Funded by USAID through a partnership with Fulbright University Vietnam, the ASEAN Social Impact Program (ASIP), hosted by the Student Engagement Unit, aims to develop cross-boundary leadership and project management skills among young changemakers to tackle social issues across the region. This year’s program focuses on the theme of “Towards Zero Waste.”
ASIP brought together 100 young changemakers divided into 10 teams from various universities in Vietnam to explore waste management issues and the zero-waste model. Winning teams have received up to $10,000 in total to realize their ideas.
The program received 300 applications from students from 70 universities nationwide, including Fulbright University Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City International University, Foreign Trade University, Diplomatic Academy Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Can Tho University, VNUK Institute for Research and Executive Education, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH), and University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH).
ASIP has partnered with some of the pioneering companies in the zero waste movement, such as Decathlon, Dong Dong, Dear Our Community, Ecovietnam, LitMart, Larva Yum, Mega Market, Muji, Pizza 4P’s, and Vinamilk. “My favorite part of the program is the on-site visits to companies. I enjoy it a lot because I could get a glimpse of what giant companies and startups are doing to move towards zero waste,” says Luong Huu Nam from Team Greentopia from Ho Chi Minh city University of Education.
The winning team, Ring Ring, received $5,000 for their idea of turning fabric scraps into canvases for picture frames, partnering with local artists to create sustainable and stylish statements.
- 1st Runner-up:
TAM – a campaign to educate young people aged 15-24 in Hanoi about zero waste practices by creating a visually appealing handbook and organizing a summer camp.
- 2nd Runner-up:
7UP – A project to collect used textbooks from elementary schools In Ho Chi Minh City and distribute them to students in need.
8th Wonder – A project to raise the awareness of university students in Ho Chi Minh City about the environmental impacts of food waste, and help them plan their meals efficiently, and reuse leftover food effectively
By the end of the 3-day program, ASIP 2023 left a positive impact on participants, with 96% satisfied with the overall quality of the program and 100% willing to recommend it to friends. Participants gained knowledge about project management, fundraising, and the process of implementing a project. ASIP brought together non-Vietnamese students with Vietnamese students from different universities and regions, promoting cross-boundary leadership and teamwork.
“I feel very grateful as a non-Vietnamese student who had this opportunity to work with the other Vietnamese students who came from different universities and regions around Vietnam. Thank you so much ASIP 2023 for this opportunity,” shared Venancia Tereza Koten Da Silva from Team TAM from Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry.