the Mission

Every year, the Greater Mekong region has a great influx of more than 14,000 girls and young women who leave Vietnam to marry men in neighboring countries such as Korea and Taiwan through a “brides trading industry” carried out by illegal marriage brokers.

These brides usually see those marriages as a means for their families’ financial needs, as they receive a considerable amount of money upon a successful “trade”.  While most brides get to achieve their goals, many still get mistreated, alienated, or even become victims of human trafficking due to their trust in illegal marriage brokers, and lack of educational backgrounds and preparations before going abroad.

Through our region-wide education and advocacy programs, we will mentor girls and young women in developing their potentials, vocational skills, and knowledge so that they can both thrive financially and make better, safer choices in life. Moving forward, the project hopes to provide the foundation for future women's and human rights organizations, as well as local governments, to work together to find the most practical solutions in the present context of Vietnam and around the world.

We are expecting to launch our first pilot program at the Vi Thang People's Committee Office and Vi Thang High School by the end of October 2017.



Education Level of Brides Before Marriage



Mekong Livelihoods is a project that was developed both within and outside of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI U), a forum  to mobilize college students around the world to create innovative solutions to global challenges.


Through our personal development and career development curriculum, we can empower girls and young women to develop confidence, capacity and knowledge needed to improve the quality of life. Furthermore, ongoing advocacy efforts at the regional, national, and international levels will help reaffirm the importance of protecting human rights in the society.


the team


Vy Thai

Co-Founder & Project Leader


Vy Thai is a junior pursuing a major in Political Science and a minor in Social Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University. Growing up as an active member of her community in Vietnam, Thai has developed a sincere passion for supporting and empowering people and local communities for mutual growth and peace. She was one of the founding members of Order of the Heart, a community of high school students whose aim is to support and create meaningful bonds with unfortunate children in orphanages across Mekong Delta. With her passion, Thai has been continuing to engage in various projects and opportunities around the world to embolden vulnerable and marginalized communities, including a 6-month co-op with PSCORE Korea, where she was able to help North Korean defectors to integrate into the South Korean society. Thai spends her spare time playing electrical guitar and writing about arts and culture for her campus’ student newspaper.

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Hang Tran



Hang Tran is a junior at Northeastern University, where she is majoring in Accounting and Management Information Systems. Raised in Russia by Vietnamese parents and being exposed to racial discrimination her whole life, Tran is dedicated to promoting the mutual understanding and appreciation of different cultures, ethnicities, and races. Tran is currently a Program Coordinator for Vietnamese Student Association, whose mission is to establish a rich and healthy relationship between individuals and preserve Vietnamese heritage through meetings and events. Hang is responsible for planning bi-weekly meetings and various team-building events, as well as directing the annual culture show and working with technical staff and actors. Since the past few summers, she has been a member of United Minds and working to empower children with vision impairment by providing workshops to improve their leadership and social skills, teaching them to play musical instruments, and encouraging their appreciation of classical music.


PARTNERS & Networks