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New Beginnings in Vietnam

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

By James Kang, Country Leader, Vietnam

After working with REI in our Hanoi, Vietnam office, we say “farewell” to Mr. Toan who left at the end of July 2022. Friendly and kind, Mr. Toan has been known for welcoming REI visitors and partners, helping them to feel at home in Vietnam while working with many of REI’s short-term teams to help make sense of some of Vietnam’s complicated logistics and relationships. Everyone at REI will miss Mr. Toan and his valuable contribution.

Mr. Toan (on right) with Dr. Michael Truong (Azuza Pacific University professor) and his family along with other REI Hanoi office staff

On the heels of this farewell, we would like to introduce you to the new staff joining REI’s Hanoi office team.

Business Team Coordinator

Meet Ms. Pham Thi Mai, our new coordinator of education programs for REI’s short-term teams to Vietnam. Graduating from Vietnam’s Hanoi University (HANU), REI’s long-term partner, she studied tourism management and met REI’s short-term business team during her second year in college.

The team was instructing at "REI week," which was held for the Faculty of Management and Tourism at HANU. “REI made a deep impression on me with the academic depth of their programs and the enthusiasm and friendliness of the professors on their team,” Ms. Mai said. “I have a passion for helping people, and when an opportunity arose to work with REI, I embraced it right away.”

Ms. Mai will assist Mrs. Lien, head of our Hanoi office, linking our business teams with various university partners in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Medical Team Coordinator

And, please meet Mr. Vu Truong Giang, REI’s new coordinator for Vietnam short-term medical teams, linking those teams with our many Vietnam medical institution partners.

He graduated from Hanoi University of Science and Technology in 2020 with a degree in English for engineering and technology. While in university, he participated on volunteer teams and programs both in Hanoi and the mountainous rural areas in northern Vietnam. After graduating, he worked as a translator, English teacher, and customer service staff, receiving many rewards and recognition for his contribution. Mr. Giang now lives in Hanoi with his family, and REI welcomes him to our Hanoi office team.

Administrator and Networking Coordinator

Finally, we have a new volunteer giving us 20 hours of work a week. Please meet Mr. Ngo Le Minh, our new Administrative Assistant to Mrs. Lien.

With strong leadership and communication skills, he is an effective networker whose passion for REI’s vision inspires him, as he says, “to help people to help the country.”

Mr. Minh graduated from the Foreign Trade University (FTU) in Hanoi, and the California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in international business administration in the fall of 2019. While a student at FTU, he participated with the FTU Youth Union, raising funds for volunteer work to help the poor in rural northern Vietnam.

After graduating, he worked at companies that valued Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), helping them partner with communities by connecting people and building networks. REI hopes his volunteer time will translate into a permanent part-time position with us at in our Hanoi office after a few months.

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