19. Sri Lanka: Empowering Young Women
CENWOR (Centre for Women’s Research), founded in 1984, aims to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in Sri Lanka. One of its major missions has been providing girls from poor families with education and vocational training. Drop-out rates in Sri Lanka are very high: a third of all students do not attend their final two years of high school, and the rate is higher for female students. For the fifth time, BGR will be sponsoring a year-long project with CENWOR intended to help girls who have not completed their high school education. The project will select forty girls—ten each from Colombo, Galle, Kandy, and Anuradhapura—and enable them to enroll in the technician program at Level 5 at the State Colleges of Technology. The grant will cover a coordinator, travel costs, and tuition and fees for the forty girls. Annually renewable project.
20. Vietnam: Meals for Hospital Patients
In Vietnam, the price of a hospital stay does not include food. Already challenged by the hospital expenses, most patients and their families are hard pressed to buy food. The Vietnam Red Cross Society, founded in 1946 and a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross since 1957, aims to improve the lives of refugees, victims of natural disasters and health emergencies, and those affected by poverty. The Tam Binh and Cam Duong Red Cross offer humanitarian assistance in remote villages in the Mekong Delta region. In partnership with the Tam Binh chapter of the Vietnam Red Cross, BGR has been providing thousands of free meals to patients at the Tam Binh hospital since 2009. This year again a grant from BGR will enable the organization, in collaboration with the local government, to feed poor patients in need. The BGR grant suffices to provide 500 vegetarian meals daily to hospital patients. Annually renewable project.
21. Vietnam: Scholarships for Poor Children
For the past six years, BGR has been sponsoring scholarships to students in elementary and middle schools in both the Cam Duong and the Tam Binh areas of Vietnam. The scholarships are given by the Red Cross of Vietnam to 250 students from the Cam Duong district and 236 students from the Tam Binh district. These are children from the poorest families who achieve good grades and display good conduct. Without this aid, these students would not have the means to continue studies at the primary and middle school levels. The scholarship provides each student with an enrollment kit that includes the annual enrollment fee, educational materials, and basic health care during the school year. Annually renewable project.
22. Vietnam: System of Rice Intensification
This project, renewed for the fifth time, is conducted in partnership with the International Cooperation Center of Thai Nguyen University. The project aims to expand and improve the quality of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) on a large scale among village farmers in Phu Binh in Thai Nguyen province. This is expected to increase productivity and resiliency to climate change. Eighty local officials will receive training and work with farmers in 21 communes; workshops will be organized to demonstrate SRI and allow farmers to practice techniques in the field; farmer’s groups will be trained in marketing thau dau sticky rice, a local delicacy; and ICC will continue to organize the Thau Dau Rice Festival in Xuan Phuong to increase awareness and sales of the sticky rice. Annually renewable project.
To be continued