Our relationships with Mekong Plus, social enterprises
- Thiện Chí (i.e. “Good Will”) is a Vietnamese non-profit non-government organization for training and social development. It was established in 2004 and was registered by VUSTA (Vietnam Union of Scientific and Training Association) in 2005. Today, Thiện Chí operates in 3 districts; Đức Linh, Tánh Linh and Hàm Thuận Nam, in the Bình Thuận province in southern Viet Nam.
- Ánh Dương (i.e. "Sun Ray") is also a Vietnamese non-profit non-government organization conducting poverty-reduction and community development programs in poor and remote areas of Hậu Giang province. It was established and registered with VUSTA in 2007 and today operates in the districts of Long Mỹ and Phương Hiệp in the Mekong delta province of Hậu Giang.
- Mekong Plus is an International non-profit non-government organization who helped to initiate these two local Vietnamese NGO's, Thiện Chí and Anh Dương. Mekong Plus continues to raise funds (in Europe mainly) which are channeled to Thiện Chí and Ánh Dương. Mekong Plus has no other program in Vietnam. Thiện Chí and Anh Duong are encouraged to raise funds on their own and have been quite successful at this.
- Both Thiện Chí and Ánh Dương provide support for those households living in poverty in their districts of operation. Employment Creation programs are especially important in breaking the cycle of poverty as they provide skills and techniques to maintain ongoing sustainable employment and raise the capacity of families to increase their income. Current programs employ over 300 locals (95% women) and include:
- Home groups: Hand-made quilts, cushions, rugs, water hyacinth bags, paper mache decorations and other handicraft items
- Bamboo & Rattan Workshops: producing our innovative bamboo bicycles and bamboo handicrafts eg: bowls, vases, plates, trays, small tables etc and rattan sticks and decorations
- Mekong Quilts and Mekong Creations are business entities established by Thien Chi and Anh Duong (with the help of Mekong Plus) to retail the community handicrafts produced through their Employment Creation projects. These social enterprise entities promote the handicrafts, introduce new designs with training to our home groups, research suitable markets and retail the finished products through shops in HCMC and Hanoi. All profits are channeled back through Thiện Chí & Ánh Dương to support ongoing community development programs.