What happened to those YCW and YCS leaders who were involved in those actions during the 1970s?

Several went on to contribute to Vietnam's development, launching founding projects, founding factories and other social enterprises.

Here is the story of one of those projects.

Doan Ket/Ket Doan

In 1985, Nguyen Van Hau, one of those YCW leaders arrested, later co-founded a rural development project in Lam Dong province in Vietnam's Central Highlands, not far from the city of Dalat.

Mr Hau at a local spinning factory in 1990
Originally known as Doan Ket, the company pioneered a sericulture (silkworm) farm, now known as Vi Tien Farm, in Village 3, Gia Lam Hamlet in the Lam Ha District.

Meeting with local govt officials in Gia Lam to plan the pilot farm project.
The farm, which covers 20 hectares includes 15 hectares for mulberry production as well as buildings for raising silkworms.

Silkworms are distributed to more than 1000 local families, who raise the silkworms to silk production stage.

Prize for the best silk producer in 1996
During the 1990s, the project enabled many of those farmers to increase their incomes by more than $100 per month and escape poverty and build their futures. The project totally transformed the local economy.

The project continued to develop with the support of the French Catholic development NGO, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, which was founded in 1961 by the French YCW, YCS and other Specialised Catholic Action movements in response to Pope John XXIII's appeal to combat hunger and poverty.

Chinese experts advise on how to improve production 1996
Doan Ket staff meet with CCFD-Terre Solidaire representatives
Tragically, in 1999, Mr Hau and his co-founder, Nguyen Van Nghiep, were killed in a road accident on the way from Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City

Yet, the project they founded has continued to grow and develop successfully to this day under new management by the Ket Doan Company.

Mulberry plantation at Vi Tien Farm in 2019
Hatching the silkworms

Workers prepare the leaves...

... for the silkworms

Local farmers nourish silkworms through the stages of their development

Mature silkworms

..Silk cocoons produced by local farmers for sorting and sale
Twenty years after their deaths, the legacy of Mr Hau and Mr Nghiep lives on. In 2019, Karen Young People for Development (YPD) coordinator, Kwi Kwi, visited Vi Tien Farm to study the possibility of implementing a similar project in Myanmar.

Meeting at Vi Tien Farm between Ket Doan and Karen YPD leaders.