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Robert Timmer
By Robert Timmer
4 years ago | comments

PD Network and Mastermind Vietnam Mission

Latest news | Passion for results PD Network and Mastermind Vietnam Mission

Robert Timmer, senior consultant at Mastermind, travels with the P&D Network tot Vietnam en writes about this trip in a blog that is posted on this site:

On the 21st of March we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City (without our luggage thanks to Air France) and took a connecting flight to Da Nang and a further trip by car to Quang Tri. In Quang Tri we are visiting the Medical Comity Netherlands – Vietnam (MCNV).

MCNV provides medical assistance to the people of Vietnam since 1968. What started off, as medical aid has grown to supporting people in every way possible to provide in their own income. MCNV's main focus is on groups like elderly, disabled or HIV infected people.

MCNV together with WorldGranny and Global Initiative on Psychiatry offer besides medical aid, a micro-credit product through 33 CBO's (community based organizations) and 3 NGO's (non-governmental organization) and provide in education to the people off Vietnam. On our first trip to one of the micro-credit groups we are shown how the group has been able, with the support of micro-credit to sustain themselves with divers sources of income.

The income in some periods is even enough to safe money. Although the work off MCNV is delivering very good results in Vietnam there are still problems, which ask for the attention and aid of MCNV and their global partners:

1.  Disability rate;

Because of the aftermath effects (chemical bombings line Agent Orange but also mines left after the war) of the war there are still a lot of children being born with disability. For example the village we visited has >200 disabled people on a community of >5.500 people (the Netherlands +/- 1,15% and Vietnam >3,5%)

2.  Changing social structures;

More and more people move to the cities. Besides this trend people also have fewer children. The old structure where the children take care of their parents, which is also fed by the traditions/religion of elderly worship, brings about new problems, does not work anymore. Because of this change in the traditional structure the rural area becomes more and more a place for the elderly and the disabled and fewer people who can support them.

3.  Clear view of the future;

Off course nobody has a glass ball, which will tell you the future, but in Vietnam the situation is very unclear. Although Vietnam has had a very high economic growth rate the last couple of years this growth has come at a price. The government's main aim for economic growth consists of industrializing the country and providing in a cheap labor force for big foreign companies. Besides the growing impact off pollution (both air and the land) this policy of the government results in the taking of agricultural land and this strategy excludes the disabled and the elderly of providing in a sufficient income.

It is not only problems and Vietnam also posses lots off opportunities. On the trip around Quang Tri we have met a lot off very nice and warm people who were glad to tell us how they live and provide in an income.

In an open conversation the Vietnamese management of MCNV we exchanged information and talked about the possibilities for MCNV about setting up savings and many even a micro-pension fund.

We also talked about the possibilities which technology can offer to MCNV and their clients by connecting.

    •    The possibilities to educate people by providing them with tablets (http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506466/given-tablets-but-no-teachers-ethiopian-children-teach-themselves/) offers opportunities for MCNV and the people in the rural areas of Vietnam.

  • MCNV on the other hand can look in to expanding their website with their knowledge and create an easier way to interact with there clients.
  • A web shop can help MCNV build a brand and sell the products of their clients outside of the traditional market reach.
  • And do not forget about the wakawaka light (http://www.wakawakalight.com/) which can provide the clients of MCNV off clean energy and the power to run their tablets ūüėČ

Both MCNV and their clients are well established for the future but as for everybody they have to prepare for the future and be open-minded and flexible towards the opportunities technology can deliver.

Our trip continues the 23th of March towards Quang Bin and we will arrive in Hanoi on the 25th of March for the micro-pension seminar. So stay tuned and we will tell you the story as it unwinds.

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Robert Timmer

Robert Timmer

Business Consultant

Want to know more? Get in touch with Robert Timmer:

  • Email robert.timmer [at] mastermind [dot] eu
  • Phone +31 (0)6 4554 8651

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