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Youth take the lead in community development

Trang is the owner of Lake View Homestay, a traditional stilt house in Da Bia, Vietnam, that welcomes guests from around the world.

She is also Da Bia’s coordinator for the award-winning tourism enterprise in her region. In this role, she ensures the benefits of tourism are shared equally among tourism service providers in Da Bia.

Da Bia is located in the north-west Hoa Binh province – a remote, mountainous area where around 30 per cent of people remain trapped below the poverty line.

Trang’s journey brings her back home

Trang moved away from Da Bia when she was still in high school to pursue her studies. After school, she took a job at a technology company, but found the work boring and the pay unreliable. She was also concerned about her parents’ health, and decided to move back home in 2016.

When she came home, Trang found a lot of changes. With Action on Poverty’s support, Da Bia had begun to develop tourism services, such as homestays and guided tours, to bring income to local families who were struggling to survive as farmers. Trang noticed that people were earning more, the village was cleaner, and the community had more environmental awareness.

Although she had been thinking of becoming a teacher, she changed her mind and decided to join the tourism project.

Trang sitting on the steps of her homestay

Becoming a leader and entrepreneur

Ms Trang took on the role of coordinator in February 2017. With 39 households in Da Bia, and at least one person in each house involved with tourism, her job is busy!

“The best thing about my job is being able to meet many different people, especially foreigners, so I can learn more English,” said Ms Trang.

“Because I am a local, I have the advantage when working with the community and guiding them in sustainable development.”

In January 2018, Trang also opened her own homestay.

“My homestay has a great view with good ventilation. I have made personal touches, such as the lamp covers and recycled pot plants.”

The future of tourism in Da Bia

Trang has a strong vision for sustainable tourism in her community.

“We don’t want to attract as many visitors as possible, but people who care about the community they’re visiting,” she said. “I also want to study further in tourism so I can better help my community.”

Trang is always striving to learn and grow. In August 2021, Trang officially joined our team in Vietnam after 6 months of internship in our Community-based Tourism project.

Now, with a new role as a Field Coordinator, she uses her knowledge and experience to help many more communities in the northern mountainous regions to thrive and lead them in sustainable development.

This project is supported by Irish Aid and by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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Because I am a local, I have the advantage when working with the community and guiding them in sustainable development.

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