The representative office of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung is situated at number 72 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho district of Hanoi in Vietnam, an area known for its enriched culture and sacred traditions. The office is surrounded by the famous lakes: West and Tu Lien and home to many pagodas and shrines, all situated in one place. In the afternoons and the first day or the middle of a lunar month, you can hear the sound of pagoda bells from a distance, the sound of peace and tranquility for all of us who work in our office.
Everyone, from the country director to visitors and partners whenever they visit our office, are overcome with a sense of fulfillment because of the beautiful, romantic and Feng-Shui location. Perhaps, it is this feeling that has given us a strong foundation, together with the quality of staff, a positive working approach and the great support from our government partners. RLS’s office has now become a regional office for South East Asia.
In February 2009, RLS was officially granted representative office status by the People’s Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM) of Vietnam after much hard work carried out during 2008. At the beginning, the office appeared to be of a modest structure having one country director, one project manager, one financial manager and one office manager. Whereas, the number of partners increased to 10 in the first year 2009, a clear sign of the enthusiasm and determination RLS has when building up strong partnership portfolios, and supporting Vietnam’s development goals. The projects implemented in 2009 achieved some initial success by way of attracting public attention and promoting active social changes. This initial success provided important momentum for RLS in their later search for working opportunities with a range of capable partners, as we expanded both scope of cooperation and collaboration for a better quality of funded projects.
Over the years, the number of our projects has multiplied with the number of partners: from 10 partners out of 13 projects in 2009, up to 15 partners in 20 projects in 2010, 20 partners in 27 projects in 2011 and 16 partners in 25 projects in 2012. In 2013 alone, we had a total of 26 partners with 32 projects.
To further support this wide range of partnerships, every year, RLS Vietnam has made requests to the headquarters in Berlin for additional funding to enlarge its office, to date, after five years in operation, RLS’s office in Vietnam has one country director and 10 staff members working a project management unit, financial unit, and also office management. In addition, very often, during the year, this office space has invited both local and foreign experts from different fields such as politics, law, economics, energy, communications, labor relations, sustainable development, environment, art and humanities, to cooperate within our funded projects, and to open opportunities for young members to learn from our work, and experience internships. Our projects are being implemented across the country, in the South, Central and North of Vietnam, and also in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. As a result, in April 2013, RLS’s– Representative office in Vietnam–has been changed to Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Southeast Asia, and the Vietnam office has since served as a regional hub. The facilities of the new RLS SEA office in Vietnam were expanded when we refurbished the basement and the first floor. With this we have had a library filled with books and publications printed under the support of RLS or collected by our staff and managers on their travels, and rare books given by our partners. Such a collection, with high quality research outcomes, has attracted a wide audience, especially the knowledge-hungry young readers.
In this office, we reserve a well-managed meeting room spacious enough for about 100 participants where we often host important events such as annual meetings between German political organizations in Hanoi and the German Embassy, partner meetings with RLS SEA and the Berlin headquarters, and smaller functions for a younger audience and training for our staff and partners agencies.
RLS SEA–Representative office in Vietnam has become a venue where the spirit of work and cultural interchange are a symbol of Vietnamese-German cooperation in the 21st century. Much of this is what we have come to expect from our managers and staff members of RLS’s office in Vietnam.
About RLS SEA Director
Mrs. Liliane Danso-Dahmen was appointed as a new Director of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Southeast Asia, Regional Representative Office in Vietnam in March, 2015.