About Us
International Relation
Ethnic Groups
How You Can Help
Contact Us



UNDCP Country Office - Vietnam
British Embassy in Hanoi
Huron University - London
The British Council Vietnam
WWF Indochina Programme
Vietnamese Students in Huron University London


Education and Age newspaper 

HEDO - a bridge to join happiness sides

Written by Chu Thi Thom

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    in    particular 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.



© Highland Education Development Organisation (HEDO) 2001
4 Trinh Hoai Duc, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84 4 7345292 / 7345293, Fax: +84 4 7345293
Email hedo@fpt.vn