Khmer girl’s journey to Fulbright University Vietnam

Hard word paid off!! Congratulation to our student – Dan Y Lien Hoa for her new journey at Fulbright University Vietnam. Check the news about her on tuoitre newspaper.

From a very shy girl having a fear of crowds, Dan Y Lien Hoa, a Khmer resident in southern Vietnam, made a dramatic change after five years to win over the Admissions Council at Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV).

The girl overcame many obstacles and prejudices to get accepted as a freshman at FUV.

Overcoming prejudices against girl’s education

Growing up in Phong Thanh Commune, Cau Ke District, in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh, Hoa was often told that women did not have to receive higher education as sooner or later they would get married and become housewives.

Local people in her hometown also generally assumed that only men have to go to work as they are the breadwinner of their families, Hoa recalled.

Five years ago, Hoa was extremely timid and suffered from a fear of crowds.

Back when she first visited the EVG community library in her hometown and met a group of Singaporean volunteers there for an English teaching project, Hoa burst into tears due to her fear of the crowd.

At the time, she had no idea why she had to learn English, thus she disliked all the English classes.

Van Anh, a local teacher who founded the EVG community library, encouraged Hoa to try working as a volunteer like her Vietnamese peers who accompanied the Singaporean delegation, apart from being an English learner.

When the project was nearing its end, Hoa finally managed to overcome her fear of crowds as she got a chance to speak in front of her international friends, sharing with them her Khmer culture.

Her English also made progress thanks to her time working with foreign friends.

Lessons learned from failure in FUV’s Priority Cycle

Despite her tremendous efforts, Hoa could not make it to the Priority Cycle of FUV because her English fell short of the university’s requirements. 

The unexpected result let her down.

During those gloomy days, her teachers and others working at the library were the ones that lifted her mood and told her to make a second attempt in the Spring Cycle.

Knowing that she was bad at listening skills, Hoa practiced listening to podcasts all day long to improve herself.

One time, when reading some reports about education, she was sad to learn that the Mekong Delta ranked third nationwide in terms of its dropout and early marriage rates.

Hoa joined the Interview Round, which takes place before the Spring Cycle, as a person full of aspirations.

Hoa said that she would like to serve the community, open more classes for children when she is at university, gradually narrow the education gap between the urban and rural areas, and promote the Khmer culture, which is believed to be steadily sinking into oblivion.

She won over the FUV Admissions Council through her stories and such aspirations.

Desire to contribute to her hometown

Hoa chose to wear the Khmer traditional clothes on the day she participated in the Interview Round. 

The girl told stories about the Khmer people to the Admissions Council in a confident manner.

As shared by Huynh Quang Hieu, an admissions staff member at FUV who interviewed Hoa, the girl aspired to step out of her comfort zone and break down stereotypes and prejudices in her residence.

This does not mean that she wanted to go beyond the limit to isolate herself from the community. 

This girl wished to achieve success to serve the community and return home to contribute and give back to the community and those who have guided her.

According to Le Thi Quynh Tram, director of Admissions and Financial Aid at FUV, Hoa is like a perfect puzzle piece in a multi-hue picture at FUV as she has shown herself as a potential Fulbrighter with her solid knowledge background, teamwork, and a high capablity to adapt to an all-English environment.

Pham Van Anh, founder of the EVG community library, shared that Hoa is a diligent person.

She has a can-do spirit as well as great responsibility for her family and community.

“I believe she will advance further and bring more values to society,” Anh said.

NUS -LKYSPP Vietnam Alumni chapter and ECO Vietnam Group

The NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Vietnam Alumni chapter has successfully organized the charity trip to EVG community Library 2 at Gia Bac Lam Dong from 21 to 23 June 2022. The members have flew from Ha Noi and Sai gon to Lam Dong and traveled together to Gia Bac.

