On Friday 26th the Danish Vietnamese Association (DVA) had a presentation about their work at Little Rose Warm Shelter for girls and Green Bamboo Warm Shelter for boys. The presentation was held at Little Rose Shelter in cooperation with DVA’s partner organisation Ho Chi Minth City Child Welfare Foundation who manages the two shelters. DVA has started a national collection called Vietnam’s Children and aims at collecting USD 25. 000 a year in order to secure the work at the shelters.
“We want to inform Danish companies in Ho Chi Minth City about our work, because we believe that both companies and DVA can gain from a closer corporation”, says Vice Chairman of DVA Ole Riis.
DVA has been working with Ho Chi Minth Child Welfare Foundation and the two shelters since 2005. The Shelters Little Rose Warm Shelter houses about 23 girls between 8 and 18 years old. Green Bamboo Warm Shelter is home to boys between 8 and 16 years. Most of the boys been living on the street where as most girls are victims of sexual abuse. The shelters take care of sending the children to school and provide them with their basic needs of food, clothing and medical care. “The children also receive some psychological help and vocational training in order to make it easier for them to reintegrate into society again” says Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, Executive Vice Chairperson of Ho Chi Minth Childwelfare Foundation. “We also try to reunite the children with their families if we can find them”, she says.
More than money
Until now the children who leave the shelter usually work as hairdressers or beauty parlours or piccolos in hotels. But Ole Riis hopes that this situation would change with help from the Danish companies. “These jobs are often associated with prostitution and this is the situation we are trying to take the children away from”, he says. “Maybe the Danish companies could take in some of these children and in cooperation with us make a job placement strategy to support the shelters in this way”, he says. In 2005 the project received about USD 172.400 under Danida’s mini Project Funding for a 3 year project. However, the money from Danida is not enough, and cannot be spend on things as computers, books and renovation. DVA therefore also welcomes help in terms of materials and used equipment. “We would like to make two shelters which Denmark and DVA can be proud to support”, says Ole Riis.
Unfortunately many of the invited companies were to busy to attend the presentation. However, Ole Riis does not see this as a sign of lack of interest. “We have established a good contact with many companies already”, he says. “I think many companies would like to contribute to the society around them and are aware of their social responsibility. It is a chance for them to show, that they are present in Vietnam, and that they are giving something to the Vietnamese society. They just don’t know how”, says Ole Riis. “But DVA is a guarantor that the money are really used on what they are supposed to”, he says.
One of the companies who kick started DVA’s national collection is ScanCom international A/S who on October 11th donated USD 10.000 to the two shelters. Companies who donate more than US 1000 will get a banner on DVA’s home page. Ole Riis hopes that the national collection “Children of Vietnam” will reach further than the two shelters. “My vision is, that the collection will be the beginning and the centre of raising awareness about social responsibility of the Danish community in Vietnam”, he says.
Furthermore Ole Riis hopes to encourage more cooperation between the NGO world and the business sector in general. “My opinion is, that nobody are better at making analysis about where and how to generate economic development than the business community”, he says. “In return companies have a chance to show their flag and presents in Vietnam, and that they are concerned about development here”, he says. People who are only able to donate a little bit are also extremely welcome”. And as Ole Riis finished his speech on Friday. “One small contribution for a Danish man is one big contribution for Vietnam’s Children”.
For more information about the work of DVA and the national collection please see http://www.davifo.dk/