Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Rung Oi - Rainforest Education in Vietnam

Project #
St. Olaf College
  • Duy Ha

Rung Oi - Rainforest Education in Vietnam

Duy set out on his project with two goals in mind: to provide awareness and experiential learning opportunities about the rainforest for students in Vietnam and to create a community of support for future rainforest-related as well as other community projects in Vietnam. In addition to the Projects for Peace grant, he gained support from Live&Learn, an Australian organization that supports community projects in Vietnam.

Work began in March, putting together, largely through Skype, three groups whose members were spread out around the world and who would be responsible for program, public relations and logistics. Duy and his team found it hard at a distance and at the grassroots level to arrange for a venue and to recruit the students to attend the envisioned monthlong education program. In retrospect, he concluded that working first through the Ministry of Education would have been a better route to take. Last-minute social networking, however, led to 720 applications for the 400 slots available, so in the end everything exceeded original expectations and the rainforest summer camp went as planned. Since this was the first-ever rainforest-related project in Vietnam, Huy and his team sought to gain maximum public relations for Rung Oi!  They succeeded in gaining publicity through 25 media agencies, including online and print newspapers as well as television networks. Participants gained knowledge, had fun, developed a sense of community and became attached to a social cause. Postproject surveys reflected a 98 percent satisfaction rate and a great desire for Rung Oi! to take place again next year.