FAQs About Catalyst Foundation


What cities or regions of Vietnam do you work in? Do you have headquarters in certain locations?

We currently work in Ninh Thuận Province, Thuận Bắc District

Our headquarters recently relocated to Phan Rang – Tháp Chàm,  Ninh Thuận Province and Portland, Oregon.

Are there things you would like to highlight about the program?

Our mission is to build communities to fight human trafficking. We work together with our key stakeholders (children, parents, hamlet leaders, caretakers, social workers, and teachers) to prioritize what programs are needed: education, housing, food, job training, debt management and/or emotional support, etc.

As we set long-term objectives for the community, they begin to realize that the poverty, discrimination and dehumanization that they’ve experienced throughout their entire lives, will eventually change to hope and a brighter future for their children.

The main objective of Catalyst Foundation’s work is to assist our community in becoming self-sufficient. We firmly believe that the most effective way to break the cycle of poverty is to strategically empower whole communities by educating, providing training and employment, building safe dwellings, and empowering children to stand up with dignity.

We have a partnership with the local government and an ethnic minority community in Ninh Thuận. They are members of one of the smallest Vietnamese ethnic minorities, the Raglai. Making up less than 1% of the population, they are nine times poorer than the ethnic majority, the Viet Kinh. This community lives in a small, rural hamlet; only speaks their indigenous language; and faces much discrimination from the ethnic majority, including being denied educational and job opportunities and access to basic services.

In the past, the Raglai people lived following their cultural roots, growing simple crops supplemented with rice and maize and they had enough to eat.  They lived in traditional stilted houses, on the high, flat terrains of the neighboring mountains. They were always close to mountain springs and other sources of water.  Unfortunately, according to a 2010 World Bank Report: “Despite government assistance efforts, ethnic minority groups still lag behind in living standards. Worse still, concerns were voiced that ethnic minority groups are subject to stereotypes that portray them as negatively as backward, superstitious, and conservative.”  Our group of dedicated staff carry out Catalyst’s daily mission to provide assistance to needy children and their families.  The Founder and Executive Director, Caroline Nguyen Ticarro, is based in the U.S.A. and leads Catalyst Foundation. The Country Director, Joseph Kerr, helps guide the organization and works with our team of social workers, teachers, and project assistants.

The funding we need, goes in its entirety, to the 48 multi-generational Raglai people that we serve. This community is made up of a total of 277 family members. The direct impact improves the lives, provides education, and access to medical care to the hamlet of more than 2,400 people.

What are all of the programs and events that the Project Backpack program cover?

Catalyst Foundation’s Project Backpack assists our community in becoming self-sufficient. The four facets of our program activities are children’s primary education, adult education/community lessons, vocational training, and social services. This holistic program gives our children the opportunity to become students in primary and secondary schools, provide opportunities to educate families and local residents about trafficking, children rights and child development, to feed all the school children in the community, monitor and ensure children’s health, and teach simple, sustainable and practical means of earning an income.

What will the CPP funds specifically go towards?

The Collective Philanthropy Project allows us to fund the following:

EDUCATION – $27,500

We will increase enrollment of 200 Raglai children in primary and secondary schools throughout rural Ninh Thuận Province.

Annual cost per child:

  • School Fee $7.50
  • Uniforms $10
  • School Supplies $5
  • Shoes $5
  • Monthly Food Distribution for the family (Rice, fish, vegetables, soy sauce, fish sauce, cooking oil)  $20
  • Daily school lunch 50¢/day $90


We will provide community education for children so that they can succeed in school, for adults who need basic literacy education and for the community who must learn basic life skills, human rights, and child development.

  • Tutors for children’s education $1200
  • Adult Literacy education $1200
  • Community education trainers & supplies$1100


Teach simple, sustainable and practical means of earning an income.

  • Vocational training classes for 50-60 adults in construction, bicycle/motorbike repair, sewing/tailor, farming (educators & supplies) $10,000
  • Micro loans $5000

FOOD – $10,000

To feed all 200 school children in the Raglai community.

  • Kitchen & Cafeteria Construction $7500
  • Salaries for 3 mothers to work for 9 months  $2400
  • Community garden – provide new vegetables $100


Monitor and evaluate program to ensure sustainable improvements in children’s health.

  • Dental Visits (3x/year) $1500
  • Medical Visits (3x/year) $1500
  • Multivitamins, antibiotics, aspirin, anti-parasitic and vaccinations $500

How do you normally fund your organization?

We are committed to fundraising throughout the year, but more targeted campaigns are held in January, March, August, and November.  We use our experience to seek out funding utilizing social media and crowdfunding from individuals, families, small businesses, and many partner organizations.  We are not tied to any single donor.

How could someone volunteer or get involved with the Catalyst Foundation?

We are continually inviting groups of volunteers to immerse themselves in the community to make a lasting connection and understand where the funds are used. Catalyst Foundation has at its disposal a network of humanitarian and corporate volunteers scheduled to come throughout the year to provide expertise, advice, and labor. In the last 17 years, we have had 900 volunteers of all ages come to Vietnam from the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Australia, France, Denmark, Sweden, Singapore, England, Spain, and Indonesia. In March and August of 2017 we will have two different groups of university/college students who will come to our project site to expand our community garden and build our kitchen/cafeteria.

For those that can’t travel to Vietnam, we ask our volunteers to help us fundraise and make an in kind donation on behalf of the children and families we serve in Vietnam. We have a general list of services and goods we need that can be found online here: www.catalystfoundation.org/volunteer/opportunities .