Poussières de Vie, French for ‘Dust of Life’, is the translation of a Vietnamese phrase describing street children. Made up entirely of unpaid volunteers, Poussières de Vie is an independent, values-based non-profit, non-religious and non-political organisation helping Vietnam’s most disadvantaged people through funding and managing a variety of projects in Ho Chi Minh City and Kon Tum province.
We promote lasting change in the lives of Vietnamese disadvantaged children by bringing them back to school, teaching them a trade and helping with their personal development. We train the youth to use computers and speak English to broaden their horizons.
Founded in 2002 by Patrick Désir and Olivier Petiot, Poussières de Vie’s projects have since helped thousands of children. “We want to help street children in Ho Chi Minh City by giving them the means to support themselves and their families–not by begging but by going back to school or learning a trade,” Patrick says. Since 1998, Patrick Désir has lived in Ho Chi Minh City, where he manages his own IT services company. Both of his grandmothers were Vietnamese. Paris-based Olivier Petiot also manages an IT company and one of his grandmothers was Vietnamese. “Obviously our backgrounds in the IT industry explain PdV’s significant focus on IT training,” Patrick says with a smile.
Made up entirely of unpaid volunteers, Poussieres de Vie (PdV) is an independent, values-based non-profit, non-religious and non-political organisation helping Vietnam’s most disadvantaged people through funding and managing a variety of projects in Ho Chi Minh City and Kon Tum province. Under the stewardship of Patrick Desir and Olivier Petiot, PdV generates funds through fundraising events (e.g. Kermesse, live concerts, sports days…) and via CSR partnerships.
PdV pays qualified teachers and social workers at its two training centres in HCMC and in the Kon Tum province to help ensure that the children receive high quality instruction and care. Furthermore, PdV pays BAFA-qualified (“Brevet d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur”, french youth leadership certificate for summer camps) instructors at the orphanages the organization collaborates with in Kon Tum.
STRATEGY & VALUES
Through its variety of projects, Poussières de Vie seeks to achieve four broader goals:
Firstly, we aim at developing solidarity between disadvantaged children who compete for their livelihood. Children have to realise their future will be safer if they help each other.
Secondly, with help from social workers and volunteers, the PdV centres become safe havens for the children to turn to. They learn that people do care about them.
Thirdly, we aim to equip the children with skills and a solid education for them to live independent and sustainable futures.
Finally, we aspire to significantly improve not only the lives of disadvantaged children but also their families and communities. At PdV, we live by our values – ‘compassion’, ‘opportunity’, ‘solidarity’ and ‘making a difference’:
Compassion: Compassion comprises two parts – “co” meaning together and “passion” meaning a strong emotion. When we see someone, particularly young, vulnerable children, in seemingly hopeless situations, we at PdV feel their pain as if it were our own. We strive to help them by giving them a chance for a better life. And that’s because we care.
Opportunity: We believe everyone deserves an opportunity to gain an education and have a brighter future. At PdV we strive to help disadvantaged children help themselves by realising they can do something more with their lives.
Solidarity: Changing the lives of our society’s most disadvantaged children is no easy feat. On the streets, children compete with each other for their livelihood yet they have to realise that their future will be safer if they help each other. As a society we need to join forces to help our most disadvantaged people. PdV not only tries to bring together disadvantaged children, but also to bring together the broader society to help those in need.
Making a difference: Ultimately, PdV is committed to making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children. Our children are our future and by making a difference in their lives, they can realise their potential and alleviate themselves from poverty. Through compassion we can create opportunities for disadvantaged children, and foster solidarity amongst them and the wider society to ultimately make a lasting difference.