1/ Agricultural Counseling Week: Q&A with Agricultural Information Station.

Following up the Computer Donating Event of Tran Anh and NetPro at the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long last April, Vienet-ICT continued to receive the support from many organizations and individuals throughout the country with the hope of enhancing the capacity for applying information technology in facilitating community learning in island communes of Vietnam.
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Since June 4 2013, at the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long (Phu Long communce, Cat Hai island district, Hai Phong city), Vietnet-ICT has brought a group of IT, communication, and agricultural volunteer experts from MCD, Vietnet-ICT, 3nTV-VTC16 Channel, and Vietnam Internet Association to Phu Long communce to organize the Agricultural Counseling Week: Q&A with Agricultural Information Station.
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Beginning the Agricultural Counseling Week, on June 4

2013, the Farmers’ Traning Workshop - Q&A with

Agricultural Information Station did atract the attention and participation of 30 senior officers from Farmers’ Association, Agricultural Encouraging Association, Women’s Association and farmer groups’ leaders from 3 island communes of Cat Hai island district, Hai Phong city.

With the support of the volunteer experts, the attendees had their first experience of contacting the Station for agricutural advice, sending text messages to register for daily reports on black tiger shrimps’ price and market information as well as on agricultural advance warnings for Hai Phong area.

Picture: Farmers experienced the Zone 3 and Hai Phong agricultural advance warnings service of 19008062 Station The attendees excitedly received text messages from the Station with basic information on the Mekong Delta black tiger shrimp market, and yet wondered how to find information on black tiger shrimps’ prices and markets in Northern provinces, especially in Hai Phong, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh. The information was immediately collected from the Internet with the help of the expert volunteers.

With the help of the volunteer experts and the Google searching tool, the attendees managed to obtain some relevant, useful information such as farming technology, prices, and supplies of black tiger shrimp and crab broodstocks in the North, contacts of agricultural experts etc.

Picture: Each group of 10 learners received supports from a volunteer expert.

At the Workshop, the learners expressed their happiness and surprise at the usefulness of mobile and internet information technology, which provides them with very valuable information in such a short time. Appreciating this helpfulness, they wanted to have more workshops set up to help more farmers in the commune.

Picture: Mrs. Pham Hoang Ngan (Vietnet-ICT Deputy Director) and Mr. Vu Hong Hung (Ecolife Café Phu Long Director) thanked the appreciation of the attendees. Sharing at the workshop, Mrs. Pham Hoang Ngan (Vietnet-ICT Deputy Director) remarked, “The workshop was set up with a view to introducing and instructing the attendees to check out interactive information and counseling channels. With hands-on experience, the attendees will get accustomed to and become “customers” of the agricultural technological services currently developed. Furthermore, we want to help the agricultural counseling service providers to better understand the specific needs of farmers, thus adjusting to further enhance their services. In this ever-changing digital age, the rural society needs such cooperation more than ever in order to bridge the gap

between urban and rural information technology as well as between farmers and scientists and technological service providers.” At 7 p.m. on the same day, with the support of 3nTV –VTC16 channel, Vietnet-ICT, and MCD center, a live broadcasting sharing program named “Ask to know” was organized at the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long. The program aimed to directly connect Phu Long island commune’s farmers to the leading experts on farming techniques. Hoang Ngan (Vietnet-ICT) reported from Phu Long Photographer: Duc Hieu (Vietnet-ICT)

