Hoa Giang hamlet, Hoa Dien village, Kien Luong district, Kien Giang province – Vietnam

Tel. 84 77 3853 557  Email: autinhdung@yahoo.com






Dear Sir,


My name is Reverend Augustin Van Dung PHAM, parish priest at Hoa Giang parish, Long Xuyen diocese in Vietnam.




Hoa Giang parish covers three hamlets of Canal Kinh 1,  Hoa Giang  and Nui Trau in Hoa Dien village, Kien Luong district in Kien Giang province, a remote south western Vietnam, next to the border with Cambodia. The parish  is one of the most underdeveloped and disadvantaged region of the country. Three quarters of the population are rice farmers, living on the improverished and infertile land which is permanently affected by high salt level around the years. The village agricultural productivity therefore is very low despite their hard work. A high number of children cannot afford to continue their schoolings due to their family poverty. Indeed, there are a large number of families  living under very poor conditions. There are also a high number of disabled children. In 1978, the whole region was subjected to an invasion and pillage by the Khmer Rouge army under Pol Pot regime, which resulted in many atrocious and brutal killings and many houses were burned. People are still suffering from those trauma and war atrocities.


According to the parish census in 2008, in Hoa Giang there are 557 households with 2200 catholics. Besides the 3 hamlet of the parish, there are other 5 neighbouring hamlets in the region : Núi Trầu, Kinh 1, Hoà Giang, Thạnh Lợi, Cờ Trắng, Hòa Lạc, Cảng, Tân Điền. Catholics account for nearly 47 % of the population (4313 of 9189). The majority of the population are of Vietnamese background with 12 % of Khmer background  (1107/9189) and 0.6 % Chinese (50/9189). The socio-economic status of the region is deemed poor. People are still earning their living in traditional ways which resulted in high unemployment rate amongst youth.


Since the early 1990, there have been a number of community development activities to help the poor people, especially the young students by the parish council to help the locals of all religious affiliations. There have been some small but encouraging improvements. However, there are still a lot of works to be done to improve the socio-economic profile of the region.


Personally and collectively, myself and my parish council, we have a humble dream of  establishing a vocational training centre for the region of Kien Luong - Ha Tien, which in our vision, would assist young people to gain basic trade skills which enable them to find unemployment in the open economy market, therefore help themselves and their families to move out of the poverty trap. Most of the families are living under the poverty line and cannot afford to send their children to the vocational training centres in the major provinces or cities.


It is therefore most desirable that a local vocational training centre is to be established and operated by the local catholic communities in social-economic development model so that the young students of these disadvantaged families could attend and gain essential trade skills which enable them to find a skilled job and earn their living in small businesses or in the factories which are recently established in the local developing Kien Luong - Ha Tien townships and provinces.


In a larger region of Kien Luong – Ha Tien, there are 7 other parishes with 12.363 catholics amongst 133.862 population. i.e 9.23 %. The evangelisation target population for our parishes are still very high. It is hoped that by establishing a vocational training centre for the disadvantaged people, the local catholics will be able to show their compatriots what is the Good News our Lord has brought to the world.


For these above reasons, we would like to have some financial assistance to establish a vocational training centre to serve the local people.




This project will be based on the principle of a community-based and community-directed process that explicitly combines social and economic development and is directed towards fostering the economic, social, ecological and cultural well-being of communities and regions. As such it recognizes, affirms and supports all the paid and unpaid activity that contributes to the realization of this well-being. This project is indeed a true community-based self-reliant and sustainable partnership for social-cultural-educational-economic development between the local parishes, the local communities and the well-known education specialist Don Bosco Salesian Brothers in Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City. Vocational training courses will be offered free to local disadvantaged students. All donations by student families and sale of products or services by students (in industrial clothing  and mechanic courses) will be used for maintenance and future development of the centre.


The project will be implemented by pooling resources from :



Land : The proposed vocational training centre will be built on the land owned by the parish with usable area of 12.768 square metres, located at Hoa Giang, adjacent to the main road from Kien Luong to Hoa Dien, only 980 metres from Kien Luong township, easily accessible to students from the whole region. Please refer to the attached map (Appendix 1).

Labour in Construction : Parents of future students will be asked to donate their labour in unskilled task in construction of the building in return for a training place.


BUILDINGS FOR VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE will be designed by architect and technicians according to the training purposes with adequate multipurpose training facilities and administrative functions for potential future development. We are looking for de bono design work by architect lecturing at the local university of Can Tho. The building itself will be built using local building materials and local tradesman with free unskilled labour from local parishioners.


PROPOSED TRAINING COURSES  : The following courses will be offered at the centre :

  1. Information Technologies : Computer Applications & Office Skills
  2. Home Electrics : Small Appliances Repairs
  3. Clothes Making Skills for Home and Industrial Clothing
  4. Automobile and Boat Mechanics : Maintenance and Repairs
  5. Vocational English Courses


TARGET STUDENTS : Young students (16-30) from local region with minimum Year 6 education level.



Land : offered by Hoa Giang parish, value estimated at $ AU 60,000;

Building : estimated at $AU 75,000;

Training Equipment : estimated at $AU 25,000;

Instructors Fees and Administration Cost : donated by Don Bosco Salesian Brothers of Thu Duc.


A detailed financial costing report will be prepared for your perusal prior to the initiation of the project.



The project progress will be monitored and evaluated through community-derived and appropriate economic, social, cultural and ecological indicators. Specifically, rate of participation by community members, unemployment rate a baseline and employment rate of graduate students, education level, community satisfaction.


Regular transparent progress reports will be prepared and made available to sponsoring organisation and community.


It is hoped that this community economic development will be considered by your organisation for financial assistance. This project will certainly provide long-term social-economic-cultural-spiritual benefits for the local residents who have suffered from a long history of war traumas and social neglect of underdeveloped remote areas. Your consideration will be greatly appreciated by the parish and their local compatriots.


For further information on this project, please contact me on the above contact details.


Yours faithfully,









Rev. Augustin Van Dung Pham

Hoa Giang Parish Priest

August 12th, 2008

























Proposed Location of Hoa Giang Vocation Training Centre