On Wednesday, 12th December 2012, the partners of the regional office of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Hanoi met up for the annual partner meeting at Hanoi Club. The program of the event offered participants from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam the chance to personally interact with the staff of the RLS regional office and exchange experiences from the last year amongst each other. In addition the event was an opportunity to gain practical information for project work of RLS.
The issuing words by Dr. Dinh Xuan Thao, president of the Institute for Legislative Studies (ILS) of the National Assembly Standing Committee, stressed the importance of the work done by RLS since the opening of RLS’s Hanoi office in 2009. RLS has become an important partner in the international cooperation of Vietnam. One of the main characteristics of RLS is described particularly by the fact that RLS operates not only at the state and institutional level, but also supports civil society organizations in Vietnam. Without the active participation and input of the citizens it is difficult to secure a lasting, fair socio-economic and sustainable transformation. Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung sees itself as a bridge between the state and civil society organizations that brings two sides closer to each other with the aim of increasing the political and economic participation of marginalized groups.
Following the opening remarks by Dr. Thao, Ms. Nadja Charaby, director of RLS regional office in Hanoi, summarized the activities in 2012. Generally speaking it was a very successful year for the RLS. The organization has hired new employees and developed new partnerships as well as expanded its scope of duties beyond the borders of Vietnam. Currently, RLS is working on a program extension in the latest transformation country in the region: Myanmar. However, the participants were also informed that RLS has reached its financial peak and cannot expect much growth in the future.
The presentation of Ms. Charaby was followed by a short evaluation of activities by the project managers as well as possible cooperation perspectives for 2013-2014 were briefly discussed. The Centre for Water Resources Conservation and Development (WARECOD) and Live&Learn, civil society partners of RLS, then presented their work by short video clips. WARECOD is working on the impacts of climate change in the northern province Cao Bang; Live&Learn supports youth activists in the field of participation and sustainable development. Further, representatives from the ILS and the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) shortly gave an overview about their work. The ILS is a strategic partner of the RLS in its work with the Vietnamese National Assembly. ISEE is a new partner organization of RLS. In 2012 the NGO conducted a survey on the situation of transgender in Vietnam. Subsequently, the financial department explained important questions and problems on financial mechanisms of the German foundations. New staff and partners were “tested” with a fun and entertaining quiz about RLS as well as the life and work of the inspired political activist Rosa Luxemburg. It was great fun for all participants.
The partners made clear that RLS is being seen as a bridge that connects many civil society organizations with government organizations as it is difficult for the civil society organizations to address the decision makers of Vietnam directly.
The event found an enjoyable and entertaining finale with a reception for the partners and friends of RLS Hanoi. The RLS partner meeting was considered a great success and is expected to happen again in 2013.