A joint initiative of Cisco Systems, the Hanoi Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the one-year project will help 40 destitute women — mainly rehabilitating sex workers and drug users — acquire the necessary skills to reintegrate into society and find jobs.
With technical support from the Bach Khoa Networking Academy in the Hanoi University of Technology, UN Volunteers from Viet Nam and abroad will teach at the Ba Vi facility English and a standardised IT training curriculum developed by Cisco.
UNV Programme Officer in Viet Nam Koen Van Acoleyen said the women on finishing the training will be ready to enter the workforce. "This project is highly innovative as it does not only provide the residents of the Ba Vi centre with internationally recognised IT training, but also provides support in English and job placement,” he said.
The UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of UNDP in Viet Nam, Mr. Jordan Ryan, said the training initiative reflects current labour demand. “The IT sector is growing fast in Viet Nam and we need more skilled people – more skilled women – to work with Cisco and other companies who will lead this hi-tech transition in the Vietnamese economy,” he said. “This [project] is an excellent example of like-minded partners coming together from both the public and private sectors… all sharing resources for the same goal – to help the women in this community in a very tangible and sustainable manner.”
In 2004, Cisco Systems and UNV Viet Nam conducted a training needs assessment at the Ba Vi centre, confirming the women’s interest in receiving IT training. The assessment equally stressed the necessity to combine the training with English and job placement support.