The commune is on the mountainous area with more than 90% population is K’Ho ethnic people with poor living condition. The community library is built and funded by Harry Pham Van Anh (NUS LKYSPP MPA 2016)- President of NUS LKYSPP Vietnam alumni chapter term 2022- 2024 with the aim to closing the gap in accessing education between rural and urban area.  He has supported this project since 2009.

It is annual charity trip for the NUS LKYSPP Vietnam alumni chapter and their family. During the trip, we have organized different supports and event:

1. Supported weekly educative activities for the community library.

2. Had fun culture exchange program

3. Taught football and had friendly football match.

4. Donated 2,500 sgd in the fund for EVG community Library and gifts to the library.

During this trip, the NUS LKYSPP alumni also had informal meeting with the district government to share the meaningful works that the library have done for the community.

The NUS LKYSPP Vietnam alumni chapter and their family members: 8.

The beneficiary: 50 kids at the event. The Library serves 200 kids.

In the end of 2018, The NUS LKYSPP alumni chapter also had a trip to EVG Community Library 1 at Tra Vinh Province. The EVG Community library is also built and funded by Mr Harry Pham.

From 2016 until now, the alumni of NUS LKYSPP Vietnam Chapter keeps supporting these two EVG Community Libraries for finance and advices on the government and policy.


You can support the effort here:

VNU-HCM High School for the Gifted and ECO Vietnam Group

VNU-HCM High school for the Gifted has a volunteering project, named “Sẻ” (The meaning of Sẻ is sharing). Annually, they will organize the charity trip to the needy places for supporting and learning at the same time. This year, Sẻ and EVG have worked together for the trip to EVG Community Library No 1 at the Tra Vinh province.

some information of the project are below:

  1. Time: 14/05 – 15/05/2022
  2. Partnering organization: VNU- HCM High School for the Gifted.
  3. Members: 50
  4. Beneficiary: 80 kids
  5. Activities:
  • Organized English and STEM classes. The teaching topics are quite diverse: Families and Subjects, Balancing lesson ( through learning how to make the balanced dragonfly – one of the most famous toy/souvenir in Vietnam).
  • Organized the reading activities as well as helped arranging books in the library.
  • Organized the puppet activities for the kids at the library.
  • Football friendly match and culture night exchange.

Besides, teachers of VNU has successfully raised more than 40 millions Vietnam Dong to support EVG Community Fund. Most of the supports are from the colleagues and the parents of the members of Sẻ.

The trip not only left some impact on the children at the library, but also the students of VNU- HCM High School for the Gifted , through the refection on teamwork, accessibility in education, human kind and empathy.



#VNU-HCM High School for the Gifted


Happy Sharing and ECO Vietnam Group


1. Purpose

In order to create a meaningful playground with wholesome outdoor activities for children,  EVG Community Library collaborated with Happy Sharing group to organize activities such as making (1) decorative cards with wishes and (2) recycling flower vases from used glass bottles with hopes to reduce waste and protect the environment.

Besides, the team organized a cooking session providing 200 meals, teaching Zumba, and giving gifts to the local children.

2. Time and venue

Time: 7th and 8th May, 2022

Venue:: EVG Community Library – Gia Bac

3. Participants

– Number of delegates: 16

– Number of volunteers, teachers and parents supporting the library: 8 (including 5 preschool teachers, 1 library volunteer,  and 1 student’s parent)

– Expected number of students participating: 200

– Number of students who signed up later: 32

– Total number of students participated: 232

4. Itinerary and details:

 Made cards to celebrate Vietnamese’s Family Day on May 15. This activity attracted not only kindergarten but also high school children. Children drew, cut drawings  then designed their own cards.

  • Made recycled flower vases through a lesson of environment protection. During this activity, each student group has their own mentor to guide and support implementation.
  • A small gathering party was thrown in which each student received a meal. 
  •  Members of the delegation visited local sites.
  •  Organized a fun, festive zumba class which brought excitement for participants.
  • Distributed 200 gifts to 100 preschool and 100 primary school students
  • First Aid kit is given to the EVG Community Library
  • Small funding for EVG Community Library.

