ShineWOMEN with Hoa Sua School for Disadvantaged Youth


Shine is a series of seminars that aims to empower women through inspirational, practical, and experiential methods of learning. Apart from that, Shine also offers “training” programs that develops new “trainers” that will speak in Shine seminars as well. Since its establishment in Cambridge, Australia five years ago, Shine has hosted training programs in over 30 countries, and has collaborated with over 1,000 organizations. With its focus on girl and women empowerment, Shine has branched off into two main categories: ShineGIRL and ShineWOMEN; both on improving social skills and building a strong foundation to accomplish hopes and dreams.

After attending ShineWOMEN’s training sessions, CoRE decided to partner up with Shine Hanoi to provide a course that would empower local women in Hanoi from 16th May to 24th June; specifically 20 women from Hoa Sua School for Disadvantaged Youth. These women, ages from 18-22, did not have many opportunities due to poor economic status and enrolled in the Hoa Sua School for Disadvantaged Youth to be trained in the hospitality sector. Although the Hoa Sua School increases their chances of succeeding economically, their social skills are lacking which is why they were chosen to participate in these courses.

In the beginning of the ShineWOMEN course, participants seem distant and unwillingly to trust anyone else besides their own group of friends; mimicking the reserved attitude that many would display in the real world. Whether this is due to lack of self-confidence or a defense mechanism, ShineWOMEN has three foundation concepts to abolish this attitude that will be taught over eight courses:

  • Worth – Understanding their uniqueness will allow for each participant to understand how valuable they are.
  • Strength – The power of choice and the importance of respect, identifying feelings, willpower, and values.
  • Purpose – By identifying concrete hopes, desires and dreams, it will unlock potential and talents that will allow each woman to appreciate themselves as an individual even further.


The first three sessions focuses on making sure each individual knows that they are valuable to others, and most importantly valuable to themselves. The first step in allowing women to open themselves up to the world is for them to understand how unique they are. No one is the exact same. If one person is a copy of another, it depletes the value of both persons. When each participant understands how much value they hold, it is hard to depreciate their value.



Seminars four and five focus on going deeper into the mind of each participant and making them understand their feelings. Here, participants understand how they process feelings by “Stopping,” “Feeling,” “Thinking,” and “Deciding,” and the Five Languages of Love to understand how they accept love. The women were given the opportunity to share any insecurity and any moments where they lost control of their feelings. Trainers do not force anyone to share, but encourage the women to share their experiences to further understand the source of their emotional distress.


The last three seminars focus on helping each woman deal with the difficulties of life. Resilience and remembering the value of life are crucial when overcoming obstacles. Trainers remind the participants that everything in life requires a strong foundation. Hopes and dreams need to be built upon strong self-actualization and good and bad experiences in life. The main focus of these last two seminars is for participants to develop a strong sense of who they are and what they really want in life.

At this point in time, the participants of ShineWOMEN have graduated the course with a new set of skills that will aid them in socialization, and achieving and setting goals. Trainers worked over the course of eight sessions to help women realize their potential and self-worth. Before part-taking these courses, the woman participants were very reserved however, afterwards they evolved into women that had more confidence in themselves. During the graduation ceremony, many made a comment of how appreciative they are of every woman in the room. They felt that they “grew and became much more powerful women together.” Their newly found confidence was very apparent and would not waver, thanks to ShineWOMEN building the necessary foundation concepts of Worth, Strength and Purpose.

Community Based On Health Care Workshops


Following the success of the first step of Community Health Training – “Mentoring and Coaching Workshop”, Resource Exchange International (REI) continues collaborating with Center for Counseling, Research and Empowering Community (CoRE) in implementing “Community Based Health Care Workshop” to equip social workers with exploring how communities can effectively take ownership for their own health and development.

