Nearly 200 young people, who are the students from many universities, Colleges, Technical schools or have graduated, are working in a variety of fields, have met at a ceremony for Saigon Children’s charity (saigonchildren) students held on 17 March at Hoa Sen University Hall in Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr. Damien Roberts shared in the ceremony
Among the 200 people present at the ceremony, 60 students graduated in the 2017 – 2018 school year with stable job immediately after graduation and now have the ability to independently support themselves. Up to now, 89% of the graduating students in 2017 – 2018 had a job and 16% of them have good job with an income that is about 10 million VND/month above.
Over the last 26 years, saigonchildren have used education scholarships to support about 37.000 disavantaged youth in Viet Nam. Every year, an average of 2.000 poor students at all levels are given the opportunity to go to school. In the 2018 – 2019 school year, 232 students from Dong Nai, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tay Ninh, Binh phuoc province and Ho Chi Minh city have received saigonchildren’s support.
Ms. Huong – Head of saigonchildren Programme awarded gifts to students
Talking about examples of overcoming difficulties at the ceremony, Mr. Damien Roberts, the director of saigonchildren, said, “Many of you have faced difficult circumstances in your lives and sometimes it did not seem possible to continue in your education, to go to university and then to complete your degree. But you persevered, you worked hard, you overcame your challenges, and now you are here today because you believed in yourselves and did not give up on your dreams…”
He also encouraged the students, “It is your determination and hard work that will keep taking you forwards and give you the life you want to have. At some point in your life and career, you will face challenges and you may struggle, but you have the experience and positive attitude that will bring success and happiness.”
Some alumnae of the scholarship programme have shared their emotions about the day they received assistance from saigonchildren:
Nguyen Duc Loi, representative of graduated students shared
Mr. Nguyen Duc Loi (Tay Ninh province), an alumni of Bach Khoa University, is now an engineer at Simpson Strong Tie Viet Nam company. He said, “Born to a poor family with 6 siblings, I have had lots of obstacles to continue my education. 10 years ago, I was fortunately introduced to Saigonchildren and given support to continue studying. Now, saigonchildren has become my second family. I have not only received financial support but also the activities of saigonchildren have helped me develop many skills such as IT, English, and other soft skills.”
Ms. Nguyen Thi Anh Lai (Tay Ninh province), an alumni of the English language program at HCMC University of Technology, is now an english teacher in Tay Uc International School. She said, “I’m very lucky because saigonchildren has always supported and encouraged me, especially in my early years of university when I lived away from home. I was not only supported with school fees by saigonchildren but also participated in many skills development programmes. Through difficult situations, the sisters and brothers at saigonchildren have always stayed by my side. My current career is also partly thanks to saigonchildren’s programs.”
Kieu Oanh (Đong Nai province) is an alumni of the finance Marketing university and now works at R.I.M Décor company. She recounted, “In my high school years, I had to focus everything on my father’s treatment, so the conditions of my family became more and more difficult. At that time, I was disappointed because my education became a financial burden to the family. But I never gave up on my education. The Saigonchildren scholarship helped me to continue studying at university. In the first 2 years of university, I just went to work studied and didn’t have any friends. But when I participated in activities at saigonchildren, I was able to improve many skills in order to have confidence as well as secure my dream job.”