ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.


A small, but very heavily populated country, Vietnam shares a border with China in the north, and Laos and Cambodia in the west. The population is approximately 89.7 million people and the capital is Hanoi. 

French colonial rule lasted nearly 100 years from 1858 to 1954 and at this time the country was divided into north and south. Vietnam only became united in 1975 after the US troops left. Vietnam has had to recover from years of war and the loss of financial support from the old Soviet bloc. Many goods and services previously provided by the state, like seeds, agricultural tools, education and healthcare are now beyond the reach of many.

ActionAid International began operating in Vietnam in 1989 and works mainly in remote rural areas with ethnic minorities, and where the majority of vulnerable people live.

Over 1 million primary level children are currently out of school in Vietnam. Public schools are particularly underfunded with the average salary of a public school teacher at 60USD per month. Currently, only primary schools are subsidized by the government, to 50% of the total tuition cost. Enrolment rates may be high; however, primary education quality, particularly in poor areas, is below the required standard. The drop-out rate tends to be high for secondary schools as students cannot afford the tuition costs. For many poor households, child labour is considered much more valuable than school attendance.

ActionAid works towards securing the basic rights of vulnerable and marginalised people, working in partnership with communities so they can have a say in decisions that affect their lives. Key focus areas are education, food security, HIV/AIDS and, with our Irish Aid funding, women's rights.

With your support and funds from Irish Aid, ActionAid Ireland supports the following programmes in 3 regions: Quan Ba; Krong Bong; and Cao Bang:

  • Women’s rights - we work with poor migrant women workers in urban centres. We also aim to increase awareness of women’s rights, reduce the incidence of trafficking of women and children and of violence against women.
  • Education - we work to improve access to and the quality of education particularly for children from ethnic minority groups
  • Community development - we work to improve literacy, health, livelihoods and access to water in resettled communities

Child Sponsorship in Vietnam

File 22569400 warm jackets were given to the poor children at Tung Vai primary school

In Quan Ba there are more than 50% of people living below the poverty line with an average income of €300 per year. Children in these households usually do not have enough warm clothes and have to skip class and stay at home in the winter. In December 2012, ActionAid provided 400 warm jackets for 80 of the poorest students in Tung Vai primary school. Thanks to your support, these students can now keep warm and go to school more often in the winter.

Sponsor a Child Today.