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Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts in Vietnam

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Although Vietnam escaped Typhoon Haiyan relatively unscathed compared to the destruction that tragically wrought the Philippines, there were still many people in central Vietnam whose lives and livelihood were devastated by the event.

VNHELP initially wasn’t sure if we had the resources to help the typhoon victims in Vietnam, but thankfully, with support from the Compassionate Service Society, the Quy Nhon Charitable Association, and individual donors, we pooled together enough funds to go in and make a true difference.

We’ve been helping typhoon victims with food and financial assistance, and we’ve been checking in to see if we can play a role in recovery efforts. It’s humbling to see the light of hope return to people’s eyes as they realize help is there for them. We’ll update this post as more info about the relief efforts comes in from Vietnam, but for now, check out some of the pictures below!

Relief 1

People waited patiently for assistance.

Relief 2

They were kind and helped us keep track of what was being distributed.

Relief 3

Relief 4

Many of the people we helped were elderly; they would have had a very hard time getting back on their feet otherwise.

Relief 5

Great to see a smile on this gentleman’s face again.

Relief 6

Relief 7

Relief 9

Relief 10

Relief 8

Thanks to the wonderful volunteers and project coordinators who were there to take care of the distribution logistics!


Vocational Training Cycle 3 Wraps Up

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Congratulations to the 30 youths who took part in our third motorbike vocational training cycle! The 30 youths underwent 390 hours of practical training and 150 hours of theoretical training as part of an intensive mechanics training course. All 30 students made it through the course and many of them have already secured employment with their new-found skills. Big props to these youths for their patience and hard work. We’re wishing them a bright future while keeping up with the fourth cohort of students who began their training on September 15th! See more pictures after the jump!



A New School in An Phu

Monday, October 21st, 2013

On Oct.1, the new An Phu Primary School officially opened its doors to students and community members after construction was completed in September. The new school has five classrooms for students from grades 1 to 5, a staff room, lavatories (which, unfortunately, are still lacking in manyVietnamese schools), and new furnishings.

An Phu is located north of Saigon, close to Vietnam’s border with Cambodia. Many of the students are ethnically Cambodian, which makes them ethnic minorities in Vietnam. Our hope is that this new school will play a part in closing the education gap between Vietnam’s ethnic minorities and the majority Viet Kinh population. We want these children to be able to pursue early education, helping them succeed later in life.

A big thanks goes out to the Nepheli Foundation for their generosity in supporting this project. Check out some of the photos below:


Meet a Scholarship Recipient, Nguyen Thi My Linh

Monday, August 26th, 2013



Meet Nguyen Thi My Linh, a second year student at the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Saigon majoring in Information Technology. My Linh also happens to be a 4-year recipient of the Nguyen Truong To Scholarship.

My Linh was chosen among hundreds of applicants for her amazing fortitude and optimistic attitude. She grew up in a coastal town, where her father supported the family doing various seafaring jobs. But the nature of his work was unstable, so her family’s economic situation was never very secure. Meanwhile, her mother’s health was poor, and there are still two younger siblings (one now in 10th grade and one now in 2nd grade), to take care of. In a chat with VNHELP, My Linh admitted, “When I received my scholarship, I tried to give that money to my mother so she could use it to take care of our family. But my mother sent the money back to me telling me to use it for my tuition and living expenses.”

Being the smart girl that she is, My Linh realized that the best path towards ensuring a brighter future was through education. She worked hard in high school and made her way to university in the city. She dreams of becoming a university lecturer in IT in the future, improving her life and defying gender stereotypes as a woman in technology at the same time.

With this kind of determination and kindness, it’s hard not to root for a girl like My Linh.

Follow the jump to the Vietnamese translation of this article.


Project Update: New Cataract Surgery Missions!

Monday, August 26th, 2013

We’re excited to report on three cataract surgery missions that were completed in quarter 2! The first two missions took place in Hanoi at the Vietnam-Japan Eye Hospital for 197 patients from Nam Đinh and 177 patients from Thái Bình. They received food, transporation, medical care, free cataract surgeries, and post-op care. These missions were made possible by the generosity of Mr. Bui Duc Hop and Son Nam Group (San Jose, CA) and Mr. Bui Van Vien (Hanoi, Vietnam).

Thanks to the support of Mr. Thomas Nguyen (Orange County, CA), the third, ongoing surgical mission is currently taking place at the Thu Duc Hospital for patients from Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan. Our plan is to provide free surgery to another 200 patients by the mission’s end. As of this printing, 163 patients have been served and regained their vision.

The patients were very diverse, including both males and females. So far, the eldest patient was born in 1934, and the youngest patient was born in 1993. That’s a 59 year age gap, which just goes to show how cataracts are a pervasive problem that can affect a range of people in Vietnam.

(Click “Read the rest of this entry” below for the Vietnamese translation!)