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According to the World Bank, close to 14 percent of Vietnam’s population lives in conditions of poverty. The country has seen a drastic reduction of poverty over the last 20 years when the poverty rate was close to 60 percent. Vietnam has also made remarkable progress in education. Primary and secondary enrollments for those in poverty have reached more than 90 percent and 70 percent respectively. Rising levels of education and diversification into off-farm activities, such as working in construction, factories or domestic housework, have also contributed to reducing poverty in the country.

Salesian Missions gives impoverished children and families opportunities that are typically only available to the middle and upper classes—so that all people can have hope for a better future.

More Missions In Vietnam

Provide technical & vocational training

In Vietnam, the gap between rich and poor is widening, according to UNICEF. Salesian schools are helping to break the cycle of poverty while giving many young people hope for a more positive and productive future.

Salesian missionaries operate the Tan Tien Don Bosco Vocational School. Just 25 years ago, Salesian missionaries purchased a five-hectare plot of land and built the school. In 2002, the first students graduated from the program. Today, the school has had 3,000 students successfully complete the program.

Tan Tien Don Bosco Vocational School also operates two boarding houses, which accommodate 215 boys and 58 girls. These students are coming from difficult life situations. Many have dropped out of school previously and consider the Don Bosco Vocational School as their last chance. In addition to the technical and academic preparation, students have an opportunity to learn music and engage in exercise and sports. The vocational school is one of the four technical schools operated by Salesian missionaries in Vietnam, while another three vocational schools are in the pipeline.

In addition, Salesian missionaries launched the Don Bosco Bakery-Café in Ho Chi Minh City. The project is part of the Salesian-run Majcen Center Bistro, Restaurant and Vocation Training Center in the city. The new bakery is located in one of the central districts of Ho Chi Minh City near the British International School where many expatriates live. Salesian missionaries hope they will become the bakery’s clientele.

Four Salesian missionaries are working on this new pilot project including two Salesian brothers and two Salesian priests. The Don Bosco Bakery-Café offers youth in Vietnam the opportunity to learn bread and sweet-making skills as well as gain knowledge in management and marketing. The bakery is also another step toward self-sustainability for the vocational training centers with sales from the bakery helping to provide financial backing for educational programs at the center.

Rescue children facing adversity

In Vietnam, nearly 1.7 million youth have some type of disability. For these children with disabilities, access to education is limited and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty is almost nonexistent. UNICEF notes that globally, close to 61 percent of boys finish school but for boys with disabilities that number drops to 51 percent. For girls, 53 percent finish school but among those living with a disability, only 42 percent finish their education.

A Salesian program in Ho Chi Minh City, the capital of Vietnam, offers youth with disabilities a chance to overcome those great odds by learning a trade and gaining the opportunity for self-sufficiency. A Salesian bakery school opened in the summer of 2016. It works in collaboration with the local Salesian school for cooking and catering that had already been in operation, offering high quality training to the students.

The program shows how youth with disabilities have the same ability to achieve as their peers, if given the opportunity. Salesian programs are working to make sure that all students have access to the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to the social, cultural and economic vitality of their communities.

Build orphanages & shelters for homeless youth

Since 1952, street children throughout Vietnam have been welcomed to Salesian shelters. In addition to receiving the basic necessities of food and shelter, children and youth learn to value themselves and their future. Activities include tutoring, professional training, language and music classes and follow-up support.

“I want to show that a street kid is not as bad as many think. I would like to rebuild my life,” says Hung, a 14-year-old boy staying at the Ho Chi Minh City’s Salesian Center.

Deliver essential equipment & supplies

Salesian programs in Vietnam have new school and office furniture thanks to a donation made possible by an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and the Institution Recycling Network (IRN), an organization that matches surplus items with organizations and people who need them. The donation was comprised of two furniture shipments that are benefiting more than 1,500 Salesian teachers and students in the country.

The shipments included new desks, chairs, tables, bookcases and filing cabinets donated by IRN to five Salesian institutions in Vietnam including the Ky Anh Vocational Training School, the Dong Thuan Vocational Training Center, the Tan Tien Intermediate Skills Training School, the Phuoc Loc Vocational Training Center and the Theological Institute and Provincial House.

Provide clean, safe water

Residents of three villages in the Duc Co district in the Gia Lai province in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam have access to clean, safe water thanks to funding received from Salesian Missions’ “Clean Water Initiative.” Salesian missionaries have been able to establish six wells within three villages. They provided one in Nuk, two in Ba and three in Khop.

The water project included drilling wells, establishing pumping systems, creating water tank reserves for 3,000 liters and putting in filtration systems. Salesian Father Vincent Nguyen Thanh Trung, who lives in the Chu Prong community, worked in the field directly coordinating the implementation of this plan and helping the local Salesian priests. A team of professional and experienced craftsmen were hired to implement the majority of the drilling and construction work.

In addition, underprivileged youth and their families in Bao Loc, a city in the Lam Dong province in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, have clean, safe drinking water thanks to a new water purification system that has been installed at the Salesian-run Tan Tien Intermediate Vocational Training School.

Access to safe, clean water both at the school and for those living in the surrounding community is a concern. Officials in the Lam Dong province have indicated that there are pollutants in the rivers caused by agricultural activities and mining. Local farming methods often use herbicides that cause the local waters including rivers, canals and lakes, to be extremely polluted, affecting people’s health. Salesian missionaries used funding to develop and implement a new water purification system. This new water system meets all standards and requirements for water quality.

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From Vietnam

WORLD WATER DAY: Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” ensures youth around the globe have access to clean, safe water

Programs in Ghana, India, Nigeria, and Vietnam highlight Salesian initiatives that bring clean water access to schools and communities. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 22, 2019) Salesian Missions joins UN-Water, the organization that coor

VIETNAM: Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” provides funding for new water purification system at Salesian technical school

The project ensured that Salesian students and their families have the fresh, clean water they need. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 18, 2018) Underprivileged youth and their families in Bao Loc, a city in the Lam Dong Province in the Cent

VIETNAM: Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” provides funding for 6 wells in 3 villages

The projects ensured that Salesian students and their communities have the fresh, clean water they need. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 18, 2018) Residents of three villages in the Duc Co District in the Gia Lai Province in the Central Hi

The ‘largest private provider of vocational and technical training in the world’

Salesian Missions reports on programs around the globe that represent the unique workforce development focus of the Salesians of Don Bosco NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Jan. 17, 2017) The Salesians of Don Bosco is widely considered the larges

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