will be given to Network members. (For more information on how to become a member click here). Affiliation is defined to be membership in the Network itself, or to be fiscally sponsored by member organizations, or have collaborative projects/programs with the Network members. Women groups and organizations from inside Vietnam are encouraged to connect and apply. The application is available here.

No organizations will be given more than one award of each level in a 12-month period from the date of the first award.


Rolling basis. Funds will be disbursed throughout the year (on a quarterly basis) to respond to urgent needs, once matching funds have been identified.

For additional information and grant application please contact