2/ Let technology “connect lives” for a better rural future.
(Vietnet-ICT, June 5 2013) In the live broadcast sharing program “Ask to know” organized at the Community th Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long last night (June 4 2013), a lot of concerns voiced by farmers from island communes about farming issues and the problem of natural resources depletion have been answered by leading experts in one hour. The program was supported by 3nTV–VTC16 channel, Vietnet-ICT, and MCD center. At 7:30 pm sharp, about 120 farmers from Phu Long island commune had gathered in front of a big screen to watch the program “Ask to know” live broadcasted on 3nTV-VTC16 channel. Earlier, with the introduction of the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long about that program, more than 100 farmers in the commune had jointly registered for the event. After the curtain-raiser song “Visit my country Cat Hai” performed by singers from Poem Lovers’ Club of Phu Long commune, the attendees watched the Introduction clip of the program “Ask to know” to enhance their understanding of the Agricultural Information Station and the way to effectively interact with the Station. Not wasting time, the farmers immediately raised many burning questions to the famous experts. Dr. Tong Khiem – Former Director of the National Agricultural Extension Center – answered questions about cultivation, Dr. Le Van Nam about breedingveterinary, Dr. Bui Quang Te about fishery. Right after the introduction, the attendees excitedly brought up nearly 20 questions for the experts of the Station “Ask to know.” The attendees grew anxious when not being able to connect to the Station and got explained that too many callers were in queue.
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Picture: Mr. Thanh – member of Fishery group – raising questions to 3NTV Station. A back up plan was put forward. The volunteer students immediately used the Internet connected computers of Ecolife café to help the farmers send their questions in emails to the Station. In only 10 minutes, all of the questions were successfully sent to the Station. Most of the concerns raised by Phu Long island commune’s farmers were about farming techniques, such as how to avoid animal diseases, how to identify infected pigs, etc. Participating in the event, the farmers not only discussed with the leading experts but also had a chance to cement their interpersonal relationships by forgetting their daily stress and singing together beautiful tradition songs. At 8:30 pm sharp, the attendees excitedly looked at the big screen to welcome MC Cong Tu, who had many years of agricultural experience working at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The MC broadly smiled and sent his warm greetings to the audience, and more specially, to the farmers from Phu Long island communce, Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city. Bursting with energy, the farmers happily gave a big round of applause In one hour of the event, the program ’s experts did dedicate 6 out of their 20 answers to ad dress the most critical issues raised by the farmers from Phu Long island communce. With many years of experience, the experts carefully explained the issues with illustration boards so that the farmers could easily understand and take notes. The MC and the experts did more than once highly appreciate a question raised by a farmer from Phu Long commune about the reasons for the gradual depletion of natural resources. Considering the question as a macrolevel issue, the experts explained that the depletion was partly caused by the poisonous red algae in Ha Long Bay. At the end of the event, every attendee looked really glad about the success of the sharing program. Better yet, Phu Long commune were also presented with 02 distance-learning tools – 2 gifts from 3nTV-VTC16 channel for the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long and a lucky farmer. With these useful presents, Phu Long commune’s farmers will be able to ask the experts for advice on a daily basis. Currently in Phu Long commune, a very small number of households have the necessary condition to equip VTC digital receivers. After the event, many farmers became interested in prices and installation instructions of VTC digital receivers with the hope of gaining access to the useful information broadcasted. Therefore, 3nTV-VTC16 channel will

connect the equipment providers with the social entrepreneurs in the region to set up local outlets to meet the needs of Phu Long island commune’s farmers.

Earlier, in the morning of the same day, the program also organized a training workshop to instruct the farmers to use cell phones and the Internet to look up information. Participating in the workshop was senior officers from Farmers’ Association, Agricultural Encouraging Associa tion, Women’s Association and farmer groups’ leaders from 3 island communes Phu Long, Xuan Dam, Hien Hao of Cat Hai island district, Hai Phong city.

On behalf of the organizing team of this program, Vietnet-ICT would like to thank friends and colleagues from 3NTVVTC16 channel, Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD), Spark Center for Social Entrepreneurship Development, Vietnam Internet Association, Tran Anh company, NetPro Academy, and social entrepreneur Vu Hong Hung etc. for joining hands to create a useful playground for Phu Long island commune’s farmers. Hopefully there will be more supports for the program to spread to more island communes and districts of the country, so that technology can “connect lives” for a better rural future. Hoàng Ngân (Vietnet-ICT) - Photographer: Đức Hiếu (Vietnet-ICT)

3/ The project “How my community is changing – Photography training – Photovoice”
Some photos after 02 training workshops: Venue: Phu Long island communce, Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city

“After each time adding water to and draining the pond, people must use a salinity measuring tool to ensure a stable environment for broodstock. The salinity measuring equipment set is included in the skill improving project for farmers of MCD center. With the help of MCD, the farmers now can measure water salinity level by themselves while previously they would have to bring water samples to broodstock centers to ask for help.” Picture: Mr. Bui Thiet Cuong, 54 years old, Ngoai village, Phu Long commune, Hai Phong Photographer: Nguyen Thi Ngam

“This is my typical job after each time draining the pond to catch Shrimps and Crabs. The harvest season for natural products such as Shrimps and Crabs usually begins in April and ends on the end of the year. The high water days are very important to fishermen to change the water and add natural shrimps and fish to the pond. There will be 2 high water days per month. The period of time to harvest is from 2am to 5am. The harvested product will be traded in Phu Long Market.” Picture: Mr. Bui Thiet Cuong, 54 years old, Ngoai village, Phu Long commune, Hai Phong Photographer: Nguyen Thi Ngam

