2024: Special school and multi-rehabilitation center in Binh Dinh

In 2000, MCNV worked for the first time in the Dak Lak province to establish a special school for children with disabilities. A great adventure that turned out very well. The school, essentially a multi-rehabilitation center, turned out to be a perfect fit with the province’s request for children with disabilities to go to school. Not only that, they could also live there and play and live together with other children. The children came from poor families and lived in more remote villages where there is nothing for children with disabilities.

The positive news spread and other provinces asked MCNV to help realise a multi-rehabilitation center. This is how three more were created. It turned out to be the solution for children who had never gone to school before. It was a starting point for them to gain a place in society. The Vietnamese provincial government sees the importance of these centers and supports them as much as possible.

2024: Special school and multi-rehabilitation center in Binh Dinh

Last year, the Hy Vong special school in Binh Dinh asked if we could help ‘transform’ the special school into a multi-rehabilitation center for children with severe sight and hearing impairment, where parents can also go for help and advice. Based on the experience and knowledge we have gained in other provinces, we can contribute to a better life for the children in Binh Dinh.

Give children the right education, in a nice place where they can play and learn!

Binh Dinh is a province on the south-central coast of Vietnam, with a population of 300,000. It is one of the provinces in Vietnam that were heavily bombarded by the US Air Force with the poisonous defoliant Agent Orange during the war. The consequences of this – misbirths and disabilities – are still visible. According to official figures, there are more than 3,000 children with disabilities in Binh Dinh.
One of the most effective approaches to reducing the impact of Agent Orange is to focus assistance on services, such as health, education and social services, that aim to improve the quality of life of children and adults with disabilities to improve.

It’s possible in Binh Dinh!

Every year, Hy Vong School receives 160 to 180 children with disabilities between the ages of six and 16 from across the province. MCNV has been supporting children, teachers and parents for several years to ensure that children learn to read and write and can play with peers. Exchanging experiences is very important for parents so that they feel less alone and can learn from each other how to deal with daily care. They also learn to deal with the stigmas that make their children’s lives more difficult. Since September last year, visually impaired and blind children have also been welcome at the school.


Taking a big step forward

Providing care and education to such a large number of children with disabilities is a difficult task for teachers, caregivers and the school director. As in other provinces in Vietnam, most children come from poor families. The circumstances in which they live leave little room to devote attention and money to health and education. In addition, the provincial government does not have sufficient resources to invest in the school. Another point of attention is the poor condition and lack of all kinds of teaching materials and equipment. In order to achieve positive results, the school wants (and must) make a significant step forward in terms of quality.


The Hy Vong school has asked MCNV to help make this step. This concerns:


  • Creating specific care for the children so that they can actually follow their education;
  • Improving the knowledge and skills of management and teachers to provide ‘tailor-made’ care and education to children with disabilities;
  • Improving the knowledge and skills of teachers in regular schools in the areas of early detection, early intervention and inclusive education for children with disabilities;
  • Cooperation and coordination between special schools and regular education in Binh Dinh so that children with disabilities can also attend regular schools.


What is needed for this?

  • Learning aids, such as Braille books for blind children and visual learning aids for children with hearing and intellectual disabilities;
  • Meals for the children.
  • Continuing training for teachers, employees and management.
  • Advanced training for teachers in regular schools in the field of dealing with children with disabilities.
  • Transforming Hy Vong Special School into a multi-rehabilitation center so that more children with disabilities and their parents can receive support.


Price Waterhouse Cooper-Vietnam (PWC) has financially supported the school until 2023. There is still some money left, but it is not enough to continue the activities in 2024 and 2025. That is why we ask you to contribute to the step that the Hy Vong school wants to take.


Thank you in advance for your (extra) donation.


Warm greetings from Hanoi,


Nguyễn Thị Thanh Thủy

MCNV program coordinator and educational expert


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Christmas campaign 2023: emergency plan for clean drinking water in Sepone

In this newsletter we ask your attention to the people living in eight remote villages, high in the mountains in Sepone district. The villages are involved in our Mother & Child-program and with the support of the AFAS Foundation and our MCNV-donors we have been able to achieve a lot over the past two years.

Continue Mother & Child program in 2024

The program will also be continued in 2024 and that is of course very nice. But during the past period, a situation has arisen that we previously had insufficient insight into: the shortage of clean drinking water in both municipalities. Especially the eight higher villages in Sepone

have no wells, no water pumps or they are broken. The women and children have to walk for many hours to get water from the river. But that water is unsuitable for drinking water. From April to November is the dry season and there is very little water in the river.

The little water in the river is not drinkable, it causes diarrhea and other infections, especially for young children, but it is the only water that is available.

Clean water needed for 1766 people

The situation is really severe and that is why we want to provide this emergency aid in the coming months. It would be great if we could dig wells in the eight high-altitude villages, repair water pumps  and install a water system so that clean water is available to all people who depend on (dirty) water from the river for months during the dry season

Clean water is a basic requirement for good nutrition and good health. We hope for a total amount of 32,000 euros that is needed for 1766 people living in the eight villages.

