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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


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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