Interview with Alice Longuet – Empowering women in Vietnam

9 May 2023

BATIK International develops solidarity projects promoting the social and professional integration of vulnerable people in Europe, Vietnam, and North Africa. Alice Longuet, project coordinator and country representative, tells the RAJA-Danièle Marcovici Foundation more about the objectives and latest projects of the NGO.



1 – Can you introduce the NGO Batik International?

Batik is a French NGO created in 1998 on the initiative of two little daughters of immigrants. The name “Batik” [“fabric interwoven with flowery threads from a printing technique used in Asia, Africa and the Middle East”] weaves different links between the different cultures and countries reached by the association. Its main objective is to empower vulnerable populations. Its headquarters are located in France but it also works in the Meda zone and in Vietnam.

2- What words would you choose to describe the NGO?

“Power to act” refers to the heart and objectives of Batik: to accompany beneficiaries by strengthening their access to knowledge, raising awareness of their abilities and self-esteem. Through this, we develop their power to act, the possibility for them to be actors of their own change and the evolution of their rights.

3 – Can you define the main objectives of Batik International?

The main objectives of Batik are the following:

To strengthen the capacities of beneficiaries and partners: through a multi-partner approach, Batik guarantees the longevity of its projects and the autonomy of its partners and beneficiaries on the ground, so as not to create dependency links with the NGO;

In France, empowering migrants: through a cooperation program, they are integrated with farmers and elderly people;

In Vietnam, empowering women in the industrial zones of Vinh Phuc and Hai Duong, students of partner universities in the framework of the “Hy vong” program supported by the Foundation and victims of gender-based violence.

4 – What are Batik’s latest projects?

Recently, Batik has developed the following two projects:

The “Firewall” program was born out of a request from Băc Thăng Long University of Economics and Technology: because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some students had access to digital tools for the first time. They were not proficient with these tools and girls in particular were exposed to online threats. The project set up by Batik is a digital education program combined with knowledge on sexual and reproductive education. Indeed, mastering the skills related to these tools coincides with adapting to a connected life environment in which students will be immersed: shopping, online dating, professional research… Moreover, the technological path induces short studies and a quick entry into the workforce. Having digital skills will allow students to access more stable, secure and sustainable jobs especially for those who come from disadvantaged neighborhoods as is the case for students in the Băc Thăng Long .

The “Consent” project was born as a result of the “Hy vong” experiment conducted alongside universities. In the dynamics of preventing gender-based violence, a major gap emerged: access to knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and contraception. Within the universities, there is a lack of training for teaching staff and students on this issue. However, there is a strong demand for knowledge on how to reduce the risk of accidental pregnancies or the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Batik would like to work more on this subject and already has long-standing partners, such as the Women’s Academy in Hanoi, who are interested in the issue and would like to benefit from Batik’s gender expertise. For its part, the NGO wishes to continue developing this project and working alongside Vietnamese youth who have always shown motivation, commitment and interest in these issues.

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