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November 23, 2012

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November 23, 2012

I have vistied Adapt in Vietnam on three occassions in the capacity of a volunteer evaluator of the scholarship program for the most needy and at risk girls in the Mekong Delta. The program staff are dedicated to keeping the girls in school and making education process. Despite their challenging home environments, often at great distances from school, the girls are making excellent academic progress fully equal to the performance of their non-scholarship peers. More importantly, the dropout rate for ADAPT students is well below their peers and the average of dropouts across ethnic groups in the U.S. One gets the sense that the staff refuses to allow a girl to fail or quit. Where the program truly excels is aiding retunees who have been rescued or who have escaped human trafficers in Cambodia and China. The charity provides housing, healthcare access and employment training. In addition, the returnees receive counselling in a nurturing non-judgmental environment. Many have successfully reentered Vietnamese society.

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Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 21, 2012

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November 21, 2012

I have been a donor and also a volunteer in the context of providing volunteer experiences for students in a college class that I teach. Pacific Links Foundation does amazing work to educate young women and their families about the dangers of trafficking, to give those young women opportunities to say no to becoming trafficking victims, and to give victims of trafficking new hope even after suffering through this horrendous experience. I sometimes think they do this great work out of sheer passion and commitment because they have done so much with minimal staff and funding. They ask for little, and the people who know their work give generously because we know that every dollar packs a punch when left in their hands and that they will keep up the fight as long as a single girl is still being victimized.

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 21, 2012

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November 21, 2012

Writing both as a past donor to PALS and as a not-for-profit professional working in Vietnam, I truly admire the work that Pacific Links is doing in Vietnam. Tackling the root causes and addressing the needs of victims of human trafficking is no easy task. The Pacific Links staff; however, do not dwell on the difficulties. Instead, the do all they can using the resources they are given. They are not afraid to innovate, they effectively employ volunteers to support their work. I was particularly impressed to see the way PALS engages the Vietnamese Diaspora, particularly those with social work skills, to support their work from abroad and in country. Every time I attend a PALS event, I am moved to tears, not because of the difficulties their beneficiaries are facing but because of the impact PALS is having on those women's lives and communities.

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Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 20, 2012

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November 20, 2012

Pacific Links Foundation (also affectionately known as PALS) is one of those rare organizations that is not yet well known internationally but is surprisingly solid in its mission, objectives, and staff composition. I've known the staff for more than 2 years and have had some humbling experiences during my trips to participate in some programmatic activities. Anyone who is able to interact with the staff or visit the recipients and their families in the impoverished regions in which PALS operates will undoubtedly fall in love with this little NGO gem.

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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?

2012

November 20, 2012

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November 20, 2012

I meet Adapt/Pals almost two years ago & I am impressed what they want to achieve with these victims; re-education, mental health, nurturing a healthy positive environment. It gives the girls hope that they can take with them for a better life

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 20, 2012

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November 20, 2012

Pacific Links Foundation has many projects in Vietnam to fight human trafficking which is a serous problem in South East Asia. With very small budget, they have been extremely effective without running costly operation. Their staff are very professional who are passionate about their endeavor.

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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

November 19, 2012

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November 19, 2012

It will be a challenge to find a team who would be more dedicated to the mission of empowering young women like PALS team. I am indebted to our team and volunteers for being my constant source of inspiration the past decade.

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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

November 9, 2012

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November 9, 2012

When I was first placed at PALS as an English Resource volunteer, little did I know it would be one of the most transformative experiences of my life. PALS serves girls and young women in the rural border regions of Vietnam and trafficking survivors with an exceptional hard working staff. I learned so much from the community and the local staff both professionally and as a human being.

More feedback...

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?

2011

November 8, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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November 8, 2012
1 person found this review helpful


Pacific Links Foundation (PALs) is the best international non-profit working against human trafficking in Vietnam today. PALs is a pioneer organization running 2 shelters for rescued victims while providing scholarships to young girls in the poorest regions of Vietnam, to increase their
potential and value in society via education. I’ve learned that human trafficking relates to this, because these young girls live in the most at risk regions of Vietnam, where young girls and women are trafficked, exploited, and abused. Therefore, PALs has taken the initiative to empower these at risked girls through education, and the staff conducts annual visits on these girls and their families as apart of the follow up and building relationships approach. I have worked with other non-profit organizations, and have also examined the work of various NGOs, and one of the key things I’ve noticed is how essential the process of “follow up” is when distributing any form of charity to the people. For example, an organization (will not name) provided computers for students in a small village in the Philippines, but within less than a few months the computers were missing and used as personal property in the homes of the school and government officials. The students never got to learn how to use the computer due to the lack of follow up on that charity.

