Give & Grow Course

Give & Grow course aims to provide youth with opportunities to enhance their community responsibility and leadership, learning how they are connected to the social and environmental issues surrounding them, skills to deepen their understanding of issues they care about, taking purposeful action, increasing self-awareness and confidence by learning about philanthropy concepts, how to give effectively and engaging in service learning projects to address
 a range of issues and needs in their communities.

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Why learning about giving?

Traditions of philanthropy are strongly rooted in societies. However, the backbone of philanthropy is in individual actions in practice. A study has pointed out that philanthropic actions are both altruistic impulses and learned behaviors (Falco et al., 1998; Schervish, 1997).

A study by Ottoni-Wilhelm et al. (2014), kids and adolescents are more likely to give and volunteer if they are exposed to philanthropic conversations and role modeling of philanthropic actions. Literature and practices in developed giving societies show that kids and youth philanthropy has become an important concept in many different ways and levels. It does not only uplift local communities, but also educate a generation of warm hearted, responsible and caring citizens. As long as they have proper education, guidance and support from families and local organizations, kids and youth have the abilities to make the world a better place.

What will you learn from this course?

Through classes in HCMC and Nam Cat Tien, participants will learn:

  • The concept of philanthropy and how mentors can make a difference in their community.
  • How you are connected to the social and environmental issues surrounding you
  • Social justice & diversity
  • How to nurture your philanthropic values and habits
  • Skills to deepen your understanding of issues that you care about: need assessment
  • How to run a service learning project: fundraising, activism and project management, etc.

You will then be grouped into different Giving circles. Participants with the same interests will work together to dive deep in their topics of choice and support each other to give towards the causes in their own capacity. You will be provided with mentorship and resources to apply what you have learned and implement your projects over the course of 6 months.


Projects of Chum fellows


Talking to strangers is a community project, to create conditions for people to have the opportunity to share and connect with each other.


The project aims to promote responsible volunteering among students. The project was selected to participate in the British Council's Active Citizens program in London, January 2020.

Kintsugi project

The project aims to promote mental health among students through creative workshops.

Chum Give & Grow Q&A

Why learning about giving is important?

Research by Ottoni-Wilhelm and Co. (2014) shows that youths will be more likely to give and volunteer if they are exposed to conversations concerning philanthropy and examples of philanthropic actions. Other research also shows that exposing philanthropy to youths not only improves local communities but also educates a new generation of responsible and caring citizens. With the appropriate education, guidance, and support from families and local organisations, youths will be able to make positive impacts and better the world.

‘Give & Grow' is a course that arises from our wish to inspire youths to become caring and thoughtful citizens who will go on to give and share in effective manners.  

Can giving or philanthropy be taught effectively in a course/class?

Research suggests that philanthropic actions stem from compassion as well as teaching (Falco and Co, 1998; Schervish, 1997).

Like any other skills and abilities, values of humanity and related service skills can be nurtured through teaching and nurturing environments such as family, school, and community. 

Besides technical knowledge, Chum brings to its student's experiential learning, resources, and dedicated adults, sharing and equipping the students with foundational skills that will help them on their life-long journey of giving and personal development. 

So many have given and continue to give without any teaching or guidance. What makes ‘Give & Grow' impactful and special?

Whilst Vietnam does have a culture of giving to those who are less fortunate than us, most Vietnamese — out of convenience — only contribute to temporary causes and institutions such as charity trips or calls for one-off donations on the news. Givings which aim at making long-term and sustainable impacts, or at solving complex social issues like health care, environment, education, and culture, remain limited. ISEE's recent research shows that the most popular causes for giving in Vietnam include alleviating poverty or helping the handicapped.

The ‘Give & Grow' course aims at equipping knowledge and skills and encourages effective giving, giving which creates long-term impacts in alleviating social problems. The course also seeks to nurture in youths the habits of caring and sharing with others, the spirits of responsibility and taking interests in issues that matter.

Who is this class for?


