East Meets West/Thrive Networks is commemorating three decades of providing clean drinking water and basic sanitation services to the most vulnerable communities in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. To celebrate, we’re shining the spotlight on major milestones we’ve achieved in Vietnam, where the East Meets West story first began.
Skills2Thrive: Young people ready to take on the world
On September 10 in Da Nang, we sent off 24 bright and bold students to start their careers. Sixteen students completed courses in hospitality and eight in IT. They learned career-specific skills and the know-how needed to thrive at work — communication, customer care and problem solving. This graduation ceremony concludes our Skills2Thrive pilot, an intensive education-to-employment program that equips high potential youth with technical and soft skills and end-to-end support throughout the job application process. The happy graduates share that the program helped boost their confidence and abilities and they hope that Thrive will continue this program so that their peers can develop their skills too. We’re excited to reach more students in phase two and beyond.
Women: the leaders in WASH
In partnership with the Vietnam’s Women’s Union, Thrive Networks officially launched the “Women-led Output-Based Aid” or “WOBA” program. This four-year program will help 20,000 families purchase toilets for their homes, while 8 000 of the most vulnerable households can connect to piped clean water through funding from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The event held at the Centre for Women and Development in Hanoi on September 13 was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Australia, National Center for Clean Water and Rural Environmental Sanitation, and People’s Committee leaders from participating provinces Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Thin and Ben Tre.
A Friend of Vietnam: East Meets West receives the prestigious Friendship Medal
On the same day as our WOBA launch, East Meets West received the Friendship Order of the Vietnamese President in recognition of its contributions to enhancing the Vietnamese people’s quality of life through clean water and better sanitation. On behalf of the State President, Vice President in-charge and General Secretary of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Don Tuan Phong presented the distinction to Thrive representatives (Board member Dr. Peter Singer, CEO Lynn Foden, Founder Le Ly Hayslip, and Vietnam Country Director Belinda Abraham), expressing his gratitude for Thrive’s contributions to improving local wellbeing, alleviating poverty, and boosting socio-economic development in the country.
30 years of East Meets West/Thrive Networks
On the evening of September 13, 160 guests from the government, private sector, and international development cooperation sector attended Thrive’s 30th anniversary gala dinner. The presence of our founder Le Ly Hayslip made this event deeply special. Together, we looked back on the work she began in Vietnam, Thrive’s efforts to promote quality water systems, improve education, and spur rural development in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia for the last 30 years. We look forward to 30 more of reaching these communities and helping them grow and flourish.
At the heart of our programs are strong partnerships with government, private sector, civil society groups, and local communities. We also implement learning and feedback strategies to strengthen our approaches to promoting gender and socially inclusive WASH practices in our partner communities.