Rose Vietnam Community Development Project
For 400 years Thanh Tien village has been producing beautiful hand-made paper flowers. These flowers are particularly significant during the lunar new year holiday (Tet). Before the war Thanh Tien village thrived from the sale of these flowers, which were popular and much sought after throughout the country. But this village has not recovered from the devastating effects of the war, compounded by the damage wrought almost annually by typhoons and major storms.
In 2010 Rose Vietnam was approached by Thanh Tien’s Chief and village elders for support to revitalize this indigenous craft. They feel this renaissance and the related stimulus to tourism will alleviate poverty by creating employment opportunities, particularly for young people, many of whom are currently forced to leave home in search of work.
Rose Vietnam has set out a three-pronged plan to implement the project:
1.Refurbish the facilities where the flowers are currently made, which will also serve as a “class-room” for the flower making classes offered to tourists. Provide funds for the local villagers to purchase quality materials for the hand-made flowers. (This has been partially accomplished)
2.Initiate training programmes for guides / translators (ESL essential, and other languages), hospitality, marketing and accounting courses. (Deferred for lack of funding but is a high priority).
3.Design the Welcome Center (This has been accomplished with the assistance of a local architect who donated his services).
1.Establish the Welcome Center, featuring a pictorial history of Thanh Tien village and the hand made flower-making tradition, as well as a coffee shop/restaurant and an outlet for visitors to purchase the flowers. (Pending).
2.Establish a Board to oversee the activities and growth of the project comprised of the village Chief, members from the local community and a representative from Rose Charities Vietnam.
1.Market to local, national and international travel media and operators. (Members of the Rose VN Board have personal connections with Saigon Tourism, the Saigon Times and individuals in the travel industry in Vietnam).
2. Prepare multi-language visual and written media re the history of Thanh Tien and the historic significance of the paper flowers. This information will also be produced in Braille by the Rose Vietnam school for blind adults currently supported by Rose Vietnam.
3. Prepare press materials for local and national media.
Funding will provide ….
- Better quality materials (i.e. paper and dyes);
- An attractive Welcome Center where visitors can buy and/or learn how to make the flowers and learn about the history of this village and this craft;
- Training for young people in tourism/hospitality so that they can ensure the long term success of the project;
- Language training to act as guides and interpreters;
- Enrollment in accounting and business to ensure proper management; and, most importantly,
- Assistance with marketing and media to promote tourism to the village.
The timing for this project is serendipitous: Hue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the central coast of Vietnam. In 2012 the Ministry of Tourism in Vietnam is promoting Hue through “National Tourism Year”. Statistics from the Vietnam National Tourism Board show that in 2011 international visitors to Vietnam reached almost six million; international arrivals in 2012 are up over 20%. Given that Hue is among the top five Vietnamese cities visited by foreign and local tourists, we can anticipate that a minimum of 15% of these tourists will visit Hue and Thanh Tien Village, which is located on the Huong River about 5km downstream from Hue and opposite the ancient town of Bao Vinh.
Through Rose Vietnam, a licensed charity in Vietnam, we have established a strong relationship with the elders and the village community and are supporting a number of projects in Thanh Tien. These include a school for blind adults, income generation programmes for the blind, a school for street children and the construction of brick homes for impoverished villagers who are either homeless or living in shacks. Rose Charities believes that a relatively conservative investment in the 400-year-old indigenous craft will lead to an improved quality of life and ultimately prosperity for this entire village.
Thank-You for your interest in our project!