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

September 28-30, 2007, San Diego, California

The 3rd VA NGO Conference, with theme “the strength of many, the heart of One” – will place emphasis on providing Capacity Building Workshops for members, and at the same time presenting insightful speakers who will discuss Vietnam’s development trends and the impacts of humanitarian work in Vietnam. At this conference, VA NGO Network will also present the State of the Network updates and our Strategic Plan as an outcome of the Network Benefit Matrix surveyed at the 2nd VA NGO Conference in 2005.

We are pleased to introduce our distinguished guest speakers and would like to thank them for giving their time and accepting this opportunity to share their knowledge and wisdom on a wide range of topics.


Professor Vo Tong Xuan, President, An Giang University (Viet Nam)
Topic: Impacts of VA Humanitarian Work on Education and Development in Vietnam

Dr. Nguyen Huu Phuoc, Author (Huntington Beach, California)
Topic: Relieve Stress Through Laughing & Psychological Aspects of NGOs

Jay H. Shidler, Founder and Managing Partner, The Shidler Group (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Topic: Viet Nam Higher Education and A Vision for The Development of The Pacific Rim.

Dr James Munter, President, Board of Directors of Children of Peace International (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Topic: How to Keep the Network Intact and Its Members Motivated

Workshop and Capacity Building in Vietnam – The Whys and Hows, the Ins and Outs
Fundraising – Principles and Ideas
Tools for Financial Efficiency
Safeguarding our Children
So You Want to Do a Medical Mission
RoNG: The Roles of the Next Vietnamese American Generation in NGO Leadership
Nursing Education in Vietnam: How it is Now, and Where It is Going
Collaboration Site: Assessments & Development Plan


Friday September 28, 2007

3:00-6:00pm – Registration and Display Set Up

5:30-10pm – Opening Night Reception Dinner, Welcoming message and Introductions Networking

Saturday September 29, 2007
7:30 am – Noon
Opening remark by Conference Chairperson
Keynote speaker: Dr Vo Tong Xuan
Multi-track Sessions

Guest Speaker: Dr. Nguyen Huu Phuoc
Free time

1:45 – 5:15pm
Multi-Track Sessions
Plenary Session: State of the Network

6:00 – 10:00pm
Dinner & Video presentations
Keynote Speaker: Jay H. Shidler
Experience sharing with our guests
Show your talents time

Sunday September 30, 2007
7:30 – 11:30am
Where is the network going from here?
Keynote Speaker: Dr James Munter

Hosted by VA NGO Network

Sunday August 12, 2007, 9am – 12noon
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Workshop will be held in English, materials will be provided in CD format. Please bring laptop for hands-on training.

Are you struggling to manage your financial data and never seem to have enough time or resources? Do you have problems auditing financial details from Vietnam? How does your organization’s resources stack up in relation to donations received and program expenditures?

Tools for Financial Efficiency is a hands-on training that cover tips & processes that can be set up to manage your organization’s finances. The workwhop also provides hands-on training and templates that can be quickly applied.

Topics will include:

  • Reviewing your organization’s financial health
  • Managing donations & funding sources to forecast & budget programs and resources
  • Streamlining process for managing Vietnam program expenditures
  • Instant snapshot reportings through simple excel templates

Who should attend?

Program managers, financial & executive officers of nonprofit organizations.

About the presenter:

Ms. Vi Tuong Nguyen has extensive experience in executive, program & financial management, serving in different capacities as Treasurer, Program Director, and Executive Director for a number of nonprofit organizations in California. She is currently Treasurer of Pacific Links Foundation and member of the VA NGO Network’s Information Technology team. Vi has also worked for over 18 years as programmer & technical consultant in high tech industry, providing software solutions and training to human resources & finance functions of high tech corporations.

About the Vietnamese American NGO Network:

The Network’s mission is to strengthen its member’s abilities to have a broad impact in humanitarian and development work in Vietnam, by building a united voice on issues of common interest, delivering practical benefits and building capacity for member organizations.

Organized by VA NGO Network in collaboration with Children of Peace International, Pacific Links Foundation, Ninh Binh Project, and Our1World. Free Registration. Space is limited, please register early.

Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24, 2007 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

Trung Tâm Bảo Trợ Trẻ Em

Tam Bình, Thủ Đức, Việt Nam

This is an important time in the educational history of Vietnam: Teachers, educators face a great challenge in creating educational activities that honor Vietnam’s culture, history and values and at the same time allow child care providers, teachers to grapple with new ideas and teaching techniques designed to give them a greater sense of mastery in their workplace. This training program will provide workshops and materials to help train teacher-trainers and VANGO staff and volunteers.

Goals of the program

  1. To stimulate the natural curiosity of children,
  2. To help meet the increasing demand of quality educational materials and training young children

Effective Communication – Presenting You!
Presenter: Bình Nguyễn Rybacki

Knowing how to present you is an important skill to succeed in society. This workshop is offered as part of the capacity building initiative by the VANGO Network. Participants will learn to list their marketable skills and 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 personal deep 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

Learning through Play
Presenter: Nguyễn Tri Như Quỳnh

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 series will help participants to explore a greater appreciation of art and enhanced language learning. It includes:

  • 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.

Practical Solutions for Difficult Learners
Presenter: Trần Kim Ánh

How can center, child care providers, and teachers include and teach children whose behaviour is challenging and disruptive? In this series of workshops participants will look at :

  • Working with the Energies of Young Learners 3-11 year-olds
  • Reasons why these children behave as they do
  • Practical strategies for managing children in the classroom

Participants will get practical ideas on:

  • Increasing children motivation and involvement
  • Involving children in sharing and co-operation

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
Mrs. Bình Rybacki has spent over 20 years in the field of providing sales, marketing, media relations training etc. to companies, including big names like Hewlett Packard, Interleaf, Soroptimist International, high schools and colleges in the US. In 1993, she founded Children of Peace International (COPI). COPI provides funding for 14 orphanages and schools that serve more than 5,000 children; it organizes medical mission trips to the orphanages and to rural Vietnamese villages; it builds and supports medical facilities, schools, provides scholarships and micro-loans, and facilitates adoptions.

Ms. Nguyễn Tri Như Quỳnh  has had more than ten years of teaching English as a Second Language in universities in Vietnam and about three years in Early Chidhood Education. She was trained by Bananas Inc and Pacific Links Foundation in ECE and since then has been actively participating in workshops for childcare providers in provinces in Vietnam including Hue, Da Nang and An Giang. Currently, Quynh is employed by An Giang University. Her responsibility includes teaching ESL, working on a project to build a bilingual childcare center for An Giang University and coordinating with PALS in the ADAPT program.

Mrs. Trần Kim Ánh  has extensive experience in conducting Early Childhood & Care Education (ECCE) trainings for parents and teachers. Anh co-founded Pacific Links Foundation (PALS) in 2001. PALS provides numerous IT and ECCE training sessions for more than 2,000 ECE students, child care providers and teachers in Vietnam. PALS’s ADAPT program in collaboration with EMW and ICAN provides scholarships and vocational training for over 1,000 young women and girls at risk of becoming victims to international human trafficking.

About the Vietnamese American NGO Network
The Network’s mission is to strengthen its member’s abilities to have a broad impact in humanitarian and development work in Vietnam, by building a united voice on issues of common interest, delivering practical benefits and building capacity for member organizations