When it comes to Vietnam becoming a more competitive destination for investment in the region and achieving its full economic potential, the answer from Truong Quang Hung is clear: "People talk about different issues, but to me, improving infrastructure is vital at this stage of our development."
Dang Tran Khanh runs his fingers along his motorcycle chain. “My father bought this plastic-coated chain to prevent abrasions,” he said. “It used to be for chaining me [so I could not leave home in search of drugs]. Now my dad and I use it to lock up the motorbike, to keep it from getting stolen at lunch.” Khanh is a former Hanoi drug user, who appears among the more than 100 photos in “Face-to-Face with Drugs”—Vietnam's first photo exhibition on the lives of drug users. The event was organized by USAID and its partners and launched with PEPFAR funding in June 2011 in Hanoi and November 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Welcome to the Kon Ray Ethnic Minority Boarding School, brought to Nga by USAID. The school is perched high above lush valleys in Vietnam’s picturesque Central Highlands. “This school is so clean and so nice,” says the 14-year-old from Kon Keng village, an ethnic Sora farming community that produces cassava, rice, corn, and rubber.
Patiently, Pham Thi Bich Ngoc angled her right elbow to type in what she would like to be when she grows up. Beaming, she threw a sideways glance at a teacher. The laptop screen read “doctor” in Vietnamese. The room burst out in a chorus of approval led by Ngoc’s mother, Bui Thi Mai.
Dang Van Toan shuffled across the floor of his garage-sized shop. Flipping a switch, he warmed up his new photocopy machine against the din of heavy pounding and drilling from the metalworker next door. For years Toan hoped he would one day have his own business.
Last updated: March 11, 2014