Education for Development (EFD) Builds Better Nonprofits in Your Hometown

Source: Education for Development

A young boy arrives at his school in Saigon to find that it has closed. He’s been deaf since birth and the school is ran by an American nonprofit that helps impair youths. That nonprofit new board had decided to shut down its Vietnam location. Getting into the program was a turning point in his life, but now it’s suddenly gone.

It’s a common story: many foreign nonprofits run out of funding, have a change in direction, or simply dissolve, leaving their dependents stranded. It is an inherit danger that we’ve come to expect. Education for Development (EFD), a nonprofit operating in Vietnam, doesn’t think it has to be that way.

What if instead of establishing an entirely new program, we support and build the local organization? EFD believes that educational services that directly assist Vietnamese children and youth are best implemented by Vietnamese social organizations that fully understand their issues and needs. By building the capacities of these organizations sustainable long-term progress follows. EFD has a genuine commitment towards projects that have sustainable outcomes.

Focus is on three program areas:

1. Infrastructure
Improving classroom/building facilities to provide safe and healthier learning environments, setting up libraries, providing educational materials, developing electronic training programs

2. Training
Education training for teachers and staff working with children and youth with special needs

3. Management and Advisory Service
Upgrading local social organization management skills on finance, strategic development, human resources, income generation, PR and general management

Examples of EFD projects supported during the past years include:

• HCMC Catering and Hospitality School – development of and training on electronic training manuals, new library set up – 155 disadvantaged students graduated and now employed in cafes and hotels in HCMC.

• Sao Mai Computer Center for the Blind – online training system and online text books, recording room set up – 98 visually impaired youth of whom 97% passed final examinations on basic computer.

• Anh Minh School for Deaf Children – teacher training on specific methodology for hearing impaired children, provision of audio visual materials – 157 hearing impaired children and 9 teachers benefitted.

• District 4 Educational Center for Disabled Children and Youth – center renovations providing a safe healthy environment for 90 children and youth with hearing impairment and intellectual disability.

It is not to say that foreign nonprofits are unimportant, but rather to affirm that local organizations as just as important to maintain longevity. To learn more about EFD, see their website at

This article was written in collaboration with Thanh Nguyen and Kirsten Theuns from EFD.

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