  • Aged 16 - 20 in Ho Chi Minh city 
  • Interested in furthering their understanding about giving and philanthropy, or nurturing philanthropic values within themselves.
  • These youths should also be able to commit for the full length of the course, which includes: 
    1. 2 learning days from 8 am to 6 pm at HCMC.
    2. 4 learning days in Nam Cat Tien National Park. 
    3. a 6-month service project in teams or individually in HCMC 
  • Monthly meetings with a Chum's mentor during the experimental phase.  

The service project will be initiated and put to work by the students themselves. 

What will I get out of the class?

The philanthropy class will help enhance community responsibility and leadership, learning: 

  • How you are connected to the social and environmental issues surrounding you 
  • How you are connected to the social and environmental issues surrounding you 
  • Social justice & diversity 
  • How to nurture your philanthropic values and habits 
  • Taking purposeful action, increasing confidence by engaging in service learning projects to address
 a range of issues and needs in your communities.

They learn about worlds beyond their own experience. They also learn confidence in public speaking, how to make a case, how to choose a charity, research skills, fundraising skills and empathy. Through this experience, they can then define what philanthropy means to them and what change they would like to see in the world. They learn, just by small acts of giving, how to become a change maker, learning how to collaborate and make a difference. They learn about the multiplier effect of small acts and the large impact that can have on their communities. 

The course also encourages the development of “personal and social capability” via the application of personal, interpersonal and social skills and behaviours; through working collaboratively and constructively in groups; developing their communication, decision-making, conflict resolution and leadership skills; and learning to appreciate the insights and perspectives of others. 

Who are the lecturers of this course?

The mentor of this course will be professionals in the field of community development. 

What are the fees?

All tuition and accommodation at Nam Cat Tien are sponsored. Students are only asked to contribute 1.000.000 VND to cover their food and transportation costs (from HCMC to Nam Cat Tien). 

Are there scholarships available?

This course is a gift, given by many who wish to devote their time, wisdom, skills, and finance in hope that these will inspire those who take part in the course to create positive impacts for themselves and then spread such to their society.

Can students from outside HCMC participate in this course?

As the course requires students to work closely with mentors in follow-up activities, we encourage only students from neighbouring provinces such as Long An and Bien Hoa, capable of arranging their own transports and ensuring participation, to apply. 

Can I join the course in HCMC and Nam Cat Tien, but launch my project in another province?

Because the course requires students to work closely with mentors in follow-up activities, being in another province comes with complications. As such, the course will take in only those who can participate in all activities in HCMC. 

Is experience in community service a decisive factor in the application process?

Not necessarily.

Who are the mentors?

Mentors are professionals who have experienced running for managing community projects and/or have sound knowledge of the NGO/NPO sector in Vietnam. 

Is it necessary to do a community service project in teams within 6 months following the course? How will this project be done?

Community service projects provide the opportunities for students of ‘Give & Grow' to apply what they have just learned, to experience and learn from experience, along with friends and mentors. 

There are a lot of ways to do philanthropy: individual, familial, organisational. ‘Give & Grow' bring together those similar concerns to form a ‘giving circles’ — groups of donors who put anything from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars (and in some cases much more) into a pool of funds, teach themselves about effective forms of philanthropy and issue areas, and decide collectively how to allocate their money.  

Giving circles necessarily promote discussion, as decisions about what cause to support, how much to give, what activities and workshops to organise, are made jointly by all members in the groups.  

Six months is an estimated equired time. After this period, students are encouraged to continue and develop their projects with help from CHUM's mentors.

What resources will Chum provide the students so that they can successfully operate their community service projects?

  • Guiding documents 
  • Advice from mentors. they will share their technical knowledge and skills. Mentors can introduce or partner your teams with individuals or organisations that can help you out with their finance or technical expertise. 

What kind of activities will there be after the course?

When the course finishes, students will get to join the alumni network - network of young philanthropists. This network will provide students the space to share their philanthropic experiences and continue improving their knowledge through interval exchanges and training. Alumni can also collaborate with the following batches of CHUM fellows.

Can the course be replicated to other provinces in Vietnam?

This is the pilot phase of the project. We plan to provide the training to more students across Vietnam.

How does the course measure its impact on Chum fellows?

We measure immediate impact on participants by pre-and post training surveys.