5. Achievement

– The library was introduced to many parents and students.. Eventually, many students signed up for library membership.

–  Activities successfully gained teachers and parents visits and support.

– The preparation work of guiding children to the library used colors to sort by village and number. The number of children registered is equivalent to the number of children attended.

– The library team handled the gift distribution for late comers well

– Local volunteer recruitment for assistance was favorable.

– The preparation of the group necessities was quite adequate.

– The activities organized in the program are  suitable for the children. Many useful activities help them understand more about the importance of environmental protection as well as boosting children’s development. At the same time, the series of activities shaped a positive attitude for children visiting the library; they were obedient and made lots of new friends.

Corporate Social Responsibility Program with Turner.


1. Program details

  • Operating time: 14:00 (May 7, 2022)
  • Location: EVG Community Library – Gia Bac
  • Purpose: to create a playground for children with many fun activities
  • Participants:

+ The Turner group members: 20

+ Volunteers at library: 7 

+ The number of students participating:  more than 200

  • Timeline:

+ 09:30 – 11:00: Giving away laptops, visiting local destinations and having lunch.

+ 14:00 – 16:00: Playing games, giving away food like milk, snacks,.. along with setting up the playground.

2. Outcomes

  • Swings and trampoline are set up; laptops are distributed as well as snacks
  • The playground brought joy and excitement  among the students.
  • Many fun games were organized, such as jumping feet, fashion show and other activities involving swing and trampoline.
  • A large number of students participated.
  • The library staff and the preschool teachers were energetic throughout the process. 

#CorporateSocialResponsibility #CSR #Turner

Service-Learning internal training for Van Lang University staff and lecturers

In May 2022, Mr Harry Pham – Founder and President of ECO Vietnam Group (EVG) has been invited to provide the Service-Learning course by Van Lang University(VLU) for their staff and lecturers.

EVG and VLU have signed the MOU to support each other for developing Service-Learning programs in VLU. The training is one of the topics under this MOU.

The training topics consist of:

  1. Definition of Service-Learning (Service Learning) and differentiation SL with other learning and service activities.
  2. Components and stakeholders in Service-Learning subjects
  3. Design and develop Service-Learning subjects
  4. Facilitating reflection activities
  5. Exercises: Design your own Service-Learning subject.

The feedback of the lecturers and staff after the training are very good. They have better understanding of Service-Learning and they would love to be engaged with more SL approach.

#ServiceLearning Service Learning #SLinVietnam #ServiceLeanringinVietnam

Service-Learning in Vietnam – Train the Trainers

This year, 2022, ECO Vietnam Group and Hong Kong PolyU has collaborated to offer the Service-Learning Course for lecturers and teachers in Vietnam. This SL training course will be offered in Vietnamese and English at the same time.

ECO Vietnam Group has worked closely with HK PolyU to bring this course to Vietnam with the aim to raise awareness of Service-Learning educational model as well as create the Community of Practice among the educators in Vietnam.

Service-Learning in Higher Education: Teacher Development Course 2022

This year, we will have a Vietnamese version of Teacher Development Course which is special designed for academics and practitioners in Vietnam. ECO Vietnam Group is the co-organiser of this Vietnamese version. The course fee will be only US$99 if you apply the course through ECO Vietnam Group.

The Service-Learning in Higher Education: Teacher Development Course 2022 will be held from 20 June to 9 July 2022 for all academic and teaching staff from higher education institutions. 
About the course We started the Teacher Development Course in 2014, aiming to provide systematic and on-site SL training. Since then, about 100 teachers from Hong Kong, Mainland China and other Asian regions have graduated from the course. We have received numerous positive feedback from participants and the course is refined every year to better fit the expectations and needs of teachers.

