“I was born in a small rural village in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. When I was just 3 years old my right leg had to be amputated because of a tumour. My father worked as a motorbike taxi, not a regular income, and my mother had to stop work to take care of me. Life was very hard.
When I started school I could not easily play with the other kids, and I was teased about my false leg. But I loved school because I could learn, and I wanted to make my parents proud. They didn’t get much education themselves, and they were really worried about my future. But paying school fees for me and my younger brother was very difficult. There was always financial pressure for them.
When I was 12 years old, Saigonchildren came to our school. Saigonchildren believes that every child deserves the chance to fulfil their potential, that education helps children and their families escape from poverty. I still remember Ms Thu who first came to our home, learnt about our situation, and then offered to help us with a scholarship. How wonderful, and what a relief for my parents!
As well as financial support, the team at saigonchildren also provided advice and encouragement. They helped me to develop dreams and ambitions for the future. I worked hard, did well in my exams, and started to think about going on to study at university, something I never thought would be possible.
When I graduated from high school I got a place to read Psychology at University in Ho Chi Minh City and saigonchildren committed to support my further education. When I graduate I hope to find a job which will allow me to help my parents, to make sure that my brother can complete his own education, and to help my community. I am so excited for the future now. I have many options and possibilities! Maybe I will become a psychologist.
At school I also developed an interest in drawing and I have used my art skills to design seasonal cards, which saigonchildren sell to raise funds. I am very happy that in this small way I can help other children from difficult backgrounds like mine to get a good education, so that saigonchildren can help them to have a brighter future too.
I am so grateful to saigonchildren and their donors for believing in my potential and helping me to overcome my challenges. For me and my family it is a dream come true. The scholarship has allowed me to change my life, to have an independent future where I can support myself and my family. That opportunity is such a special gift.”