In Vietnam, educational disparities persist between rural and urban areas. Around 92% of children in urban areas complete high school, whereas the completion rate drops to only 31% for those in rural areas [1]. This gap is particularly noticeable in English education, with challenges including a shortage of qualified teachers, inadequate infrastructure and funding, limited opportunities for language practice outside of classrooms, and learners’ lack of motivation due to difficult life circumstances [2].

These disparities not only impact children’s access to quality education but also disproportionately affect disadvantaged women, who face barriers in accessing self-improvement opportunities and achieving gender equality. Shockingly, two out of three Vietnamese women experience domestic abuse. They also face wage gaps, discrimination at work, and limited opportunities for career advancement. The gender earnings gap stands at 21.5% in urban areas and 35.2% in rural areas. Despite similar education levels and working hours as men, women often find themselves in lower-paid sectors and part-time work [3].

Addressing these pressing issues requires immediate action, aligning with the Vietnamese national strategy for 2025-2030. This strategy prioritizes the establishment of an inclusive, fair, and high-quality education system that promotes lifelong learning and global integration by 2030 [4]. Additionally, the strategy aims to ensure that by 2030, 90% of individuals facing domestic and gender-based violence have access to at least one basic support service, while also striving to increase the proportion of female wage workers to 60% [5].


Catalyst for Change Vietnam (C4C) is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 by Hong Tang. Originally called Coins for Change, our mission is to address these prominent issues and make a positive impact on the lives of rural children and disadvantaged women in Vietnam. Through two flagship programs, Teach for Change and The Empowerment Plan, we provide educational, vocational, business, and mental health support.

a) Teach for Change (TFC) Program:

In collaboration with 23+ women-led language centers across Vietnam, the TFC program aims to reduce educational disparities for children learning English. We recruit passionate volunteers from around the world with strong communication skills, TESOL training, and extensive educational experience. Our dedicated volunteers, driven by their love for children, come to Vietnam to teach English, exchange cultures, and empower children with knowledge, skills, and confidence. Through nurturing a love for learning and promoting cultural understanding, we bridge the educational gap and equip these children for a brighter future.

b) The Empowerment Plan (TEP) Program:

TEP takes a holistic approach to support disadvantaged women in Vietnam. We provide vocational training, funding opportunities, business skills development, and psychological therapy to empower these women to overcome socioeconomic barriers and achieve self-reliance. The mothers of children in Teach For Change can also engage in learning via this program. This integrated approach fosters a collaborative environment, where the benefits of education and empowerment extend not only to the children but also to their mothers, creating a pathway towards a brighter and more inclusive future for the entire family. The program comprises three projects:

  1. Her Academy: An online platform offering courses on self-improvement, childcare, and business management, equipping women with knowledge and skills.
  2. Her Craft: A vocational training center and shop teaching women handcrafting skills and providing a platform to sell their products.
  3. Her Kitchen: A restaurant offering free culinary and hospitality training programs for women in need.

At C4C, we operate as a social enterprise, running revenue-generating businesses to fund programs that benefit society. Our self-sustaining model ensures autonomy in decision-making and the delivery of social impact, distinguishing us from traditional charities reliant on donations.


With 9 years in operation (4 years in COVID-19), our impacts align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically:

a) Goal 4: Quality Education: By addressing educational disparities and providing quality education to rural children, we contribute to ensuring inclusive and equitable education for all.

  • 23+ active TFC partner language centers operating throughout Vietnam.
  • 1100+ volunteers have participated in our TFC program.
  • 36+ countries where volunteers have joined us from.
  • 5,000+ Vietnamese students are learning English.

b) Goal 5: Gender Equality: We focus on empowering disadvantaged women, promoting gender equality, and providing them with the tools and opportunities to thrive.

  • 260,000+ women have connected through Her Academy open Facebook group
  • 996 women have received direct money support (2.917.500 VND was deducted from TEP Fund)

c) Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth: By equipping disadvantaged women with vocational training and business skills, we foster economic growth and create opportunities for income generation and financial independence.

  • 398 mothers have received support in training, psychological counseling, business skills training, parenting skills, etc. online
  • 60 ethnic minority women have been trained under 1-year offline professional training and working in Her Craft.
  • 14 women have been trained and are working in Her Kitchen.

d) Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities: Through our programs, we reduce inequalities by bridging the educational gap and empowering marginalized individuals, ensuring equal access to opportunities for personal growth and development.


Through our Teach for Change program, we prioritize building confidence, fostering love of learning, and promoting cultural exchange. Our efforts go beyond teaching English; we are committed to creating a transformative learning environment that nurtures the overall development of children in rural areas. By equipping students with these skills, we empower them to overcome language barriers and any challenges they may face in life.

Regarding gender equality and women’s advancement, The Empowerment Plan program focuses on supporting women’s entrepreneurship. We recognize the significant role it plays in enhancing their economic independence and overall well-being. By providing essential resources, training, and mentorship opportunities, we enable disadvantaged women to thrive, improve their quality of life, and actively contribute to Vietnam’s social and economic fabric.

We envision a Vietnam where all individuals, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or geographical location, have access to education, skills, and resources needed to reach their full potential and uplift their communities. Join us today to be a Catalyst for Change!

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[1] UNICEF & MICS-EAGLE. (2022). Vietnam Education Summary Report.
[2] Pham, C. (2021). English language education in rural areas: current issues, complexities, and ways forward. VNU Journal of Science: Education Research.
[3] Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs & Vietnam’s General Statistics Office. (2020). Summary of work for the advancement of women in Statistics period 2016-2020 and directions and tasks for period 2021-2025.
[4] Ministry of Education and Training. (2024). Education development strategy for the period up to 2030, vision to 2045.
[5] Vietnam Government. (2022). National strategy on gender equality for the period 2021-2030.