Working with Pacific Links Foundation, has allowed me to partake in multiple grassroots development work. I was able to go on scholarship visits for the first time with the PALs staff on a 3 weeks journey. We trekked out to the most rural villages of the Mekong Delta, and what I’ve seen was so beautiful yet tragic at the same time. Its beauties not only reside within the unique scenic landscapes of lotus ponds and rice patties, but in the potential of these young girls with a chance at a brighter future. While its tragedies root from poverty, which places extreme odds against these girls and their families, subjecting them to potential risks in abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking.
After the scholarship visits in An Giang, Kien Giang, and Don Thap, there are certain realizations that has cemented in my knowledge and understanding of these poor communities. I’ve learned that most of the parents of the scholarship recipients are of low to no education levels, which forces them to work in rice patties, construction, or laborious rented services. Their employment are based on seasonal changes, therefore most of them are without income during the dry season. This is common among the majority of our scholarship recipient families that we have spoken with.

I’ve caught a glimpse of how this country’s increase in development and globalization through foreign investment, import and export trade, has left the rural villages of Vietnam out of the economic prosperity loop. Forcing the villagers to re-adapt to the rise in prices of daily commodities, while their wages remain the same. These conditions have forced many villagers to migrate to the cities to for employment, which increases the rate of human trafficking both in the labor and sex industries. Every year students are forced to quit school in order to help financially support their parents. Most of these are young girls end up: working with their parents, migrate with a neighbor or relative for work, or stay at home to watch over their younger siblings.

I’ve visited about a dozen families a day and there were a few situations that stood out to me. One young girl was abandoned by both her parents after a divorce, leaving her wit her grandmother, who was a 70-year old woman, selling lottery tickets at 30-40,000 VND (1.50-2.00 USD) a day to support her. Her grandmother was uneducated and has lived a laborious life, and did not want the same for her granddaughter. She was thankful for our support. She said, “You know, I couldn’t do this alone, thanks to your organization, my granddaughter can have an education. I am old but I will try my best to support her going to school for as long as I can do this job.” This family stood out to me, because the grandmother’s immense love and sacrifice for the young girl who lacks the presence and support of her mother and father.

There were various situations outside of school that our organization was unable to assist, but it was evident that these circumstances worked against the girls’ educational efforts. Some of the scholarship recipients had no bicycle for school, no electricity to do homework at night, worked graveyard hours with parents, and usually get teased by classmates for being poor. I’ve also gather some interesting information pertaining to the miscommunication between parents and schoolteachers about the availability of tutoring to assist the students in school. All these were issues that I’ve recorded during the interviews, and these issues are the main causes that have deter the girls from accelerating in school. I’m aware that these obstacles are out of our control to resolve, but it’s good to be aware of them, so that we can better support these girls.

I’ve also noted the majority of the families are now more aware of the increase in human trafficking through news, radio, school, woman’s union and our organization. So the awareness campaigns have fulfill its purpose in reaching the at risk population. I’m glad to be apart of such a great grassroots development project, that empowers the girls through the gift of knowledge, while preventing the risk of them being trafficked. I hope this scholarship program continues to expand and assist these young girls who would not have a chance otherwise.

More feedback...

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?

2012

November 8, 2012

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November 8, 2012

I've heard of Pacific Links through a friend. Among the many factors which compelled me to volunteer for their cause were: their focus on prevention through scholarships for at-risk girls, their work in the field at their shelters in Lao Cai and An Giang, and reintegration programs. The most important aspect for me, however, was their focus on education. By educating the community about human trafficking and putting at-risk girls through school, they've effectively prevented many tragic stories from happening. In volunteering at Pacific Links (office in Milpitas), I found the leaders of the organization to be passionate and their program effective. It is an organization worth supporting and my family and I will continue supporting it for as long as we're able, either through volunteering or donations. Thank you, PALS, for all that you do!

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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?

A lot

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?

2012

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