We need a significant amount of money, but it is so important to tackle this thoroughly and ensure that our Mother & Child-program is optimally successful!

You can read the whole story on pages 2 and 3.

Thank you very much for your (extra) contribution!

Karin Vlug

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Thanks to your support, in over the past three years, MCNV has devised and applied groundbreaking methods with the PROSPER project, which has resulted in long-lasting positive effects in Vietnam, including: responsible forest management and CO2 storage, stimulation of the local economy and local tourism initiatives.
We look forward to your support in the time to come, so that we can continue it and focus further on preserving nature and supporting poor farmers.

Pioneering changes in the forest areas of Quang Tri

Dear donors, October 12, 2023

The story in this newsletter was written by Nguyen Thanh Tung, my colleague from Dong Ha. He is a program coordinator and has been working for MCNV for 20 years. He was born and raised in Dong Ha and is very passionate about improving the living conditions of poor families. And he is committed to preserving the forests in Quang Tri province. He can therefore fully express himself in the forestry program (PROSPER).

Since the start of the forestry program in 2020, Tung has seen a change in thinking and doing how farmers want and can preserve the forests, resulting in improving their own income in a structural way and preserving the trees. This may sound simple, but the program consists of so many different aspects and facets that take a lot of time and efforts. How beautiful it is to see these results! “The farmers are convinced that a different approach leads to a better and healthier future for people and nature and that is what matters to us.”

Tung has a lot of contact with Ho Van Chien, head of the Community Forest Management Board of Chenh Venh village. “In the past, locals randomly harvested bamboo and cut down various types of trees. This situation led to deforestation and major risks for people and nature.”
With the help of MCNV, a lot has changed in this area. The forest is better managed and protected. People’s lives have been improved by experimenting with new things that we did not dare to think of before, such as participating in forest certification, developing ecotourism, making bamboo handicrafts and planting suitable trees.”
Our question to you
Over the past three years, MCNV has devised and applied groundbreaking methods with the PROSPER program, resulted in:

• Responsible forest management and CO2 storage
• Stimulation of the local economy
• Local tourism initiatives

We would like to continue this and start new collaborations with local and international partners who share our mission. The continued support of our loyal donors in the Netherlands enables MCNV to achieve long-lasting positive effects in Vietnam with these groundbreaking changes.

Thank you in advance for your (extra) gift.

Xin chao, warm regards also on behalf of Tung from Dong Ha,

Karin Vlug

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Gifts from donors are and will remain indispensable for our work in Vietnam

In 2023, we want to pay attention to both Vietnam and Laos. This time Vietnam is in the spotlight.

At the beginning of April, we organised an online meeting with our colleagues in Vietnam and the editors of the MCNV newsletter. The common thread in the contributions from Vietnam was the importance of our private donors. All MCNV-employees in Vietnam are aware of the unique significance of MCNV. “There are still more than 3,000 Dutch people who are loyal to Vietnam, often from the very beginning. There is no second MCNV, that is special and we are very grateful to everyone for that. It inspires and encourages us to make the best use of your donations.”

The important role of private donors

To be able to implement a plan, we depend on several parties who want to support a program financially. Some funds, such as the EU or USAID, cover 75% of the budget. The condition of these large funds is that we contribute 25% ourselves, so we have to look for another source of financing. With the donations from our regular supporters we can add that 25% and the entire program is financed with that.

The contribution of the donors can also help to increase the number of participants in an existing project. As a result, every cent goes to the target group, because no additional office or staff costs are then required.

Things are going well in Vietnam and there are also government programs for the remote areas. But there is too little connection with the people there, there are facilities and rights (education, care) that they do not use out of ignorance. Partly thanks to the donors, MCNV is responding to this by focusing on capacity building in order to involve the villagers more in the programs and to promote that they know what facilities are available and what they are entitled to.

Food provision for children and support for the disabled

Vietnam director Pham Dung particularly emphasizes the major role of donors in the programs aimed at providing food for children and supporting the disabled. Two programs that the MCNV wants to continue to support in the coming years.

And finally, we can name the moral support and involvement of the private donors themselves as a value.

The loyal and generous support is so important to us, for which we are so grateful to all our donors. We can’t really put that into words.

Many thanks for your (additional) gift.

Pham Dung, Nguyen Dinh Dai, Tu Phi Yen and Karin Vlug

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Looking back, making new plans and moving on again!

Last year, in our December newsletter, I told you about the programs and projects we have planned for the period 2021-2025, focusing on nutrition and food security, maternal and child care and people with disabilities, poverty alleviation and improving living conditions. The continued focus on these topics will lead to longer and more intense involvement in the projects and enable us to live up to our commitment – starting small, handing over, pulling back and continuing elsewhere where the need is also great.

Building partnerships and finding donors willing to support the programs is a big job at a time when there are lots of applications to large and smaller funds. But with our experience and concrete results in the field, we can show that we are a valued organization with specific knowledge and expertise.

