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Investing in Vietnam’s future – Vocational training for underprivileged youths

January 2012 │ Vietnam

It is quite a long and dusty journey from Hanoi to Tien Lang, an impoverished district in the heart of the Red River delta, a journey that took three hours for the Deutsche Bank corporate volunteers. On the way, the volunteers passed green paddy fields , busy farmers with the typical Vietnamese cone hats, tranquil water buffalos, small towns and poor villages. Several times, they had to stop and ask locals for the way to that remote district, south of the harbor city of Haiphong, where its project partner Save the Children Vietnam has helped Deutsche Bank identify a social investment project.

Due to an underdeveloped infrastructure, Tien Lang is geographically isolated and the poorest district of Haiphong. Its population’s main source of income is agriculture. In order to attract manufacturing plants, a bridge connecting the district with Haiphong’s inner-city areas was erected recently. There is hope that the improved infrastructure will help bring jobs to the people and increase the demand for skilled workers. Tien Lang has about 2,000 teenagers between 14 and 18 who left school and urgently need vocational training to get ready for the changes in the new working environment. Unlike their parents, who mainly work as farmers, they should have the opportunity either to work as skilled workers or to continue their education at a college or university.

Deutsche Bank Vietnam decided to contribute to the development of Vietnam by supporting these youngsters. The 18-month vocational training program is targeted at adolescents and youths, aged 15-24, whose parents could not afford to pay for their vocational training. More than 50 Vietnamese youths are expected to benefit from this landmark initiative, which is the first of such training programs in Haiphong. Apart from the vocational curriculum, the youths will also be coached on life skills and how to seek employment with prospective employers. With the program, Deutsche Bank aims to ensure sustainable community development by engaging the youth’s parents, local authorities and enterprises as well as vocational training schools. Besides financial support, Deutsche Bank staff will play chaperons to these young people as corporate volunteers during the entire programme to guide them.

Le Cong Van, a 17 year old boy from Tien Lang, is one of the beneficiaries of our project. His parents, poor farmers, were more than glad that their son could join. Leaving the school too early, he stayed at home without a chance of finding a good job. Besides, his parents have no financial means to accommodate his further studying or vocational training. As far as Van is concerned, he has no idea on how to manage his entrance in the professional life. Deutsche Bank’s project is designed to identify a job suitable for him, to provide the training as well as to build up social skills for him, which will help him find a job.

On 19 January, Van, together with other teenagers, representatives of the local authorities, the school head, coordinators from Save the Children Vietnam and the volunteers attended the kick-off ceremony of Deutsche Bank’s project in the district vocational school. In their speeches, all representatives of the authorities expressed their warm gratitude towards Deutsche Bank who made this great leap forward possible. In her speech, Nguyen Thi Lan, a 14 year old student promised on behalf of her classmates that they would take this great chance and study hard in order to make all of us and their parents proud of their achievements.

The volunteers also paid a visit to the house of Le Cong Van’s family, who is living under poor conditions in a small brick house that was built some years ago with the support of some donors mobilized by the local authorities replacing their old cottage made from earth and straw. All family members hope that with Deutsche Bank’s support Van would be able to find a job and improve the living conditions of himself and the entire family as a bread winner.

Deutsche Bank’s support of this vocational training initiative ultimately underscores our ongoing commitment towards the promotion of education as well as giving children from poor families a fair chance. Education is a key factor for success for the Vietnamese society in general and the life of the youngsters of Tien Lang.

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Last Update: November 12, 2013
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