Social protection and rights for families and children affected by poverty and vulnerabilities 

In 1958 a Good Shepherd house was opened in Vinh Long, later including a residential school for the children victims of war. After the war, the Vietnamese Sisters left the mission and were able to return to Vietnam only in 1992 to continue to work in support to families and children living in poverty, in a country where marginalization and disparities are affecting mostly internal migrants, urban poor and ethnic minorities. Since 2018 we are supporting Good Shepherd programs focused on prevention of human trafficking, empowerment of children and tribal youth through educational and social services.  


  • Educational support to children in Vin Long District
    The rate of students who drop out from school from the South is higher than other part of Viet Nam. Approximately 50% of the people living in this area have no land to cultivate and some have left their hometown to look for jobs. Most of them try to earn a living by breeding animals, hawking goods, being employees, selling lottery tickets and buying and selling scraps. Young people go to look for jobs in various industries. However, their income is unstable because they have to pay for daily living costs and accommodation. The educational program supports about 1,000 student yearly to complete their studies so that can be provided with equal opportunity to learning and development which they have limited access to and have positive change to their lives, breaking the cycle of poverty and marginalization. 
  • Emergency response for basic needs of tribal & informal sector workers and their families in Ho Chi Min
    The project has supported families living in poverty comprising Vietnamese migrants and Cambodian migrants in Ho Chi Minh city, mainly involved in informal sector work, with no job and financial security. These families already lived on a hand to mouth existence and their situation was further exacerbated during COVID19 crisis, as a result of the loss of livelihood opportunities.
    About 100 families have been received support for their basic needs, with distribution of food rations and hygiene packs.
  • Village Outreach program – Binh Tan District  
    Since 2019 the program has been working to empowering young migrants of tribal origin through skills development and awareness of their rights. Binh Tan district is one of the districts in Ho Chi Minh city which has a large population of internal migrants, mostly working in the private factories, from 10 to 12 hours a day per week and being paid very low wages. The basic conditions for daily life are impoverished: narrow room for many people and lack of daily food. Migrant workers of tribal origin are even more marginalized and discriminated. The program involves 70 migrants workers from age 14 to 22 and provides: 1) Skills training and capacity development on labor and human rights, anti-human trafficking, and selfcare; 2) Safe environment for workers to gather, have recreation and meals together after their long working hours;  3) Visit at the factories to encourage good relationships between workers and factory owners, and sharing information on job opportunities in Ho Chi Minh City through visiting the migrants’ villages.


Ho Chi Minh City 






Local staff


Human Rights
Emergency Relief


Vietnam has transformed from being one of the world’s poorest nations to a lower middle-income economy, representing a development success story. Vietnam now is one of the most dynamic emerging countries in East Asia region. Recent urbanization has led to increased productivity, economic diversification and improved access to services, but it has also resulted in poverty and marginalization for part of the population living in industrialized zones in urban areas, such as Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam’s most densely populated city. Disparities and inequality affect urban poor, due to lack of adequate policies and programs of social protection creating vulnerabilities and economic and social exclusion among migrants from rural to urban areas. 

Facts and figures

118/189 ranking UNDP Human Development Index (2018) 

13.6% of the Vietnamese population are internal migrants (National Internal Migration Survey 2015) 


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