“Mr. Tinh - coming back from the pond. He has just gone light up the Đó to trick the Shrimp into getting inside” Picture: Mr. Tinh, 47 years old, Bac village, Phu Long commune, Hai Phong Photographer: Bui Dinh Hoi

“Mr. Tinh is pumping excess water out of the boat. This is the first and foremost job before entering the pond.” Picture: Mr. Tinh, 47 years old, Bac village, Phu Long commune, Hai Phong Photographer: Bui Dinh Hoi

“"Mr. Khanh and his son (assistant) - specialists in repairing machinery – are repairing the motor boat of Mr. Thieu. The boat’s fuel-injector damaged and took 3 hours to fix. The repairing cost for this kind of damage as this is typically from 300 to 400 thousand VND" Picture: Mr. Khanh, 60 years old, Phu Long commune, Hai Phong Photographer: Nguyen Dinh Thieu, Bac village, Phu Long commune

“Mrs. Khoen - 45 years old, Bac village, Phu Long commune – is mending the nets. Each day she can mend about 50 meters of net. The job is done on the pond to make a second income in seasons of poor harverst" Picture: Mr. Khoen, 45 years old, Bac village, Phu Long commune, Hai Phong Photographer: Nguyen Dinh Xuyen, Bac village, Phu Long commune

“Mrs. Khoen and Mrs. X (unknown name) – 45 years old, Bac village, Phu Long commune – are taking a nap after a harvesting night. The harvested Shrimps and Fish are gathered at Phu Long market to be sold then in Cat Ba area by small businesses.” Picture: Mr. Khoen, 45 years old, Bac village, Phu Long commune, Hai Phong Photographer: Nguyen Dinh Xuyen, Bac village, Phu Long commune

“Mr. Hung is in the Tourism and Community Learning Group which was trained by MCD to organize communitybased tours. The combination of eco-tourism and community learning aims to generate income as well as enrich understanding of climate change for the local community. ” Picture: A group of tourists visiting the mangrove forest in Phu Long commune, Hai Phong Photographer: Vu Hong Hung, Bac village, Phu Long commune Vietnet-ict

4/ Assisting island communes’ farmers to become “Digital Farmers.”
(VOV) – Farmers will learn how to connect with experts via telephone and the Internet to ask for any questions regarding breeding and cultivation. Following the sponsoring and training activities at the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café last April, the Center for Information Technology and Communications Vietnet (Vietnet) in collaboration with the Center for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD) continued to receive support from organizations and individuals throughout the country with the hope of strengthening IT application in supporting community learning activities in Phu Long island commune. Accordingly, in 6/2013 Vietnet-ICT and MCD will support the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café to organize a series of training workshops for community service officers. On Tuesday morning (4/6), from 7:30 to 11:00 am, the seminar " Agricultural Counseling: Q & A with Agricultural Information Station" was held at the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café, Phu Long commune, Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city. The goal of the workshop is to equip the farmers with theory and skills to use the Internet, cell phones, and distance training programs on the television to find information and materials, receive daily information about prices, weather, diseases, connect directly with leading experts through the telephone and television to be answered any questions regarding the difficulties in breeding and cultivation. The attendees consisted of two groups: one included senior officers from Farmers’ Association, Agricultural Encouraging Association, Women’s Association , Veterans’ Association of Cat Hai district and island communes (Phu Long, Xuan Dam, Hien Hao), and the other included representatives of the farmer groups of Cat Hai district. The workshop received the support and cooperation of Vietnam Internet Association (VIA). And then, on the evening of the same day, the live broadcast sharing program “Ask to know” was organized at Ecolife Café Phu Long. The program introduced to the farmers and officers many benefits of using the Station 0927.316.316 of the live broadcast sharing program “Ask to know” of 3nTV Channel. The attendees were instructed to directly connect to the Station to raise questions that would be answered by leading experts. The program “Ask to know” is a live broadcast program from 20h30 to 21h30 on Monday to Friday and rebroadcasted at 8h30 on Tuesday to Saturday on 3nTV-VTC16 Channel. Farmers are welcomed to call the Station 0927.316.316 to ask for advice. Currently in Phu Long commune, a very small number of households have the necessary condition to equip digital receivers. To help overcome this difficulty, 3nTV-VTC16 Channel decided to present Ecolife Café Phu Long with distance learning tool – a VTC digital receiver as well as a set of the program’s video records to support the learning and agricultural development activities of the Center. 3nTV-VTC16 Channel also presented a VTC digital receiver to a “Digital Farmer” – the most proactive learning farmer in June who was chosen by the Community Learning Program.

