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Letter from Centre's Board

LETTER FROM CENTRE'S BOARD

Vietnam embarked on rapid economic growth and modernization in slightly more than two decades, uplifting significant portions of the population. The poor population of Vietnam was reduced from 58% in 1993 to 12% in 2011 in those years; its UN Human Development Index improved from 0.435 in 1990 to 0.593 (ranked 128 of medium human development) in 2011. Vietnam is also a country recognized to have achieved Millennium Development Goals One of the United Nations, that is eradication of extreme hunger and poverty.

Yet, paths of rapid economic growth will leave behind groups of people who are unable to take advantage of the opportunities that growth presents. The sub-indexes relating to social development such as health and education, in Vietnam’s Human Development Index, have achieved lower levels of progress. Much work remains to be done in filling the gaps that marginalized people fall through.

When rapid growth is accompanied by a less than ideal state of governance, populations marginalized would also tend to grow. It is natural to want to start helping the marginalized by asking who is responsible for marginalization, but more than any other aspects, concrete help for the marginalized is urgent and need to be step up even while academics and policy makers debate the answers to the question of responsibility.

The Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) wants to be helpful, not vengeful. Furthermore, SCDI believes that those most useful in helping the marginalized people are the marginalized people themselves as well as the community living around them. This is the reason why the mark of SCDI’s success in supporting community development initiatives is when it germinates self-sustaining development initiatives within communities that could pull in resources from all – including state and non-state.

SCDI is becoming a catalyst to community development initiatives for the marginalized people in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. SCDI is the brainchild of a group of dedicated medical-social workers that is beginning to find ways to negotiate around the myriad problems of the marginalized through the route of the community. Its ability to work with authoritarian and controlling state authorities has been demonstrated by its ongoing projects that engaged stakeholders and targets of assistance.

It is the privilege of this Board of Directors to be asked to oversee the work of the SCDI beginning from May 2012. It is a credit to the SCDI Management that well-meaning outsiders and foreigners are included in this Board, with the objective of adequate self-scrutiny. SCDI Management believes such a Board would strengthen integrity and level-headedness in its decisions with regards to not just the strategies and programs of the SCDI, but also internal management and controls. Towards these laudable objectives and focused on the helping the marginalized population, the Board will endeavor to provide the SCDI Management adequate guidance and advice at the appropriate time.

The Board looks forward to a very successful year ahead for SCDI!

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