Children of Vietnam

Rating: 4.92 stars   79 reviews

Issues: Human Services, International

Location: PO Box 18039 Greensboro, NC 27419 Greensboro NC 27419 USA

Mission: Children of Vietnam works to change for the better the lives of poor,homeless, orphan, disabled, and vulnerable children in Vietnam.
Target demographics: vulnerable children and their families.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 30,000
Geographic areas served: Central Vietnam
Programs: COV Addresses the Needs of Vulnerable Children Through 6 Program Areas: Education Healthcare Housing Hope System of Care for Children with Disabilities Empowering Foundations for Women & Their Children

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as an Accounting mentor for COV for 4 weeks in Feb\March 2014. This was an assignment organised by AFID (Accountants for International Development)where UK qualified accountants are matched with Non-Profits in Developing Countries to assist or advise on their financial processes and reporting.
I felt very lucky to become involved with and get to know the lovely COV team in Da Nang and especially to work with their accountant. The Director and CEO provide great leadership and I was made to feel very welcome.
It's a testament to the integrity of this organisation that I have myself become a sponsor to one of the COV supported students and intend to keep links with this Non Profit for many years to come.

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Rating: 5 stars  

i have volunteered for many non-profits with varying levels of engagement and value, and I have to say working with COV was my best experience yet. Although they are small, it allow them to add a personal touch and you feel very valued as a volunteer. I first reached out to them as part of a community requirement for a leadership class, but over time i have continued to be drawn into their cause and mission. It was very fulfilling to see the strategy and plans we developed for them being utilized, communications was excellent even as busy as they were, and they were very open minded and appreciative of the work. Highly recommend Children of Vietnam!

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I last wrote about COV on the Great Nonprofits website two years ago. Since that time I again had the opportunity to observe COV operations in Vietnam, and I have continued to work with the board of directors in an advisory capacity on a regular basis. Every positive thing I said about COV in that first posting remains accurate to this day. COV continues to remain true to its mission, operating with absolute integrity and total transparency. They provide benefactors an opportunity to contribute with complete confidence that their precious donations are handled responsibly, used for their intended purpose, and really make a difference in the lives of needy and disabled Vietnamese children and their families.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As a member of the board of directors, I again had the privilege this summer to visit COV operations in Vietnam and participate in several field trips. I came away with two primary impressions. First, COV has "heart". It starts with the founder, Ben Wilson, and the Country Director Luong Thi Huong, and flows down through the staff. Their deep compassion for those in need permeates and drives the organization. Theirs is a labor of love fueled by the desire to enable those they assist to acquire a better quality of life. And Second, COV practices the highest principles of charitable assistance: they enable the downtrodden to help themselves improve their quality of life, while maintaining their dignity throughout the process.
I was especially impressed with how, in their daily operations, they verify need to an established norm and then leverage their resources by acquiring the involvement and assistance of local officials and the surrounding community.
I left Vietnam with the positive feeling that COV is exercising truly good stewardship over the precious resources of our donors and benefactors in the way it carries out the charitable objectives of the organization. I can state unequivocally that COV is indeed bringing hope to the hopeless and improving the lives of so many needy Vietnamese children and their families.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Children Of Vietnam is the example of a caring person recognizing a need and responding. Ben Wilson was an engineer building a factory in Da Nang and saw the effect of poor housing and access to education on children from poor families. He organized COV in 1998 and started building basic houses and providing bicycles so children could get to school. This was expanded, after cutting through considerable red tape, to importing vitamins and medicines and providing tuition to vocational schools. He found ways to gain access for children with congenital deformities to have surgery. COV has sponsored two physicians who came to Winston-Salem for training in intensive care medicine and pediatric cardiology. Ben did this by traveling to Vietnam twice a year and developing a competent and caring local staff. COV's very low administrative cost is exceptional.
Edward S. Beason


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Rating: 5 stars  

Where to begin. I became acquainted with Children of Vietnam in 2003 and my love for the organization and its mission grabbed me from the beginning. My late husband had served in DaNang and had always wanted to return. Through Children of Vietnam, I was able to fulfill his dream and his passion for its children. I have had the opportunity to visit Vietnam on four different occasions with COV, both as a volunteer and member of the COV Board of Directors. In working with the COV staff in Vietnam, I saw, first-hand, that each program is carefully developed and administered. Each child and family is treated with respect and dignity; every dollar/dong is spent carefully. My fondest memories were meeting with university students - hearing their life stories and dreams. I have been able to provide university scholarships for 2 young ladies and correspond with them on a regular basis. There is no better way to bridge the miles that divide us and truly make the world a family.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

When I joined the Children of Vietnam Board, I had never been to Vietnam and only read of the work done by this amazing organization. I have since traveled to DaNang 4 times. Visiting the Street Children program and working with the staff was one of the most heart warming an inspiring experiences of my life. The staff works directly with each child and family. Each penny and dollar is maximized to assist those in need. I have experienced children receiving scholarships, bicycles and homes. Tears of gratitude tell the story. Come and join us. It will change your life.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I was a Board Member of COV for over 6 years and am currently on their Advisory Board. In addition, I have traveled to Vietnam as a part of this organization on four separate occasions. The integrity of the staff in Vietnam is impeccable and all funds are used to help those truly in need. The following is an example.

COV provides bicycles to children who would walk 5-6 miles, one way to school. While I was there, COV received a names of needy children from district officials. After a thorough review of the listed children, by the COV staff, it came to light that some children did not meet the COV need criteria. Staff requested that these names be replaced.

