VNSF Annual Benefit Dinner will be held September 26, 2015 at the North Bellevue Community Center Bellevue, WA.

We are happy to announce that Viet Nam Scholarship Foundation main fundraising event will be held September 26, 2015 at the North Bellevue Community Center Bellevue, WA.

Please join us in celebrating what we have achieved together, and give more kids in Viet Nam the hope for a better life.

Reserve your tickets today at vnsf.brownpapertickets.com or info@vietnamscholarshipfoundation.org.

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20 Kids in 2010!

Our goal this year is to raise enough money to support the entire education of 20 kids. It only costs $1840 to send a student in Viet Nam to school from the first grade on through to University. Help us make a difference in a young student’s life. Make a donation today.

You can help make a difference in a life. Meet Nguyen Kim Tien:

I can be like myself today thanks to many concerns of many benefactors who are willing to help me and encourage me in time. Among them, VNSF has been supporting me for five years (from the year 2005 when I was in grade 11 at high school). This scholarship has given me the conditions for my study. It has motivated me in my spirit and my study. Not only was I partly released from my financial problem but I also had more motivation to study better and I was happy because I was paid attention to by other people. The feeling of being paid attention is somehow wonderful. Perhaps when people have positive feeling of their existence, there will be valuable changes in their life. Thus, I was less reserved and became more active and went out of my hut! My thoughts have changed, and I have had more friends. I had a very good time with many changes for myself from the time of being supported by VNSF. Since then, I concentrated on my study and always made great effort. I had quite good results. My wish to a university was gradually set up. I admired my teacher who teaches English. I wanted to be a teacher. I was determined to pass the entrance exam to Cantho University.

Read Nguyen Kim Tien’s full letter.

New Reading Room: Tam Thon Hiep School Library

Why We Wanted to Help This School:

  • The need is there: The school is located in a remote area of Can Gio district of Ho Chi Minh City. According to the principal, the school kids are from poor families living in the surrounding neighborhoods. About 65% of the kids are from poor households with government “poverty certificates. It takes a child about an average of 30 minutes to go to school. Their parents are mainly laborers with precarious livelihoods.
  • Good facility to assist: On the positive side, the school has been newly renovated (the handover with the construction company was completed in early September 2009). The school has decent facilities. After a visit from our Inspire Vietnam volunteers, the principal has decided to allocate a spacious room for the library project.
  • Committed leadership focused on students: As with all projects, we look for school leadership that is committed to managing a thriving library after our assistance. Talks with the librarian, principal and “tổng phụ trách đội” have demonstrated that the school management is very keen on receiving and utilizing our support in the best interest of the children. They are also committed to renovating the ceiling of the current library room.

“Before” Picture:

Current book shelves and book placement
Current book shelves and book placement

“After” Pictures:

Tam Thon Hiep students using their new library!
Happy face

How We Spent the Money:

  • 4 to 6 tables and small book shelves for students in the middle of the room (with some small benches)
  • 2 bookshelves
  • 700 to 800 books
  • Items to decorate the library to encourage student interaction
  • Library activities: drawing contest or story-telling contest to kick-off the opening of the library

Thank you for VNSF supporters for your help in making this happen!  A special thanks to the Youstra Family for contributing the majority of funds. 

Completion of Long Phuoc Library in District 9

In October 2008, Inspire Vietnam (newly adopted by VNSF) completed the renovation of its second library for Long Phuoc Elementary School! Long Phuoc is located in District 9 of Saigon.

Objective:

Turn Long Phuoc’s under resourced library into a thriving space for student activity.

The Situation:

  • Books: Long Phuoc‘s student library lacked books and learning materials for students. The government had recently renovated facility, but funds were not allocated towards to purchasing of new books.

What We Achieved:

  • More Books: With the help of several wonderful university volunteers, we surveyed the student body and staff to get a list of relevant book titles. We then approached a publishing house that allowed us to purchase the volumes at cost. We purchased over 750 new books for the Long Phuoc Library.
  • A Fun Room to Encourage Reading: After assessing the facility, we decided to not make any major renovations to the space. Our volunteers focused our efforts on re-decorating the library with new book shelves, tables and fun floor mats to make the space an inviting place for the elementary school students at Long Phuoc.
Renovated library with new mats, books and shelves

A fun room for elementary school students to encourage reading


Excited Students!

To get the students involved and excited, we conducted a school-wide art contest to decorate the library.

Budget:

We were able to complete the library for $1,750. Happy faces of students and teachers – priceless.

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Thank you to our volunteer project coordinator Ha Nghi, VietHope and our many, many individual donors for contributing to the success of the project.

Completion of Xuan Dieu Library in My Tho

In May 2007, Inspire Vietnam (newly adopted by VNSF) completed the renovation of its first library for Xuan Dieu Middle School! Xuan Dieu is located in My Tho, a small town located in the Mekong Delta.