5/ NGO Connection Day 2013: TechSoup Asia launched the software sponsoring program for NGOs and NPOs in Vietnam.
(Vietnet-ICT, 29/5/2013): On May 29 2013, the event Technology Connection - NGO Connection Day 2013 was held the second time in Vietnam. The event was organized by Microsoft. With the cooperation of the Center for Information Technology and Communications Vietnet (Vietnet), the event attracted 120 NGO and NPO representatives to participate in the discussion of technology trends and the applications in the organizational management of Vietnamese NGOs and NPOs. In the event, TechSoup Global officially launched the program “TechSoup in Vietnam” to help Vietnamese NGOs and NPOs to gain access and benefits from the software donation programs of Microsoft and many other leading technology companies. This is “a practical program supporting the IT-development orientation of Vietnamese government”. Sharing in the event, Mr. Nguyen Trong Duong – General Director of Department of Information Technology (Ministry of Information and Communications) – stated that the community supporting programs of multi-national technology corporations have recently strongly supported the IT-development orientation of Vietnamese government, especially in the three areas of public services, small and medium enterprises, and IT human resources development. Recently, many start-up businesses, universities, and NGOs have received great support from the technology corporations. In facing many challenges such as limited financial resources, lack of experience in organizational management, lack of IT capacity, the support of copyrighted software and the awards to encourage innovation are of great significance.
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Mr. Nguyen Trong Duong – General Director of Department of Information Technology (Ministry of Information and Communications) speaking in the event. Picture: Duc Hiep

Microsoft and TechSoup Asia launched the software sponsoring program for NGOs and NPOs in Vietnam. As the sponsors of the event and also important partners, Microsoft and TechSoup Asia has introduced the software sponsoring program, effective technology solutions and innovations, as well as macro technological trends to help non-governmental organizations to improve operational efficiency, thereby contributing to the overall socio-economic development of Vietnam. TechSoup Asia is a NPO specializing in providing technological solutions and development resources to NGOs and NPOs.

Mrs. Nguyen Thu Hue – Director of Vietnet-ICT and Mr. Mike Yeaton – Vice Director of TechSoup Asia According to Mr. Mike Yeaton, Vice Director of TechSoup Asia, the NGOs in Vietnam as well as other NGOs around the world are having difficulties in the areas of health, education, environmental assessment. To overcome these challenges and improve operational efficiency, understandably, the NGOs need to be supported in terms of technology. Among the current technological trends, cloud computing is particularly suitable for the operation of community projects. Mrs. Nguyen Thu Hue, Director of Vietnet- ICT shared that this really is an opportunity for the community of NGOs and NPOs in Vietnam to gain access to many inspiring technologies, including cloud computing – the technology that has been bringing changes in working methods and communication of NGOs through the networks of technology. For the NGOs that face limitations in resources, workspaces, human resources, or knowledge of technology, cloud computing can help to save energy, reduce hardware requirements, and is easier to install and maintain than inhouse applications. The second NGO Connection Day allows organizations to exchange knowledge and to learn from experts in the field. This event could not be successful if the organizations were not willing to share their knowledge and experiences with one other.

At the moment, the Vienamese version of the TechSoup Asia’s website (www.techsoup.asia) has been ready to welcome every Vietnamese NGOs and NPOs to join the network.

www.techsoup.asia With only 3 simple steps in the link below, you have successfully completed the registration to participate in the community of volunteer organizations that are using technology to make a difference in their communities, their countries, their regions and around the world. Join the forum and tell your story, listen to the success stories and challenges of other organizations, to participate in the programs and events to help you understand and use technology more effectively. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to update the latest information about software sponsorship programs of Microsoft and other technology companies.

http://www.techsoup.asia/vi/user/register
Step 1: Visit the website of TechSoup Asia

http://www.techsoup.asia/
Create a personal account and sign up to receive regular news, participate in the social network of TechSoup Asia on Facebook and Twitter, at the following link

http://www.techsoup.asia/vi/user/register
Step 2: Sign up for your organization to become a member of TechSoup Asia (please note that is only open to organizations that meets the NPO criteria) Step 3: Choose to order the softwares donated by Microsoft, Adobe, SAP, Symantec Desktop at the following link http://www.techsoup.asia/vi/product