I am so proud to be a part of an organization which honors the support of its supports and donors.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

reviewing the programs of COV while in Vietnam. I have had the opportunity to visit and interview families in need of housing and medical support. I have also interviewed university students in need of financial support. In addition, I have spent a number of days working in Street Children facilities in DaNang and experienced the tutoring program managed by COV to assist street children to meet their education goals.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to expand Empowering Foundation for Women - a great program, which provides micro loans to women to help them secure meaningful employment, and thus, allows them to support their children.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

I learned about COV after the death of my husband, who served with the US Military in Vietnam. Initially my support provided a link between my late husband's love of the children of DaNang and my passion to provide meaningful support to children in need. The experience became so much more. COV is now a part of my life.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

The short tem priority is to provide housing, education, nutrition and healthcare to children in dire need. However, the long term priority is to provide those children with skills, which will allow them to sustain a full and successful life.

What is its top priority in the long run?

The top priority is to provide resources to children, which will allow them to support themselves and their future families.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

COV was breathed into existence through a deep compassion for the children of Vietnam and has matured due to the careful nurturing of Ben Wilson (Founder and President) and those who share his vision. Beginning as a response to the needs of children who lack proper medical care, suffer the effects of poor nutrition and face the inability to receive an education, COV has maintained a clear vision since it's inception in 1998. The fudiciary accountability and the wise use of resources have engendered trust among a broadening base of supporters and has allowed COV to impact the lives of countless children and their families in Vietnam. COV continues to broaden its services and is transforming and saving the lives of children.

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and a master degree candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, I can adamantly say that working with Children of Vietnam has been the vital experience that strengthened my education and enriched my life. I have been working with Children of Vietnam for the past three years - and will always look forward to work with this great organization. First, I worked as a volunteer at their fundraising events and then as an intern for the organization in DaNang, Vietnam.

As an intern, my main objective was to capture and understand the life experiences of these single-women and their children. I also taught English to the Vietnamese COV staff and to young scholars, who are children of family of low-income. I was clear of my objectives and the execution of my plan. Yet, I did not expect to be so profoundly transformed by working with COV staff and experiencing life at a 20/20 eyesight.

COV staff are extremely professional and generous. They are graceful in the ways they treat people, especially to me as an intern who knew little about Vietnam, Vietnamese language, and Vietnamese culture. Yet it was not only grace that made this particular group of people so endearing to my heart. What struck me so deeply about COV staff is that they are incredibly generous and passionate about the work that they do. All of the COV staff truly believe that their work is influential and critical to their community. As such, they work extremely hard to transform a community of need into a community of hope, change, and empowerment.

Additionally, working with COV has transformed the way I viewed my life, thus my career choice. As an undergraduate at Chapel Hill, I sat somewhat on an ivory tower of success. I was academically successful and fairly decent in my living conditions. I have seen poverty plenty of times in TV and researched about people living in poverty. Academically, I possessed the theories and the knowledge about what poverty is and how we could effective resolve it. When I applied to be an intern for COV, I expected to bring my knowledge as a college student to Vietnam to teach people on how to live a more sustainable and empowered life. Yet having met these incredible women and their children, I realized I know little to nothing. I did not expect to be so profoundly educated and transformed. To be brutally honest, they did more to change my life than I did to impact theirs. These women opened up their homes and their life experiences for me to capture and to understand. They know more about living and how to sustain their lives more than anybody can, especially more than any U.S college students. How or why? because despite the challenges of their lives, they are still living and smiling! They do not view their lives as inferior or as unfortunate. They work with the hands they are dealt with. As such, I admire them - their strength, their courage, their knowledge, and their humanity. It is through working with COV that I gained a sense of humanity and understanding about poverty that no books, no great novels or no Nobel Prize-winning or ivy league professors could teach me. COV gave me an opportunity to humanity and a life-changing experience.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Children of Vietnam is expert at developing and administering services for their target population and has improved the lives of thousands of Vietnamese children as a result. COV operates with fiscal responsibility as a top priority. In-country staff is diligent about making sure programs are effective and aimed at those truly in need.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

As a social worker with 30+ years of experience working with families in need, I approach nonprofits with a critical eye and expecting to see wasted resources. Children of Vietnam is the exception to the rule. This is an organization that was founded in a grass roots manner with a clearly established mission and the human resources to get the job done and done well. As they've grown into their current size, their goals remain the same, which they accomplish based on the tried and true methods established by their founder, Ben Wilson, and his staff in Danang. Dollars donated to COV are used efficiently, improving thousand's of children's lives in a setting that otherwise offers little hope for their basic needs to be met in the future. COV focuses on providing services for essentials which in the areas in and around Danang are sorely lacking.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Seeing the many, many children with happy faces who are now living because of Children of Vietnam Programs is a wonderful reward for their effort! So many walking who previously could not, so many
with perfect operating hearts who previously were gravely ill, so many semi-plump and well fed who were previously hungry or mal nourished. The efficient operation of their staff is remarkable, squeezing total value from every dollar available. !!!
Ben Wilson

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

COV is a great non-profit organization. I traveled to Vietnam on 3 occasions to see their work first hand before becoming a member of the Board of Directors. I continue to be amazed at the low administrative costs and the efforts to maximize every dollar donated to the benefit of the children we are helping. I can also attest to the hard work of our board members who cheerfully donate of their time, talents, and their own money to further our work. We have tremendous staff in Vietnam and an excellent Executive Director in the USA who is passionate about our work and loves the people of Vietnam. I can whole heartedly recommend this organization to anyone longing to help make a difference in the world. Your donations have a direct and substantial impact on the children we serve and the community in which they live. Thank you for your support!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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