Taken place from 15th to 18th October 2015 at Tea Talk Cafe with 26 participants including Community Developers, Social Workers, teachers and students in relative field, day 1 of training began with a look at worldview and neuroscience as influencers in how people change. This was followed by a review of the previous workshop on Mentoring and Coaching, sharing how those skills have been used practically over the past 4 months, and connecting coaching with neuroscience and change. The rest of the day was spent looking at community based health care (CBHC), community development, and some of the factors that affect the overall life of the community. The questions for group discussion included “What is Community?”  , “What are aspects of Life in Vietnamese Community?”  , “What is Community Development?”  , “What is Community Based?”  .


The discussions defined above concepts such as: “A Community is a group of people living together in a defined geographic location and sharing common interests, culture and resources. The aspects of life in Vietnamese community include geographic location, education, economy, law and policy… “Community Development” is A process in which the people of a community grow in their ability to solve their own problems and take control of their lives resulting in growth of the whole person (physical, psychological, spiritual) and improvement of the various aspects of their community (health, agriculture, water, relationships, etc.).

CoRE_CBCH 2 Day 2 built on the idea of community development by looking at Empowerment – what it is, how it relates to communities, and how it can encourage communities to reach their potential. Participants learnt that “Empowerment is Equipping people with what they need in order get the results they are trying to achieve. Appreciative Inquiry, Resource Mapping and Coaching were several tools that were presented as a means for the community health worker to facilitate empowerment in the community. These tools were practiced in group and used on Day 3 during a field experience by all participants.

Day 3 began by dividing into 5 groups of 5 people which visited 5 different communities including businesses and homes to practice Appreciative Inquiry, Resource Mapping and Coaching questions to help themselves and the communities see the assets and resources they have upon which they could build. On returning, participants discussed what each group discovered during the exercise. The sociology of change (Diffusion of Innovation), Approach to Human Need and Helping That Hurts were introduced in the afternoon that helped participants explore the effective ways to work with community.


(Some pictures of Resource Mapping drawn by participants after doing interviews with communities)

Day 4 looked again at Coaching skills and Level of Learning that showed which stage people need a coach. Besides, trainers reviewed how communities actually change and demonstrated the Problem Solving Process as a practical tool in that process. The participants tied all the concepts together from the 4 days, discussed and made a specific plan to access, partner and empower community to apply them in their various settings. Finally, the possibility of future training was discussed with CoRE leadership members and the participants.


(Some pictures of Community Development plan presented by groups of participants)


Mentoring and Coaching Workshops


Our health is perhaps the thing we take most for granted and, as a global community, we are often too late to realize when something is wrong. Here at CoRE, we believe whole-heartedly that through greater social awareness and education – we can move past our previous misconceptions about health, and develop, as individuals, into an entire community of care givers and receivers.

From the 18th – 21st June, in partnership with Research Exchange International (REI), CoRE hosted a series of community health training workshops, as part of a bigger program designed to equip Social Workers with adult learning and coaching skills integral to engaging community health staff. As well as this, participants would be mentored in health campaign management and local partnership building – with the aim of not only improving the skills of community health professionals, but also providing them with the confidence to initiate social change independently.


The program was assembled by American anthropologists Dr. Gary Hipp, Mrs. Merri Lee Hipp and Dr. David Bjork and called upon a wealth of knowledge and experience in the fields of public healthcare and community development.

Part I of the workshop, “Mentoring and Coaching”, took place towards the end of June and proved to be a huge success. NGO health care professionals, social workers and university students were all in attendance – many of whom were already friends of CoRE from previous workshops.


The aim of part I was to familiarize the students with different mentoring and coaching techniques that can then be transferred to the local community. In doing this, participants would then be able to teach others how to become mentors – thus enabling the wider community to actively engage in public health.

The students started off by getting to know each other and the workshop directors. Then, participants explored the differences between mentoring and coaching, and the effect that assuming either of these roles will subsequently have on the health care receiver. Discussion then turned towards effective adult learning methods and the LePSA (Learner Centered, Problem posing, Self Discovery, Action Oriented) framework – which places importance firmly on the learner, rather than the facilitator. Read more