The name “HEDO” may be strange to the city citizens but
it becomes a close and trustful friend of ethnic minority people
in remote areas of Vietnamese country.
10 years ago, when HEDO (abbreviation for
Highland Education Development Organisation) was founded, many
people doubted about its effectiveness. With the aims of supporting
and creating favourable condition for ethnic minority people to
improve their knowledge and develop socio-economy, HEDO gets support
and favourable condition from Party and State leaders namely H.E
Chairman of National Assembly Mr. Nong Duc Manh, H.E Vice State
President Madam Nguyen Thi Binh, Ministry of Education and Training,
Ministry of Health and National Centre for Natural Science and
Technology. At beginning days, ExThree-Star General and Vice State
President Mr. Dam Quang Trung - the founder of this NGO was worried:
“How does this organisation exploit funding sources from international
organisations to support ethnic minority people in disadvantageous
areas?”. International Community Education Association (ICEA)
Asian region invited HEDO to attend the Conference on Community Education for Intellectual
Society in the context of Asian heritage in September 1990. That
was the first time for HEDO to present itself before partners
and 250 participants from 18 countries applauded to welcome HEDO
participation. At that conference, HEDO was admitted to be official
member of ICEA - Asian region. HEDO became official member of
ICEA at that time...
During the past 10 years, HEDO has come with people in
every remote and isolated area. Mr. Trinh Ngoc Trinh - Director
of HEDO who devoted a part of his bone and blood to defend the
country and fight against aggressors now spares his effort and enthusiasm to bring HEDO to ethnic minority people. Over 70 projects with total
capital of 23 billion dongs HEDO uses for health and education services ... are really not great amount, but
comparing with what HEDO has done, it presents encouraging and
significant meaning to ethnic minority people. HEDO supported
and implemented health project in San Thang commune, Phong Tho
district, Lai Chau province with total capital of 100 million
dongs (in 1993) to build 5-houses tile-roofed building, kitchens,
toilets, ground and fences around the clinic... As material facilities
are guaranteed in good condition, San Thang clinic is able to
achieve objectives of health program. During visit to
district hospital of Phong Tho, two English professors - partners
of HEDO - presented 2 Monitoring respirators machines and other
medical instruments which worth nearly 500 million dongs. The
realistic and in-time assistance saved life of thousands of patients.
Doctor Pham Xuan Coi - Director of General Hospital of Lai Chau
province said: “HEDO provide realistic and effective assistance
in health care and protection for ethnic minority people in remote
difficult areas of Phong Tho district
and Lai Chau in general...”.
Working for poor farmers and disadvantageous areas, HEDO
supported farmers of Nari district (Bac Kan province) to develop
animal rearing and plant new high-yield soybean (DT84) in 1997.
The project helped highland farmers to assess new technology through
technical assistance and instruction, introduction of new high-yield
seeds to each household so that they can apply and produce to
increase income and eradicate poverty. This is one of realistic
work of HEDO.
With Kontum province, HEDO invested in building Leprosy
Clinic in Van Lem commune, Dak To district and provided clean
water system to Ngoc Hoi ethnic minority boarding school and surrounding
areas. Particularly, HEDO trained cadres by helping them to study
at universities and centre in country and abroad. In addition,
HEDO invited volunteer teacher from the UK to teach English at
Foreign Language Teaching Centre and schools of the province and
called on international friends to provide facilities and books
on English teaching for English classes of the province. With
Son La province, HEDO implemented the Thai teaching project to
help Thai people to learn Thai language to preserve and promote
their traditional cultural identity. In Lang Son province, HEDO
provided high-quality pupil desks and chairs and equipped sewing
workshop to help ethnic minority boarding school of Loc Binh district
to improve comprehensive education quality. In Lao Cai province,
HEDO builded a beautiful and biggest Radda Bardnen-HEDO Kindergarten
which is better than building of Meo King - Hoang A Tuong. Bac
Ha people consider it as symbol of close friendship.
It can be said that HEDO always gets cooperation, encouragement
and respect of international friends, leaders at ministries, industries
and Central level especially local leader and people thanks to its assistance to ethnic minority people. However, it is difficult to have
specific future plans for a NGO without Government budget. HEDO
has only spiritual assistance and its incomes from international
funding. As other NGOs, HEDO has to find sources, establish relationship,
discuss and directly sign project contract with foreign Government
agencies and NGOs. It is not an easy job... In order to have a
project contract, it is necessary to have three elements: meeting
needs of local people, feasibility study and sustainability. When
the project is implemented, there are still a lot of difficulties
and HEDO has find way and overcome to affirm itself.
Professor Academician Dang Vu Minh, Director of National
Centre for Natural Science and Technology told that in order to
carry out research and training for mountainous areas, “it is
necessary to encourage and create favourable condition for HEDO
to work and call on many project on science and
Technology for Mountainous and Ethnic minority areas”.
Despite difficulties, HEDO step by step develop and affirm itself.
As member of 5 international and regional association funded by
United Nation and ASEAN, having relation with hundred organisations
from 45 countries, HEDO becomes bridge to join locality and international
and vice versa. For remote and difficult areas, HEDO is a bridge
to join happiness when ethnic minority people receive effective
and in time assistance from this NGO.
In people’s mind, HEDO is always a bridge to join happiness.