The Hoa Sua Project in Sapa

The Hoa Sua Organisation and the Samaritan's Purse
The Hoa Sua is named after an ornamental tree with richly fragrant white flowers, common on the pavements alongside the boulevards of Hanoi. Created in 1995, the Hoa Sua is a French-based 'not for profit' organisation committed to helping disadvantaged children and young adults to be self-sufficient.

The Samaritan's Purse has been working in Vietnam since 1966. It's a Christian organisation providing tangible support to people in need across the world. In Vietnam, it provides support for disadvantaged children, school buildings, scholarships and clean water.

The Hoa Sua Hotel Project
Teenage Flower H'mong girl Sapa is a small town in the remote Northern mountain area of Vietnam. It is home to large numbers of impoverished ethnic minority communities and has therefore become a popular tourist destination.

Many ethnic minority families in the area of Sapa town and other tourist 'hot spots' have switched from their traditional activities to making handicraft products. Typically, the children of the families take the goods to places where tourists congregate.

Apart from degrading the previously rich local culture and other negative effects of tourism, the young people are vulnerable to economic and sexual exploitation. Most have only minimal education and are therefore unable to compete with outsiders for the job opportunities created by an expanding job market.

How the Project Works
The objective is to train around sixty young people to professional standards in hotel and catering skills by establishing a hotel, restaurant and bakery and recruiting suitable local young people. Three organisations are involved. The Sapa People's Committee oversees the project, and the Samaritan's Purse assists by renovating the building, investing in materials and equipment and helps with operating costs.

The Hoa Sua Organisation provides a year's training in the School in Hanoi and a further two to six months work experience at the Sapa Hotel. Finally, the organisation will find them employment in the Sapa area.

Haivenu's role
We regard the project as an excellent model. It faces the realities of the situation, and provides a practical solution to many of the problems caused by tourism in a culturally sensitive area. However, its success depends on a regular flow of visitors, so we encourage our clients to use the Hoa Sua either for their accommodation or meals, or preferably both.

Our customers often ask if there is a way to help poor people in Vietnam, so we urge them to make a donation to a cause that involves building sustainabilty rather than gift-giving. The Hoa Sua Project is a fine example.