6/ TechSoup Global formed partnership with Vietnet-ICT to expand activities in Vietnam
From April 16th 2013, Vietnet has officially joined the partnership global network of TechSoup Global, becoming a partner of TechSoup Global in Vietnam. With this partnership, Vietnet-ICT is committed to work closely with TechSoup Global in supporting network development and capacity building of non-governmental organizations all over the world through improving access to technology and effective application of technology. TechSoup Global is an international NGO, headquartered in the United States, founded in 1987, with over 25 years of experience in supporting NGOs in accessing global and technological applications to improve the effectiveness and impact of the organization. Through targeted programs for community development, capacity building, conference and workshops, TechSoup Global has assisted technology corporations and charities foundations to maximize their effectiveness and impact through the charity supporting programs. About TechSoup Global, visit the website: www.techsoupglobal.org/

Vietnet-ICT is a Vietnamese NGO that strives to promote opportunities for development of disadvantaged Vietnamese people through narrowing the digital divide and assisting with effective information access. Through promoting partnerships and capacity building Vietnet-ICT enables disadvantaged Vietnamese people to access and benefit from information technology and communication services. For more information about Vietnet-ICT please visit www.vietnet-ict.org In the near future, Vietnet-ICT and TechSoup Global will be the partner of Microsoft in organizing the NGO Connection Day 2013, which will be held on May 29th and May 30th 2013 in Hanoi. (Vietnet-ICT)

7/ Event information: The computer donation ceremony at the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long (Vietnet-ICT, April 3rd, 2013)

On April 5th, 2013, the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long received computers donated by two companies Tran Anh Digital World Join Stock Company and NetPro Academy at the office of MCD and Vietnet-ICT center, Hanoi. This is the first initiative has been done in Viet Nam with a combination of NGO, Private Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs in development of social learning in rural Vietnam. From a story about a dream of a social entrepreneur named Vu Hong Hung, "I have a dream in the near future, Ecolife Café will become the bridge of knowledge for people in Phu Long and promote Community-based Ecotourism for the Protection of Mangrove so that domestic tourists and foreigners will know and love the community initiatives to protect the marine life and the green environment here, and then have a chance to live with the local people in our island... ". The beautiful dream of the social entrepreneur has created deep attraction to not only one, but at the same time to two other people: Mr. Tran Xuan Kien, General Director of Tran Anh Digital World Join Stock Company and businesswoman Dinh Mai Trang, Director of NetPro Academy. That was the root cause for the computer donation th ceremony on April 5 , 2013. At the ceremony, Tran Anh company representatives directly donated 03 sets of computers and NetPro Academy awarded 02 sets of computers to social entrepreneur Vu Hong Hung, who represented the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long In the current tough economic climate, the computers donated are especially meaningful and timely for the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long in particular and the entire people of Phu Long island commune (Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city) in general. The organizers Vietnet-ICT and Ecolife Café Phu Long together with local people will install and develop content in the digital community library on the computer system as well as support technical connection to access the Internet, which will help people to update useful information, thereby narrowing the digital gap between urban and rural areas and raising the living standard of local people.

Welcome colleagues and journalists to attend The computer donation ceremony at the Community Learning Center Ecolife Café Phu Long

Time: 14:00 to 16:00 on April 5th 2013 Venue: Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD) Room 3001, Building 34 T, Hoang Dao Thuy, Cau Giay, Ha Noi To share and witness the creative collaboration of the business community, private enterprise, social entrepreneur community and non-governmental organizations with a desire to expand learning opportunities through improving ability to access information and information technology applications of local people, contributing to the development of sustainable livelihoods and adaptation to climate change. This is one of the co-operation activities Ecolife Café – an initiative of the Center for Marine Conservation and Community Development (MCD) in collaboration with the Center for Information Technology and Communications Vietnet (Vietnet-ICT). Vietnet-ICT is a Vietnamese NGO that strives to promote opportunities for development of disadvantaged Vietnamese people through narrowing the digital divide and assisting with effective information access. Through promoting partnerships and capacity building Vietnet-ICT enables disadvantaged Vietnamese people to access and benefit from information technology and communication services. For more information about Vietnet-ICT please visit www.vietnet-ict.org Contact Information: Ms. Pham Hoang Ngan, Deputy Director, Center Vietnet-ICT Email: phngan@vietnet-ict.org, Phone: 0915 278 078, 0989 14 61 14.

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