Objective:

Turn Xuan Dieu’s under resourced library into a thriving space for student activity.

The Situation:

  • Books: Xuan Dieu’s student library lacked books for students. Given resource constraints, the school used what little budget to purchase text books and school materials. Therefore, prior to Inspire’s involvement, the library shelves were 80% barren. (See picture below.)
  • Large student body, small space: Although the school had a student body of over 3,000 students, the library space was limited.
Happy students, but empty book shelves.

What We Achieved:

  • More Books: With the help of several wonderful university volunteers, we surveyed the student body and staff to get a list of relevant book titles. We then approached a publishing house that allowed us to purchase the volumes at cost. We were able to obtain approximately 400 volumes for $250.
  • A Well Lit Room: Given the size of the student body, we wanted to create as much usable space for the students. We renovated the back room, which was being used as storage space for antiquated novels, and turned it into a study room for students – increasing the usable space by 30%. We also constructed new shelves and tables, using local community contractors.
Renovated interior with 400 new books purchased for the students.
Entrance of the new library

Excited Students!

To get the students involved and excited, we conducted a school-wide art contest to decorate the library. Over 80 students and teachers got together one Saturday to conduct the art contest. The teachers also used this occasion to teach students about cooperation and team work. They paired up students who may have not worked together or may have had issues getting along to encourage camaraderie.

Farming Challenges in Bac Lieu & Ca Mau

As part of the VNSF Scholarship application process, students submit essays to us on various topics. We are always moved by these letters and essays which describe incredible hardships and unbreakable determination to succeed. One of the common challenges our students face is the hazards of farming – a lifestyle that not only demands hard work and discipline but is riddled by the fate and whim of the weather. The article below describes briefly some of the pains of farming…

Out-of-season rains in 2009 spoiled thousands of tons of salt worth tens of billions of dong. Salt prices were very high at 2000-3000 dong per kilo. The price prompted some to focus on making salt their next crop, giving up their shrimp hatcheries. Now the bountiful salt crop of 2010 has made the price fall to 400-700 dong per kilo.

The sharp fall has made the farmers suffer. Many of them decided not to collect salt to avoid paying for labor. The more salt they collect will create bigger losses.

Read the full article.

Student Interview Trip

Annie and scholarship student mother in Bac Lieu, Vietnam
(Photo of "Annie and scholarship student mother in Bac Lieu, Vietnam" from Anne Xuan Clark's blog)

Every year, a group of dedicated, passionate VNSF volunteers spend 3 days traveling long and arduous distances to interview students and give out our scholarships. Most years, Board Members and Board Advisors join our volunteers in Sai Gon on what is always a memorable and touching experience. This year, our Co-Founder, Tam Nguyen, and Board Member, Anh Tran, were honored to be joined by one of our long-time supporters and donors — Anne Xuan Clark. Here’s a small excerpt from Annie’s blog about her experience:

I was assigned to video tape the interviews with students and parents. You might think this is a challenging task since I can‘t actually understand the interviews. But I’m pretty good at reading situations and can see emotion and spirit, I can tell when someone is going to open up and tell a great story. And the stories just pour out. Single mothers that have struggled to raise children, older sisters raising younger siblings. They are giving the next generation everything to create a better future. It’s an age-old story and I never get tired of seeing the proud smile of mothers as they gaze at their daughters with love and hope.

Thanks, Annie, for volunteering your time and sharing your experience with us. It’s because of the generosity of compassion, time and money from supporters like you that we’re able to help these amazing kids on their path towards a brighter future.

20 Kids in 2010!

Our goal this year is to raise enough money to support the entire education of 20 kids. It only costs $1840 to send a student in Viet Nam to school from the first grade on through to University. Help us make a difference in a young student’s life. Make a donation today.

You can help make a difference in a life. Meet Nguyen Trung Hieu:

Dear VNSF,

My name is Nguyen Trung Hieu. First of all, I want to express my sincere appreciation for your organization’s continuous support.

In the past year, your organization’s scholarship helped alleviate my worries about tuition. Additionally, the scholarship also helped support my independent study of a foreign language by covering the expenses for books, IELTS practice software & printing costs during the time I was finishing my thesis.

Regarding my study, I successfully defended my graduation thesis with the score of 9.3/10 recently. In addition, I also won a 6 months student exchange scholarship with the University of Ajou in South Korea. This program will begin in September of this year.

My future plans are to continue sharpening the skills necessary for success such as interpersonal & time management skills etc. and to find an opportunity to obtain a master degree in an international environment.

Lastly, I hope that VNSF will provide opportunities for me to participate & contribute a part in your mission of easing the worries of disadvantaged students in Vietnam, allowing them to concentrate on their education.

Nguyen Trung Hieu