We believe that to be able to make a real impact you have to be a leader, clear about your intentions, and able to create trust.

In 2014, we teamed up with the British Council to deliver the Active Citizens program, an international endeavour to create young social leaders across the world. Bound by a common goal to create a fairer and more inclusive society in Vietnam, CSDS and the British Council implements workshops under the I COMMIT program training young people to affect social change in their home communities.

The programme works with people who have demonstrated local social responsibility, including youth workers, women’s groups, educators and faith leaders. Working together, these local influencers build trust and understanding, develop skills and deliver projects on urgent themes such as poverty, literacy, democracy and climate change, and connecting local and international agendas through the programme.

The Active Citizens programme envisages a world in which these increasing connections lead to positive outcomes. A world where people feel empowered to engage peaceably and effectively with others in the sustainable development of their communities.

CSDS engages in small-scale capacity building for Vietnamese youth leaders and helps them develop their complementary (to formal education) skills. CSDS has engaged over 2,000 local youth in various community service projects aiming to address social or environmental problems in disadvantaged communities around the country.

Under its auspices and support, five different youth volunteer groups with over 100 core members plus over 1,000 volunteers, are actively engaged in community service. Among a number of training programs, I-Commit is the youth capacity building program developed and designed by CSDS in cooperation with its European partners aiming to enable young people to realize their vision of life and actively contribute to a better world through a social project or entrepreneurship.

The traineeship is about combining results and personal growth. In this traineeship youth learn to become a leader who is able to stand for his or her beliefs, who is creative, and who looks for alternative solutions.

The main objectives are:

  • To contribute to sustainable development in Vietnam through building the capacity of youth to effectively engage in community service and social innovation
  • To create a pool of facilitators who can conduct the Active Citizens program for young people in Vietnam. We achieve this by training a group of potential trainers and facilitators.
  • To increase the effectiveness of community engagement among youth through training, coaching and networking. We achieve this by organising Active Citizens workshops for youth; providing regular coaching for the participants and groups in their community service projects;  organising a sharing session to provide tools to work in their community project and providing seed grants for their projects.
  • To promote Active Citizens Programme in Vietnam. We achieve this by organising a conference to present youth public policy recommendations and highlight the results and successes of civic action projects and by producing video clips and other social media products on active citizenship.