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HDI Bulletin

“Mushrooms with a Mission” Program Receives Funding from Vietnamese Diaspora Group and Australian Veterans who Served in Vietnam.

November 2, 2012 - For Immediate Release

HDINew York—November 2, 2012 -- The Humpty Dumpty Institute is pleased to announce the generous contributions of twelve members of the Vietnamese Diaspora to HDI’s “Mushrooms with a Mission” program in the Quang Tri province of Vietnam. These donations follow a visit to the region on September 27-29. The visiting group was joined by Mr. Ralph Cwerman - HDI President, Venerable Hsin Ting - a senior Buddhist monk of the Fo Guang Shan and member of HDI’s Board of Directors, and Madam Nguyen Cao Ky - the widow of Nguyen Cao Ky, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam.

The "Mushrooms with a Mission" Program is a joint effort by HDI and Project RENEW to empower landmine survivors by providing the tools and training necessary to grow, market, and sell mushrooms and earn extra income to provide for their families. The Republic of China (Taiwan), the United States, Japan and Vietnam are major funders of the program. HDI’s goal is to have at least 1,000 families participating in the program by 2015.

HDIDuring their visit to Quang Tri, the Diaspora group visited three mushroom farmers, toured the Mushroom Center in Cam Lo and witnessed demolitions of several unexploded ordnance (UXO) by the Project RENEW landmine clearance team. The group was also briefed on the UXO problem in Quang Tri and made a visit to the Mine Action Visitor’s Center in Dong Ha. At the end of their visit, Madame Cao Ky and her associates announced their sponsorship of 26 new mushroom farmers including training and the construction of mushroom grow houses. The cumulative contribution was $21,500.

Madam Cao Ky said "Our donation is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long and fruitful relationship with HDI in Vietnam. Thank you for bringing us here to see what you are doing in Quang Tri. We support your work and believe that in order to have peace and prosperity the Diaspora must be engaged as stakeholders in rural areas where economic development is falling behind. We hope this project can help those who have been affected by the war to support themselves and feed their families."

An additional indication of growing international support for the Mushroom Program came with the announcement by the MiVAC Trust, an Australian Vietnam Veterans Association, of its plan to donate $30,000 in support of the Mushroom Program. This generous donation will support the continuing renovation of the Mushroom Processing Center that will be used to house new state-of-the-art equipment donated by Japan. When completed in early 2013, this new facility will allow the program to increase production of substratum blocks from 30,000 to 400,000 per month.


The Humpty Dumpty Institute is a unique non-profit organization serving people in the developing world through the implementation of large-scale humanitarian projects and through its work with the United Nations. Over the past six years, the Institute has implemented significant mine action, agricultural development and school feeding projects in Angola, Mozambique, Lebanon, Laos, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. These projects are sponsored by individuals, foundations and governments. In addition, we foster dialogue and implement programs between the United Nations and a variety of constituencies in the United States including the U.S. Congress, universities, and the creative community, all of which are designed to help the U.N. become an even more effective Institution. For more information, please visit our website at

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