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
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
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
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
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.
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.