“I believe I can” – Community transition

On the occasion of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups’ Culture Day on April 19, representatives from many ethnic minority groups have come to Hanoi to organize a colloquy, where initiatives about community development are presented. They also became the center of the “I am Vietnamese” exhibition. The event was supported by The Institute for Studies of Society, Economics and Environment (abbr. iSEE) and Ethnic Minorities Working Group (abbr. EMWG).

The ethnic minority representatives who participated in the event are those most dynamic members of the community; they are appointed to come to Hanoi by their community. There are local government officials, farmers, small business people; all of them are working hard for the development of community.

Derived from the research of Hmong script conducted with iSEE, Mr. Giang A Cua and his Hmong research team have an idea of opening classes to teach Hmong and common Kinh alphabet for the adults in village. Ms. Nguyen Thi Lau and the Women’s Union of the village have mobilized their relatives not to join in deforesting; also they draft the village convention about managing the community forest. Therefore, many families have earned income from this change. Mr. Lang Manh Hung was the first in the village to apply the biogas model, then he introduced it to other families and helped them to apply, etc. Together with other ethnic minority representatives from many provinces and cities throughout Vietnam, they share the idea of organizing an event this year called “I believe I can” to show their pride of the internal force of their community.

The initiatives, which are being or will be conducted in the community, show the remarkable changesof the communities transforming themselves from those that suffered from prejudice to ones that are confident and determined to rise from their own inner force.

The exterior help to ethnic minority groups needs to target at raising the belief inside that community about their internal force; and encouraging, supporting so that this belief can be turned into self-acting ability to change their life. This is the statement from guesses of the roundtable about supporting ethnic minority development within the framework of this event. Mr. Le Quang Binh, Director of iSEE said: “The roundtable, which is based on the experience of research, development and management has shown that when ethnic minority people have confidence in their ability, pride in their culture; they will have self-action in their own life. This is the philosophy that policies and development projects should adopt when supporting ethnic minority group to develop their economic, society and culture.”

The pictures of smiling, simplicity faces and sincere, meaningful stories from many communities throughout Vietnam h perfectly supplemented the event. With the “I am Vietnamese” exhibition, the ethnic minority preventatives have once again affirmed that development work based on community inner force, sympathy and respect will make the power of this nation, so that everyone can have chances to develop and be proud for being a Vietnamese.

Some photos of the events:

Overall picture of the colloquy
A corner of the “I am Vietnamese” exhibition including the portraits of 15 representatives of ethnic minority groups and their stories

At a corner of the exhibition, there are portraits of 15 representatives from ethnic minority communities and their stories.

Exhibiting the initiatives from community.
Presentation of the initiatives.
Roundtable: Fundamental changes in mindset with the participation of the Director of iSEE, Mr. Le Quang Binh; Assoc. Prof, PhD Pham Quynh Phuong, Institute of Cultural Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences; and PhD. Tran Huu Son, Vice-chairman of the Association of Vietnam Folk Arts.
“I believe I can” performances
Representatives of ethnic minority groups participated in the event.