Hong Bang

Monday, 17 Jan 2022


Hong Bang (HB) connects generous supporters in the United States, Europe, and beyond, with our partners who work directly with the poor.  Our main activity is the overseas volunteer program through which skilled professionals and energetic young people are placed in communities throughout Vietnam.  In addition, Hong Bang provides material assistance for a number of projects each year.  We focus most of our resources in the area education and typically fund one capital project each year.   You can support HB's activities by telling others about our work and with a contribution made through the Donate Page.  The cost of an overseas volunteer, including roundtrip airfare and living expenses for one year, is about $4,000; a scholarship for one child costs less than $100 each year; a college scholarship for special education teachers costs $500 each year.

Scholarships for Special Education Teachers.   Special needs children are often not afforded personal training at school or at home. This situation is attributable to a dearth of trained teachers and a lack of information for parents who would be the primary caregivers and educators of their special children. In 2011, Dung Tran, Overseas Volunteer, worked with our partners in Vietnam to develop teaching modules which parents can use to work with their special needs children. These modules are personalized for each child. Dung traveled to rural communities throughout Vietnam to train parents to work with these modules. Hong Bang currently provides scholarships for college training of special education teachers. Our hope is to expand the capacity of those who can work with parents to provide training for special needs children. Through this interaction, Hong Bang is also exploring ways for skilled professionals in the U.S. to support special education in poor areas in Vietnam, including development of teaching materials and technology.

Primary and Secondary School Scholarships.  Currently HB provides financial aid to 58 very poor rural students, a number we would like to expand.  The students are between 13 to 17 years of age attending middle and high school grades.  The come from families whose parents are chronically ill or suffer from physical or mental deficiencies. The financial aid prevents the students from dropping out of school which helps to break the cycle of poverty in these communities.  The students are encouraged to organize into small groups that conduct visits to peers who have dropped out of school and to visit the families of peers who are in difficult situations.  These students learn to see people who are in worse situation than themselves and share their bicycles, books and sometimes their lunch boxes.  Our partner social workers help administer this program throughout Vietnam.

Phuoc Loc school for Housekeepers.  Many of our oversease volunteers are placed at the Phuoc Loc school for Housekeepers.   The school accepts rural girls who will not pursue education beyond high school due to the poverty of their families.  The housekeepers learn skills in food preparation, in child care,  in financial book keeping, in keeping order in the families where they work.  The young women are also trained to know their responsibilities and their rights as professional workers.  The overseas volunteers have helped the trainees to acquire language and cultural knowledge to work with expatriate families.

Capital Projects.  In many communities in which overseas volunteers are placed, there is often need for capital improvement to help with income generation or basic health and social necessities.  Below are some of projects HB  funded in recent years, typically one project per year.

Migrant Housing Project .   Vietnam's economic expansion has been fueled by workers migrating from the countryside to industrial zones where manufacturing is concentrated.  There migrants face squalid living conditions, separation from family and familiar surroundings, and social isolation.  To address these problems, Hong Bang provided funds to build safe and affordable housing for migrant workers in the Binh Duong Industrial District (10 miles outside of Ho Chi Minh City in south Vietnam). The facility, which opened in January 2008, has living quarters, a daycare center, a library center, a community kitchen, and other essential services. Building on the success of this project, we have provided seed money to our Vietnam partners to study the possible development of affordable housing in different cities throughout central Vietnam.

Water Pond Project .  In Nam Dinh province, we supported the construction of a pond to raise fish.  The fish are sold as part of an income generating project for the community.

Mai Hoa HIV hospice .   Services for HIV-infected people are limited, and the stigma attached to infection is severe, discouraging people from seeking necessary services.  Hong Bang contributed $7,500 for the construction of the Mai Hoa HIV Hospice. This center is the first of its kind in Vietnam and serves patients in the final stages of this illness. Patients receive counseling and care by full-time staff and overseas volunteers who are professional nurses and social workers.

Cow Project .   HB provided a dairy cow to participating families along with technical advice to help them raise the cow, sell the cow's milk,  as well as budgeting and financial decisions.  As a condition of participation, each family donates the first offspring from their cow to another family within the community.  Since 2004, Hong Bang has provided over $5,000 to support this project and has generated over 35 cows in rural communities.

Computer Training Facility.  Hong Bang provided $5,000 to furnish ten computers and printer for a computer training facility in Trang Bang, a community west of Ho Chi Minh City. The facility is part of the local high school that is incorporating a computer literacy program into its curriculum.  Our overseas volunteers have taught courses there in networking and HTML basics.