In action: Ethnic minorities participation in development

From July 11-13, 2013, iSEE organized the training course “Projects Design and Management” for 11 participants of H’Mong, Dao, Thai, Ma, Van Kieu, Paco, M’Nong ethnicities, from different regions in the country. The training was conducted by iSEE’s Public Education and Social Networking groups.

Participants from the training course is a collective of outstanding ethnic minority individuals who have ample experience participating in development projects with iSEE and other civil society organizations in many areas throughout the country. They are the ones that produce innovative ideas in preserving and sustaining their cultures.

During the training, participants were equipped with knowledge necessary to turn those ideas into project proposals, and to improve their capacity in locating resources to realize those ideas. Besides theory sessions, trainees directly designed and drafted projects they wish to accomplish for their communities. Each project was presented in front of the group, giving trainees the opportunity to learn from each other, to discuss and contribute ideas. Trainers also helped trainees to recognize what was lacking and what addition was needed for better project designs.

Trainees came to the course with their own project ideas, unique to characteristics and needs of each different area, such as projects to preserve and develop leaf flute arts of the H’Mong in Lao Cai province, herbal medicines of the Dao, or language of the Thai. iSEE media officer had a short interview with two trainees about projects that they are nurturing, and their opinions on the training:

Ms. Luong Thi Chuyen, Thai ethnic, Coc village, Thanh Lam sub-district, Ba Thuoc district, Thanh Hoa province.

Hi Chuyen, can you let us know what the project you’re designing is?

I am designing and wanting to develop a project of raising sows in my community. I hope that if the project succeeds, it will create livelihood for agricultural labor in my area.

What do you think are the impacts of your project on the community?

I think if the community has a stable income, then other aspects in life like healthcare, education, and culture will also benefit from it.

What are your wishes in participating in this course?

I hope that after the training, I’ll have better understanding and more knowledge; I’ll know how to plan according to my idea and then my activities can soon succeed.

What are you doing the day after the training?

I’m coming back to my village and will work with the village leaders; we’ll organize village meetings to see how many households want to participate in this project.

Mr. K’Bon, Ma ethnic, Bon Pang So, Dak Som sub-district, Dak Glong district, Dak Nong province

Hi K’Bon, what are you opinions on capacity development trainings like this?

I find it useful because it’s an opportunity for me to learn a lot from other members in other communities of other ethnicities. With this course, I’ve learned how to write a project proposal to realize my ideas; I can write many projects to propose to authorities to solve the needs for ethnic communities in my area.

What is your favorite part of the training and why?

I like the goal identification part the most, because once you’ve identified your goal, you can propose a plan and write a project, which leads to success.

What would you say if we organize similar trainings for ethnic minorities?

I would like to thank iSEE for helping me to participate in training in the past two years, and for helping me to be more aware of my own culture. I myself have felt more confident in public speaking, and gained leadership skills in my community. I think training is very needed for ethnic minorities. I am very willing to participate in other trainings to learn from my seniors, so that I can write, implement many projects for co-development.

Thank you Chuyen and K’Bon, as well as other participants. May you have many successes with your projects.

Some images from the training:


During the training
Designing their own projects
Trainer giving comments
Exchanging of ideas
Presenting of projects