Catalyst Foundation’s mission is to support communities to fight human trafficking. Our story, the work we do, and our fight to stop trafficking was featured in three episodes of the CNN Freedom Project 

Founded in 1999, Catalyst Foundation initially focused on improving the lives of orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children in Vietnam. Today, using a holistic community development approach, we address some of the root causes of child trafficking including extreme poverty. We are able to raise awareness, provide access to school and increase economic opportunities for over 200 children and their families. We firmly believe that the most effective way to break the cycle of poverty is to strategically empower whole communities by educating, providing training and employment, building safe and sanitary dwellings, and empowering children to stand up with dignity. 

We coordinate rewarding and sustainable volunteer experiences with the Vietnam Aid Expedition, to work hands on with our community members in rural Vietnam.

Catalyst Foundation also organizes and leads the Vietnam Cultural Tour to promote Vietnamse culture to families that have adopted children from Vietnam. Participating families explore their child’s ethnic roots while sharing experiences with other adoptive families.


For over 20 years, Catalyst Foundation has organized “life changing” volunteer experiences, working directly with ethnic minority communities in rural Vietnam.


The “Vietnam Cultural Tour” is designed for anyone wanting to celebrate Vietnam’s rich diversity by exploring the country through its history, culture and food.


Ms. Caroline Nguyen Ticarro is a prominent figure in the non-profit sector. Caroline’s passion and work is tireless. She travels often to Vietnam to direct the mission and vision of Catalyst Foundation. In 2012, her work and passion were featured in a 3-part series on CNN and also presented in her TEDxTalk in 2017.

Caroline is available to speak to your school, organization, conference or seminar. She is an accomplished speaker on a variety of topics, including international adoption, gender equity, international development, and human trafficking. For more information click here. ​


There is no simple option to stop trafficking, so we work to prevent it. Catalyst Foundation utilizes a community driven holistic approach to protect the children by providing those basic needs we all take for granted: education and literacy, job, human rights and HOPE.

The four facets of our community development programs are Primary Education, Community Education, Vocational Training, and Health & Nutrition.

 “Project Backpack” is our Primary Education program for children between the ages of 5 and 18 to attend school. Our families see education as an extravagance and their children work instead of attending school. The student sponsorship program provides a foundation of material and social resources that give our children the opportunity to attend school.

Our Community Education program’s objective is to provide basic education to address the source of trafficking – extreme poverty. We provide families with access to social services (i.e. identity papers, assist and educate about household debt management, literacy classes). Our classes develop self-awareness and empathy to educate the community.

The Vocational Training provides our teen and adults with the opportunity to develop financial self-reliance. Our community has no real employment opportunities and must contribute by doing what they can. Our objective is to convert the skills to new jobs and income.

Our Health & Nutrition program is consistently providing enough food from a food distribution for each family every month, health and hygiene education, and quality medical care. We also work to implement a multi-phase plan to improve access to water and provide proper sanitation.


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