This year, the course will consist of three phrases:

#Service-Learning #ServiceLearning #ServiceLearninginVietnam #Vietnam #SLinVietnam #


1. Program between EVG Community Library and Happy Feet

The Happy Feet team wishes to (1) spread the reading culture and renew the bookcase of the EVG Community Library to help children access meaningful and inspirational books for personal development; (2) convey useful and interesting knowledge to children through organizing experiential activities integrating topics on awareness of environmental protection; and (3) create a playground in  which students can improve life skills  and gain self-confidence.

2. Detailed activities

– The number of members: 18

– The number of students expected to participate in the program: 50

– The number of students participating in activities on April 30, 2022: 92

+ The group organized fun activities for students: Divided into 3 playgroups, children could learn about  environmental protection while playing games  and participating in various activities such as: “planting trees; building tables and chairs from eco-bricks, and making the wishing tree”. More specifically, while the water purification experiment  helped students understand the importance of trees, making eco-bricks highlighted the act of recycling nylon and plastics.

+ Game stations namely “Tracing the Elephant Footprints”; “Jump sack”; “Laughter in Ka Sa” and “The connection booth” broke the ice, bringing about a more open atmosphere.

+ The team organized a book reading session, arts performing and movie displaying about dream-drawings. In this activity, the group organized a group reading session incorporating riddles and quizzes for the children, with hopes to give them a memorable time thereby, inspiration and motivation were created.

+ The team distributed 200 gifts to local children. The gift included a backpack, a type of toothpaste, a toothbrush, a towel, a note, and other school stationery.

3. Outcomes:

The number of students who participated was greater than expectations. The game stations were  not only fun and practical for the children but also warmed the hearts of the volunteering team.

In this program, the participants brought specific products, including 3 sets of chairs made of ecological bricks, approximately 500 new books for the library, more than 30 new game paraphernalia; more than 100 souvenir photos taken of participating students and 200 gifts for students in need.

Activities within the program were organized with a clear educational orientation, designed for local children specifically; the members supporting the program were very enthusiastic and creative; new joyful activities were added so as to raise attention.

[1] Ka Sa Hamlet, Gia Bac Commune. Di Linh District, Vietnam. EVG Community Library is located at this hamlet.

Gift presented to children.

#EVG #EVGcommunitylibrary #ServiceLearning #Communitydevelopment #readingprogram

Service Learning in Viet Nam : EVG & VLU

On March 2022, ECO Vietnam Group and Van Lang University (VLU) have signed the MOU for developing Service-Learning courses and programs for Honor program in specifically and for entire students at VLU.

ECO Vietnam Group – One of the pioneers in Service-Learning will support VLU to integrate SL into:

(1) Developing and teaching Service-Learning course for year 2 students at Honor program.

(2) Providing the training for faculty staff and creating the Community of Practice of Service-Learning

(3) Developing International Service-Learning among three parties: ECO Vietnam Group – VLU and overseas partner.

The MOU is signed for three years with full of excitement from both parties.

Michael Page VN and ECO Vietnam Group


Over the past two years, we had to suspend a lot of our plans to fight the pandemic. That time was never easy, still EVG did our best to maintain activities for children at two community libraries in Gia Bac and Tra Vinh through online projects with great efforts.

Now that life in Vietnam is in adaptation with a “New Normal”, we are back with our first offline project!

On April 15, 2022, the EVG community library in Tra Vinh province couldn’t be more excited to welcome Michael Page Vietnam’s visit. The event marks the first time for a while since the children could all participate in group activities at the library. Everyone in the group and the volunteers joined hands to plant flowers, paint the walls, and renew the library, creating more spaces for the children to raise their spirits as well as determination for studying and developing themselves.

The joy and excitement sparkling from the children’s eyes when participating in the games which haven’t been seen for quite a long time, were enough to warm many hearts, giving the volunteers strength to continue the work despite any fatigue. Even though the sky on that day is a bit gray due to the early seasonal rain, the team’s tremendous enthusiasm could not be put off. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to Michael Page Vietnam and all volunteers; we couldn’t have done it without you.

Last but not least , many new exciting projects are coming soon, so don’t forget to FOLLOW US to be part of a great journey!