Twenty-five years ago, Resource Exchange International took a survey trip to Vietnam. It was then that our team first met Mrs. Tran Phuong Lien—now the lead facilitator whose fingerprints cover REI’s work in Vietnam.
As fall of 2017 arrived in the USA, so did this tiny woman who is making such a giant impact for REI. With no fewer than 20 cities in 32 days, Madame Lien has been traveling and sharing the vision, heart, and future of REI across the United States. Accompanied by REI’s President and CEO Roderick Beidler, and REI Vietnam Director, Brian Teel, this big-hearted woman has been sharing the story of her pivotal role in REI’s ability to reach all levels of Vietnamese society. While much of their time was spent involving others in the many stories of this long history together, Brian also shared more about the future of REI in Vietnam:
“What an exciting time to work in Vietnam as that nation increasingly steps into its rightful place among the nations of the world. Talented, intelligent, industrious, and yes, noble-hearted men and women are growing their country day by day, month by month. Some of REI's tasks are continuing unchanged while new forms of service are emerging. But in every case we seek to build those who will build others to the benefit of all and not just a few.”
From volunteer teams of business leaders teaching negotiation and ethics skills, to medical professionals training their counterparts in Vietnamese hospitals, the work of REI in Vietnam is diverse. It is the stories of impact that come from time spent together between the global volunteers and eager-to-learn Vietnamese that Madame Lien has shared over dinners, teas, receptions, and among friends—because no one is a stranger in her presence. Madame Lien looks forward to continuing the progress of REI as together we build people to build nations.
Head over to REI-Vietnam’s website to learn more about the team living and working in Hanoi!
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