CWS Asia


Children cleaning their hands at Khuon Pong kindergarten (Chiem Hoa – Tuyen Quang). Photo: CWS

A boy in Vietnam is happily receiving the chicken from LDS Giving Machine Project. Photo: CWS

In January 2020 Vietnam and Japan CWS Country Representatives, Ngo Quoc Dung and Takeshi Komino, were honored to meet in Da Nang, Vietnam to celebrate Japanese—Vietnamese development cooperation. Dignitaries present were the Prime Minister of Vietnam, the Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam and the Secretary General Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Parliamentarians from both countries were also present along with provincial representatives from across Vietnam. Luong Minh Chinh, who is the Deputy Director of the Tuyen Quang Provincial Department of Foreign Affairs was on hand to celebrate a newly agreed CWS Japan—Vietnam disaster risk reduction partnership project. He is front and center in the photo with Dung (far left) and Takeshi, who is holding the agreement document with him.

Overview |

Church World Service has been active in Vietnam, with some time away in the 1970s, since 1954. Now, programs focus on helping ethnic minority communities in the country’s northern provinces. A signature Newly Integrated Development and Essential Action program focuses on family and community water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), primarily. In partnership with Women’s and Youth Unions as well as local government leaders, we engage schools’ leaders and teachers, healthcare workers and others in addressing a variety of challenges that vulnerable ethnic minority families face. These span issues from promoting the rights of children and raising awareness trafficking risks … to taking action to clean up village environments and end single-use plastic overuse … to supporting families to use probiotics for animal waste management and biogas digesters to keep their homes clean and safe while generating biogas for cooking in the bargain.

Material and information-sharing support for schools and clinics is an important part of CWS work in Vietnam too. Key areas of action are child protection in several directions: physical safety and wellbeing in schools, dormitories and clinics. Our primary funding and programming partner is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Recently, Week of Compassion has given strong support to expand WASH activities, which are vitally important in the face of COVID-19 risks. And, Latter-day Saints Charities have made it possible to help families improve their diets and incomes by raising poultry to use for family meals and for sale.

In a new direction, and in partnership with CWS Japan and Japanese technical partners, and with Japanese government funding, awareness raising and action to understand and reduce disaster risks has become key to CWS work in Vietnam.

Latest News

Today I have 11 eggs!

CWS Vietnam | February 3, 2021

Cam Thi Thao is a Thai woman from Doi 9 village in remote Phuc Than commune in northern Vietnam. For their daily sustenance, Thao’s five-member family relies on her husband’s family land to grow rice. But the yield is not enough to support the family, which includes two growing children and Thao’s mother-in-law. To feed […]

A village achieves Open Defecation Free status in Vietnam

CWS Vietnam | November 23, 2020

“Just last year, there were only about 20 families using sanitary latrines. As the head of the village, I wanted to encourage other families to do so as well, but it was hard, and I did not know how to do it efficiently. When I heard that CWS would work with villages in the commune, […]

Fair Water Access Promotes Peace in Cao Binh, Vietnam

CWS Vietnam | November 17, 2020

Cao Binh is a Tay ethnic minority village in Vietnam’s northwestern mountains. Its name likely comes from its location. “Cao” means “high” and “Binh” means “flat”. So, it’s the flat area on a high mountain. For drinking water, people here use a small stream about a mile from the center of their village. The stream’s […]

Women Lead Community Mobilization for Vietnam’s New IDEA Initiative

CWS Vietnam | March 11, 2020

In Vietnam, as CWS and our partners build on the past 5 years’ successes from the Newly Integrated Development and Essential Action (New IDEA) initiative, women are leading more than ever to expand reach and results. A growing role for Women’s Union members, alongside newly energized Youth Union members, is for awareness-raising and community mobilization. […]

A Teacher Learns To Talk with Her Students About Their Reproductive Health

CWS Vietnam | December 30, 2019

In northern Vietnam, CWS partners with Trung Ha commune leaders and villagers on an integrated development project (New IDEA). A key focus of the partnership is life skills education and development for ethnic minority children, especially those in lower secondary (junior high) school. CWS focuses on these grades in recognition of ethnic minority people’s practice […]

“We are more confident now!”

CWS Vietnam | November 27, 2019

by Tran Van Thang, CWS Vietnam Project Officer. “When you came to teach us, we learned how to lead awareness-raising discussion with other students.” – Ha Ngoc Linh, Communications Interest Group member. When I heard this from Linh, a student at Muong Kim commune Primary School, following an info session about human trafficking risks and […]

Supporting Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Emerges as a CWS Priority in Vietnam

CWS Vietnam | November 26, 2019

Vietnam is one of the most natural disaster-affected countries in the world. And, in recent years, Vietnam is like the rest of the world in experiencing more frequent weather-related disasters. With more extreme and unusual new characteristics, storms are having disastrous and deadly effects. The economic and social impacts of these storms and related disasters […]

