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.
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.
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.
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.
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.