We realize that there will come a time when the focus of activities and of the organization will be even more in Vietnam than now, including fundraising. And you may be wondering what your value as a donor to MCNV will be then. That question is very easy to answer: you are vital to our programs and projects because there is always a contribution to be made by the organization itself, often up to a quarter of the grant to be received. The gifts and donations of donors like you are the source of those own contributions and thus a prerequisite for working with partners and donors.

Our great desire is to continue to partner with you in 2023 and support our colleagues in Vietnam and Laos. The work is not yet finished and both financially and morally MCNV desperately needs you to continue with our mission. We feel privileged with your unconditional support and thank you very much in advance for your (extra) donation!

On behalf of all colleagues, I wish you good holidays and a healthy 2023.

Karin Vlug
Senior Advisor Fundraising MCNV

For more information (in Dutch) see page 4-5 of our magazine.

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Forestry in the fight against poverty and climate change

Follow-up to the PROSPER project

In the multi-year PROSPER program we have told you about before, we are guiding small foresters in Quang Tri province toward sustainable forest management. The wood from the trees and the oil from the seeds of the tung trees are given an FSC (Forest Steward Council) label, thus providing farmers with a better, fair price. The EU funds 75% of the program, the remaining 25% is MCNV’s own contribution.

Dinh and a newly planted 3-months old tung tree

About 100 participating households received compensation for planting tung trees and native plants last year. A trial was also conducted to see if the planting of tung trees could prevent landslides. In total, with support from Project PROSPER, some 300 hectares of forest have now been planted in northern Huong Hoa.

The Vietnamese government has declared PROSPER a best practice in their own program “Plant a billion trees in the period 2021-2025”. A next project, as a follow-up to PROSPER, could allow expansion to more households of foresters in other villages, and certification for CO2 storage and biodiversity, among other things, could also be a next step.

Our question to you

Promoting sustainable forestry is a good way to help lift small farmers and their families out of poverty. They get a better price and higher yield for sustainably grown timber and seeds. But there are more benefits: for nature and the fight against climate change. Planting trees improves the soil, water balance and CO2 uptake. We started a small-scale forestry project in Quang Tri in 2020, and we now see opportunities to support more farmers. The plans are already clear, your support is indispensable to implement them. More trees means more farming families out of poverty!

Will you help us to provide more foresters with more livelihood security in the coming year?
With € 20,000 we can take the next step in a new project in 2023.

Thank you very much for your (extra) gift!

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Healthy food, strong women and equal opportunities

New plans to strengthen our nutrition program

In Nong and Sepone, two municipalities in the province of Savannakhet, Laos, a lot of work has been done in recent years to improve the food situation and food security. With the support of partners and donors, vegetable gardens, chickens and fish ponds, school canteens were created, and information about healthy nutrition for pregnant women and mothers was shared.

school garden

These structural changes have a positive influence on the position of girls and young women. According to the traditional division of roles, the daughters look after the younger children and the women work on the land. Men make almost all decisions, including about food. As a woman, giving your opinion or learning something for your future is often not accepted. As a result, the position of women in this poor, remote area remains vulnerable and they remain dependent on their husbands.

600 women and girls

MCNV has made a plan to give extra support to 600 women and girls from ten villages in Sepone in the field of organization and entrepreneurship. The women learn which crops are suitable, when to plant and harvest and to sell them at the market. They are allowed to participate in decisions about financial matters such as the purchase of manure, seeds and fish feed. It gives the women self-confidence and a place in the community. The men are involved in the program to experience that the family and specifically nutrition is a joint responsibility.

Many girls from the villages in Sepone now do not go to school because they have to take care of their younger brothers and sisters. As a result, they miss the opportunity to learn to read, write and count. We hope with this program to change the situation, so that girls can go to school to learn and develop.

The program will contribute to good nutrition for pregnant women and their children, but aims especially to strengthen young girls and women, who can look forward to a healthy and equal future through education and more knowledge. We want to go there together with you!

Thank you very much for your (extra) contribution!

Sincerely, Sivone Mouanaotou

MCNV Program Manager in Laos

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Old crafts, new income

Community Development provides extra work

Since 2019, MCNV has been supporting the multi-year forestry project Prosper for farmers and foresters in Quang Tri. With sustainably produced wood they can improve their income and together they ensure the preservation and protection of the forest.

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With a big leap away from hunger

Providing more protein-rich food for children continues to be urgent in coming years

Nutrition for children from poor families living in remote villages in Phu Yen province requires a lot of extra attention. We have regularly written to you about this and asked you for an extra contribution. We want to continue to do this in the coming years because too many young children are malnourished. They need more and better food to grow up healthy and to independently and strongly build their own future at a later age.

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Sustainable forestry helps poor families earn better incomes

Protect the forest, then the forest protects the village

More than a year ago, a group of farmers in Quang Tri, with the support of MCNV, took the first steps in a sustainable and small-scale forestry project. They started to grow wood and produce furniture oil in a better way, in order to get a better market price and a more stable income. In addition, the farmers work together to manage and protect the forests against illegal logging.

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