Vietnam’s New IDEA Project Evaluation Is Underway

CWS Vietnam | October 27, 2019

Since 2015, and continuing now, the CWS team in Vietnam is coordinating with partners to implement New Integrated Development and Essential Action (New IDEA) with ethnic minority communities in Vietnam. It is a community-driven development effort for information-sharing and teaching-learning for knowledge growth and skills development. Key participants are community members who, in turn, raise […]

NGO Cooperation Extends Child Safeguarding/ Protection in Vietnam

CWS Vietnam | October 25, 2019

Recently, the CWS team in Vietnam announced a partnership with Football for All in Vietnam, which is a non-government group founded to expand children’s development, especially girls, through sport. In the coming year, with funding and technical help from Football for All, CWS will use football (soccer), Vietnam’s favorite sport, as a platform to raise […]

NGO Cooperation Extends Positive Environmental Impact in Vietnam

CWS Vietnam | October 3, 2019

By Ngo Quoc Dung, CWS Vietnam Country Representative. “It’s amazing! We can now make it!”. This is the feedback from some young people who joined in a recent CWS-led technical training to learn how to build reduced-smoke stoves. Several months ago, CWS partners in Than Uyen district invited colleagues from Plan International, Live & Learn, […]

Improved Hygiene Makes Tan and Her Schoolmates … Happy!

CWS Vietnam | October 2, 2019

Vang Thi Tan is 15-year-old 9th grader at Phuc Than Secondary School and, for the first time in her four years at the school, this is the year she could use a toilet that is safe and hygienic. For years, Tan was among 800-plus students who used a single small, old, dirty, smelly toilet room. […]

Partnership with local Women’s Union for raising community awareness

CWS Vietnam | August 27, 2019

By Pham Cong Tuan, CWS Vietnam Project Officer. Recently I joined a workshop my CWS colleagues and I organized to raise community awareness about the risks and prevention of child marriage in Hung My commune. Our leader was Dang Thi Ghen from the commune’s Women’s Union. And, since the topic was a sensitive one for […]

One Woman Pioneers Plastic Bag Use Change in Her Thai Village

CWS Vietnam | August 26, 2019

By Nguyen Van Ty, CWS Vietnam WASH Officer. “Using plastic bags is so convenient!” “Everyone uses plastic, so if I change, it’s nothing” “Why would I stop using plastic bags?” These and many similar comments are ones that my colleague Dung and I usually receive when we ask people’s opinions about reducing their use of […]

Getting to The End

CWS Vietnam | July 31, 2019

By Tran Van Thang, Vietnam Project Officer. Lo Thi Minh Vi is a young girl of Thai ethnicity who studies in class 2A8 of satellite primary school in Phuc Than commune in northern Vietnam. When I sat down to talk to her last month, she told me that “Before my classmates and I found library […]

Taking Time to Share CWS Accomplishment with National and International Development Partners

CWS Vietnam | June 16, 2019

Recently colleagues from Plan International in Vietnam asked CWS to visit a project site in Than Uyen district to learn about our environment friendly biosand water filters and reduced smoke kitchen stoves, which are known to good models for poor families and schools. Of course, CWS team members and our local government partners were willing […]

One Village Health Worker’s Environmental Sanitation Push

CWS Vietnam | June 15, 2019

By Nguyen Van Ty, CWS Vietnam WASH Program Officer. Rom is a big northern Vietnamese village with 137 families from the Tay ethnic minority group. People earn their living from planting, harvesting and selling upland rice. They grow and sell maize, sweet potatoes and some vegetables too. So, the village’s economic development is going well. […]

Learning by Doing: Building New Skills to Help Schools Be Safer and Cleaner

CWS Vietnam | May 26, 2019

By Tran Van Thang, CWS Vietnam Project Officer. In my recent activity monitoring visit to the Phuc Than commune kindergarten in northern Vietnam, I had a chance to inspect the school’s clean, smoke-free kitchen – thanks to a new stove, which a great improvement on the dirty, inefficient and polluting old stove. It was good […]

Child-friendly Libraries: Inside and Out

CWS Vietnam | April 6, 2019

By Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, Program Officer. With 296 students, Muong Kim #1 primary school is considered a large school with its commune. Yet, about 18 months ago, when I visited the school and asked to visit the library, I was taken to such a small room that was full of books and supplies – […]

Sphere info-sharing workshop has inspired me!

CWS Vietnam | March 28, 2019

By Do Van Khai, Muong Te District Red Cross Chapter. In mid-March 2019, a workshop about Sphere project minimum standards for humanitarian response was hosted by Vietnam’s NGO Disaster Management working group (DMWG), its Disaster Management Policy and Technology Center (DMPTC) and the CWS team in Hanoi. The aim of the gathering was helping participants […]

The 2018 Edition of The Sphere Handbook is Introduced in Vietnam

CWS Vietnam | March 18, 2019

March 11th to 13th the CWS Vietnam team in proud and energized in joining a Sphere standards workshop that they took the lead in organizing for the humanitarian response community in Vietnam. In considering the week, CWS Emergency Response Focal Point, Mai Thi Quynh Giao shares these thoughts, “The gathering to update ourselves on the […]

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