Vietnam

We have worked with local partners in Vietnam since 1997. 

Our main focus in Vietnam is to support the development and implementation of age-friendly development policies and programmes. We also set up and build the capacity of community groups called "intergenerational self-help clubs".

Life story: Ho Thi Hoa, 71

Ho Thi Hoa, 71, Vietnam With a loan from a self-help club, Ho Thi Hoa was able to buy three pigs. (c) HelpAge International Ho Thi Hoa's husband died four years ago. She has eight children, seven of whom are married and live separately. She lives with the youngest son, his wife and one granddaughter, who is seven. She often spends time with her grandmother after school.

She said: “I joined the intergenerational self-help club in 2012 and participate in the monthly club meetings. Before I joined the club, I was nervous. Now, I feel confident when raising my voice both in the club and village meetings.

“My son hunts for a living and is the main breadwinner in the family. I get a pension of about 1,800,000 VND per month (US$86). I received a loan of 3,000,000 VND (US$144) from the club which I used to buy three pigs to raise. I hope that they will breed soon.

“The thing I like the most about the club is home visits; the club members often visit me when I am sick. When I come to the club meeting and join in with the activities I feel happier, healthier and do not worry about anything.”

Supporting older people in Vietnam

Over the last 12 months we have supported older people in more than 350 disadvantaged communities across Vietnam.

Advocacy:

  • Together with our local partners, we have successfully advocated for an increase in the social assistance that older people receive from 180,000 Vietnamese Dong (US$8.5) to 270,000 Vietnamese Dong (US$12.5).
  • We have advocated for the approval of the national proposal on intergenerational self-help group replication submitted by our Affiliate, Vietnam Association of the Elderly.
  • We have also advocated to remove the policy limiting people's ability to borrow money based on their age. 

Training:

  • We have given financial and technical support to set up more intergenerational self-help clubs.
  • We have carried out age awareness training for local authorities and other organisations.

What next?

  • We will continue to lobby the government to approve the national proposal for the replication of the self-help development model throughout the country.
  • We will continue to provide technical support to local partners, the government and UN agencies on policies and programmes relating to ageing.
  • We will continue to support local partners and government agencies to promote the nationwide replication of the self-help development model through both project implementation and capacity building.
  • We will organise the first international training workshop on the formation and management of intergenerational self-help groups.

Our Affiliates

Vietnam Association of the Elderly (VAE), The Center for Ageing Support and Community Development (CASCD)

Our partners

Vietnam Women Union, Fatherland Front, Vietnam Public Health Association, Vietnam National Committee on Ageing, Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), Ministry of Health

Our donors

Atlantic Philanthropies, Oxfam, UNFPA, German Government - GIZ, OFDA/USAID, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Age UK, MCNV

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Striking facts

  • Almost a quarter of older people live below the national poverty line.
  • Two-thirds of older people have no access to pensions or social security.
  • 50% of all older people have no health insurance.

  • In 2012, older people made up 10.2% of the population. By 2033, there will be more older people than children under 15.

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Thuy Tran
Country Director

No 20-K80C, Alley 376,
Buoi Street, Vinh Phuc Ward,
Ba Dinh District,
Hanoi,
Vietnam

Tel: +84 (4) 32474145 (ext 202)
Fax: +84 (4) 32474806
Mobile: +84 (0) 904006040
Email: thuytb@helpagevn.org