MissionOur mission is to empower and support youth by providing them the skills and opportunities they need in order to become agents of sustainable change and development in their communities.
VisionOur vision is a society where young people are valued and empowered to act as innovative contributors to a sustainable and equal world.
HistoryThe Centre for Sustainable Development Studies was founded in Hanoi in 2009 by Don Tuan Phuong, with a mission to further the sustainable development of Vietnam through community-based interventions. In 2010, CSDS received an award for CSIP Vietnam for a social entrepreneurship project, which kickstarted our work. In 2012, we started our popular International Volunteer Program, were awarded grants for community-based tourism projects and began our long-lasting New Horizons project. Many of CSDS’s earlier projects focused on education, the environment, and young people. As CSDS matured, we realized we had a particular talent for working with, and for, young people! In the past years, we have received grants from several international organizations, donor governments, and local non-profit organizations. Currently, we work with several global partners in the running of our International Volunteer program. While our focus on sustainable development remains as strong as ever, we have built upon our strengths to deliver programming that empowers young people to act as agents of sustainable change in their communities.
Areas of WorksThe Centre for Sustainable Development Studies is a legally-registered Vietnamese non-governmental organization which focuses on youth empowerment and community development through youth engagement, dialogue and active citizenship. CSDS’s operations are divided into two main areas which both support CSDS’s mission of empowering and supporting youth: the international volunteer program and youth development projects. CSDS’s programs focus on youth development, community development and international volunteer exchange. We work with youth, empowering them through capacity building and civic engagement. We provide training on leadership, volunteer management and social entrepreneurship using non-formal educational approaches that enhance personal growth and social impact. Our strength is tapping into the undiscovered potential of young people to educate and build the leaders of tomorrow that will drive the development of Vietnam.
International Volunteer ProgramCSDS’s international volunteer program is beloved by Vietnamese youth and international volunteers. Every year, CSDS welcomes over 500 local and international volunteers, and places them with local schools, hospitals, and NGOs where they are needed most. Volunteering with local partners in Vietnam offers international volunteers a chance to utilize their knowledge, skills and experience in a holistic and stimulating working environment. These NGOs address various issues such as supporting underprivileged communities, environmental conservation and children’s rights. Volunteers support 13 different local partners that are all concerned with youth or children, and work towards the empowerment of youth in Vietnam at the grassroots level.
Youth Development ProjectsAt any given time, CSDS is implementing several different youth development projects, which are time-bound and funded by local and international donors. All the projects are thematically related through their focus on youth and community. CSDS’s works with international and local partners to implement projects and are committed to improving the future of Vietnam through youth empowerment and engagement. Many of CSDS’s youth focused programs have to do with the capacity building of Vietnamese youth through education and training, and includes one project which promotes active citizenship through civic education for youth. Some of the projects currently being implemented include:
- “Gender Dialogues”: a series of interactive trainings for youth groups on gender advocacy tools and frameworks, who then implement small-scale gender equality projects in their own communities. Funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives in Vietnam.
- “Bright Future Fund (BFF)”: funded by the Hanoi International Women’s Club, BFF increases educational equity by supporting over 20 students from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend university in Hanoi by paying their tuition and providing a support network for them in Hanoi.
- “Youth Drivers for Change” : a comprehensive youth development program funded by IrishAid, this program comprises several activities aimed at engaging and building the significant potential of Vietnamese youth in the civil society sector.
StrategyIn 2017, CSDS developed a strategic plan that guides our work for the next four years, from 2017-2021. Our strategic plan will allow us to focus on what really matters: empowering youth, creating engaged citizens and creating sustainable change in communities. CSDS was fortunate to receive support from one of our partners, the World University Service of Canada in Vietnam, who provided a Canadian specialist to assist with the development of our plan. Our strategic plan is focused around four areas of work:
- Becoming a knowledge hub actively preparing youth to become engaged in sustainable development;
- Positive change and meaningful experience through volunteerism;
- Partnership and advocacy;
- A work culture that strives for continuous improvement.
- Create meaningful opportunities for youth to gain development-related work experience;
- Provide training and tools to youth to strengthen leadership, innovation and project management skills;
- Increase opportunities for youth to exchange ideas, foster creativity and network.
PartnershipsAt CSDS, we believe that strong partnerships are essential to creating sustainable change. This is why we have partnerships with a wide variety of local and international NGOs, schools, and businesses. Our international volunteer program has strong partnerships with several local institutions where our volunteers work. Our local partners include:
Morning Star Center
Nguyen Tat Thanh High School
Quoc Oai Primary School
Kieu Phu Secondary School
Hai Duong Center for Friendship Cooperation
- Dao’s Care Massage Centre
- Irish Aid
- United Nations Development Programme/ United Nations Volunteer Programme
- Kenan Asia
- Table for Two
- The American Embassy in Hanoi’s YSEALI program
- The British Council
- European Commission / YouNet
- The World University Service of Canada in Vietnam
- Hanoi International Women’s Committee
- VN Help
- Sao Bien
- The Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives in Vietnam, from the Canadian Embassy in Hanoi
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