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Ta Phin Sapa


Dear All,

We have been working on the new Iu Mien exhibition. The opening will be on 16th August in Ta Phin at the the Community House.

A great team from 1+1>2 Architect’s office from Hanoi, and supervised by the well known Mr Hoang Thuc Hao, did this amazing work that we want to share with all followers and specially donors who contribute to this project before the oficial opening.

Ly  May Chan, Huong Nguyen and Nga Nguyen are working on the selection of the traditional Iu Mien clothes that are going to be exhibited in this beautiful displays.

We get very close to the total of $6.000.

Thank you All!

Dear All,

VASF (Vietnamese American Scholarship Fund) and CESR (Center for the Encouragement of Self-Reliance) give to our project a Grant of 3.000$ to support the Iu Mien Museum in Ta Phin.

As always and because transparency is very important, we would like to share the final letter of approval, and the commitment that we have accepted.

We still need more 1.720$ to achieve our goal of 6.000$. Please donate if you have the chance! Here the website of donation. Our goal is to open it in April 2017.

The final letter:“Ladies and gentlemen:We thank you for having sent your application regarding our challenge for you to do more to help the needy.Below we list some observations regarding your application. Please note that we are but a modest family putting up our savings to help the poor help themselves, instead of leaving the money to our children. As we have little manpower doing everything on our own time in this challenge-collaboration program, our observations of your work may not be entirely correct. We hope you understand our good intention and forgive us for our shortcomings. We have read your proposal and observed that:

  1. Yours is a project of love, of culture, and of helping a community standing on its own feet with dignity and knowledge.
  1. While we have not provided any labor assistance, our financial contributions have been 35% of the funds you raised between 2010 and 2015.
  1. Your plan to further help the Red Dao make the Community House and surroundings into an income generating center piece is excellent, involving people of knowledge and dedication.

Based on the above, we will send 3,000 USD with the following challenges:

  1. You will use all means available to you and your friends in Hanoi to call for contributions to match our challenge by the ratio of 1:2.
  2. You will help Ly May Chan draft a community by-laws similar to yours, so that they may be able to govern themselves in the semi-modern way. Traditional way alone does not do. (that’s why they are not yet self-sufficient.)
  3. You will be able to keep the place attractive and hire a knowledgeable and committed person to manage it.
  4. You will create a local team to assure a proper support and the viability of the project. You will be introduced to some scouts in Hanoi and you will include them in the project. They may provide some volunteer efforts as well.
  5. You will organize a micro-loan program, seeking out local people who need a little capital to do their business better. We recommend loans of 2,000,000 VND, to be paid in 10 months, each month 220,000 VND. After 10 months, the loan is over, and a second loan could be had. The revolving money can further be used to loan to others as well.  Trust among the locals should be possible for this small community.
  6. You give VASF (Vietnamese American Scholarship Fund) and CESR (Center for the Encouragement of Self-Reliance) proper credit in your publications.
If you agree to the above challenges, we will send 100% of the money before 31/12/2016.

Doan L Phung, PhD, PE

Crowdfunding Iu Mien Museum, Ta Phin, Vietnam

Help us to transform the Community House in Ta Phin to a beautiful Iu Mien Museum and attract more responsible tourism in this amazing area. We start the crowdfunding through Generosity platform by Indiegogo!


I co-founded Red Dream Project with Linh Ngan and Ly May Chan at the end of 2010 in Ta Phin, Sapa, Vietnam. Ta Phin is a small, impoverished village in the mountainous northwest province of Lao Cai, Vietnam, populated mainly by ethnic minority groups. The rapid development of tourism in the village has contributed to inequality between neighbourhoods and the loss of ethnic traditions and livelihoods as villagers chase the tourist dollar.

I am helping this community for more than 5 years, and I will not stop until we get a really positive impact with this project. I knew it would be difficult and hard to get good results. One day someone told me “Viviana, if you want to change something you will need almost ten years to get there”. And that’s true, but I am really a passionate person committed with this community. There are no deadlines for any social project, we need to be committed and keep trying to find the best solution for the community.

And I could never do it without the help of many donors around the world and all sponsors of all charity events we done in Hanoi, Vietnam.

That is why we now want to complete the project with a new goal that is to transform it in a Iu Mien museum. It is always a challenge, but could work. And as a good friend told me in my last trip to Vietnam in May “Viviana, if this works, it could be a good model for other villages and it will be wonderful to have amazing museums like this one”.

I cannot wait to come back and make it real! As always all donations will go exclusively for the project.

The Iu Mien people are a Southeast Asian subset of the Yao people, a minority group originally from China. Displaced by the Vietnam War, many settled in the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. From China, the Iu Mien migrated to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

This project will attract tourists to this house and make it alive, that is the big challenge! We need someone to run the house and pay this person fairly for this new job. But we need to make it more attractive and bring people there to learn more about this ethnic group. The tourism in the area has grown and we are sure that this could finally work. The fundraising is to buy the different ethnic customs from Vietnam, Laos and Thailand and organize the house as a museum. Local people will be grateful if we can bring tourists there. Only then, they will use also the house, working in a beautiful and peaceful place and not at the side of any road.



I am a passionate woman who follows her dreams. My strong personality and sensitivity is a reflection of the soul of this project. I arrived in Vietnam in October 2010 for a voluntary period, looking for a balance in my life, I just realized how important is the ethical and sustainable meanings in life, people and work.
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