Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured
Established in Hanoi in 2004, REACH has a unique history and proven track record. Formerly known as the Livelihood Advancement Business School, LABS was established as a project of Plan international, to fill the training gap for employers. Since its inception, REACH has achieved phenomenal growth. The number of students graduating each year has increased at an incredible rate, nearly doubling every year from the previous intake. The popularity of the courses at REACH is most likely due to an increasing awareness in the community about the program’s success; more than 80% of the students who graduate find employment. To keep up with the rate of demand, increasing the resources supporting the program was seen as imperative. So in early 2008, LABS decided to follow plans for expansion and become an independent local NGO. In July, LABS was given the new name of REACH. REACH is now an independently run organization with an entirely Vietnamese staff.
Success is measured by the number of students successfully placed in jobs 6 months post training graduation. REACH’s target is that at least 80% of graduated students get placed in employment per batch cycle (three batch cycles of 4 months each) per year. And that target has been met since 2004. Originally the program started with Hanoi in the North and Danang and Hue in the Central region. Now REACH has grown to multiple satellite centers that set up training programs in rural areas - other very needy areas of Vietnam (5 satellite centers). REACH has also extended the target group to people living with HIV and trafficked girls.
Currently REACH has trained a total of 6,032 students to date with plans to train an additional 2,100 students in 2012 and 2,500 in 2013. REACH's Quality of Life survey shows that 71% of students report an increase in their perception of power, choice, resources, security, and capability as well as a 600% rise in income.
How will your project evolve over the next three years?
1) REACH is planning to become financially independent from donor funding over the next three years. REACH is currently undergoing a Cost Recovery Model analysis, exploring ways to become more sustainable and generate income. Thus REACH will evolve from a non-profit to a social enterprise by the end of three years. But this will happen in phases, with donor funding growing smaller each successive year as we pilot and test out the cost recovery plans throughout our offices in Vietnam.
2) REACH is also planning to expand into the southern region of Vietnam by setting up a permanent center in Ho Chi Minh City by early 2012. We are looking to enter into a new industry and pilot a skilled welding course. We are also working on an aggressive satellite center expansion in all regions.