The 2014 CVTD: Community Innovation Summer Camp
Quynh Son village, Lang Son province, Vietnam
CVTD, a Vietnamese NGO, seeks up and coming social entrepreneurs for the 2014 Community Innovation Summer Camp, providing opportunities focused on community development in rural Vietnam.
These two-week camps aimed at creating an inventive learning environment concentrate upon innovative social and economic concepts that will benefit participants as well as the communities they serve.
Three camps are offered this summer in the village of Quynh Son, located in the northern province of Lang Son, Vietnam.
We are looking for motivated, creative and compassionate individuals with proven abilities in analysis, critical thinking and complex problem solving to contribute to this community development experience.
120 kilometers North of Hanoi, Vietnam, near the Chinese border, is the mountainous province of Lang Son. The region is rich with heritage, tradition and history yet is largely undiscovered as a tourism destination in the country. This ethnically diverse province is known for its agro-forestry capacities and untouched natural and cultural landscapes. Further, Lang Son province is located within the heart of the North Vietnam economic corridor, thus putting it in a strategic position to provide service and manufacturing capabilities plus import and export capacity.
In recent years the region has been the focus of development projects headed by the local provincial development committee as an attempt to broaden the prospects of the communities within the area. This region is primed for development considering its unique economic and cultural offerings in conjunction with its picturesque natural highlights.
The province offers a variety of sites worth experiencing, in urban landscapes and far beyond to the rural areas among the lush mountain peaks. One of these is Quynh Son village, located 80 km to the east of the capital city of Lang Son. This commune has been identified as a community tourist village, home to traditionally built stilt-houses, untouched forest areas and lakeside attractions in addition to a vital cultural scene. The native inhabitants are known for their hospitality, creating chances for travelers to explore an untouched part of the lives of Vietnamese ethnic people.
This community offers opportunities to implement new age sustainable agricultural and environmental methods while supporting local cultural peoples. The CVTD 2014 Community Innovation Summer Camp in Quynh Son village will help realize these potentials. Increased developmental efforts in the village will help sustain these traditional people as well as introduce a unique way of living to foreigners seeking ecofriendly travel options. This synergistic relationship between the locals and potential travelers can assist in bringing much needed social and economic development to not only the village itself, but also the larger region as a whole.
The camp will focus its efforts on four primary areas. Through defining identified practice methods within each category camp participants will work to create innovative ideas within the context of Quynh Son village. The categories are:
Forest Gardens offer a sustainable way of livlihood for families living in rural areas throughout the world. These offsite forest gardens provide outputs for food security, health care, building materials and cash income at a relatively low labor input, high value long term output. Alternatively known as ‘permaculture’ or ‘social forestry’ this camp topic aims at investigating the capacities and feasability of establishing such spaces in support of community members’ sustainable lifestyles.
The Sustainable Agriculture and Household Economy focus will aim at implementing ‘Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture’ (LEISA) systems to provide on site commodities production. These include household production of rice, fish, meat, vegetables and eggs, in addition to cash crops. This camp focus works to identify current agricultural practices and specific opportunities to improve the sustainability and efficiency of methods more close to home, thereby improving commuinty livlihoods.
Community Based Eco-Tourism is defined as tourism that benefits regional biodiversity and the traditional cultures of the region. This focal point of the camp will work to identify ecotourism possibilites within the village and the greater area. The topic will examine opportunities for conservation and celebration of the local cultural ethnicities by identifying environmental and social attractions while considering methods for the protection and benefit of such.
Market Research and Trade Promotion is a topic that fits within the scope of the three preceeding camp objectives. This focus aims at determining potential niches for sustainable production that offer a comparative advantage for the community. Market possibilties within and around the region will be identified and analyzed during the camp, as participants will work to collect systematic information regarding customers, competition and market dynamics.
The greatest goal of the 2014 CVTD Community Innovation Summer Camp is to provide benefits to stakeholders. These include benefits for the community and greater region to which the camp is held, and equally, to provide benefits for the participants of the camp.
Community benefits are aimed at creating long-term development avenues for the people of the region and the region itself. This will be accomplished through planning and initial implementation of projects that will increase quality of life, local incomes, natural resource sustainability and environmental conservation. Campers will contribute in creating innovative developmental methods that focus on the best interests of the locals and the surrounding landscape.
Participant benefits lie in the creation of novel solutions in a real world setting and the working with a diverse group of local and international individuals. Through creating practical solutions in a group environment participants will grow both personally and professionally. Further, by experiencing rural, sustainable possibilities participants will move forward the spirit of sustainable development worldwide.
CVTD is looking for camp participants between the ages of 18 and 30, preferably students or recent graduates in applicable fields to the focus areas described above. Participants are expected to be sound communicators, flexible, creative and open-minded.
Further, we expect our participants to:
- be fluent English speakers.
- lead and participate in group activities.
- have enthusiastic and positive attitudes.
- desire to make a difference in the lives of stakeholders.