Education

In our first 2 years of operation we have sponsored 21 women for tertiary courses. We  also sponsored computer training for a young man in a wheelchair. We are seeking more Australian sponsors. A tertiary scholarship costs $20/fortnight or $250/semester. But any donation, large or small, can be pooled to form a course sponsorship.

QUESTION: How do you alleviate entrenched poverty?

ANSWER: Help educate the women. They can help others.

IDEAL ANSWER: Educate an “army” of women to work in the poorest communities of their region, including their work with children with disabilities, to provide medical care and teach others.

Carers are sponsored for tertiary training in disability care, nursing, medicine and teaching. They are then better equipped to take on the challenging task of caring for children such as this boy at the orphanage. He has intellectual, physical and behavioural disabilities.

Women’s monastic communities (convents) are already working in the poorest communities and orphanages across Vietnam. All they need is your help to improve their effectiveness, mainly in nursing and disability care.


WOMEN’S TERTIARY STUDY SCHOLARSHIPS.

We work in partnership with orphanages and women’s monastic communities. The Australian sponsor meets half of the study costs. The other half is met by the monastic community or family. Without sponsorship these women and people with disabilities would not be able to pay for tertiary training.

Sponsorship also provides vital encouragement to students by email contact and visits from sponsors. We encourage close and supportive friendships. We do not block visits between sponsors and students.

Women who come from economically poor rice farms cannot afford education. Sponsoring university education provides a lifetime benefit for a woman to become a future community leader.

Many women in poor areas of Vietnam have the status of second class citizens: they do most of the hard work and have few chances for betterment by education. Helping a woman to obtain a university degree is one way of improving the status of women. Their only impediment is lack of financial support.

Each scholarship donation directly results in one additional woman from the monastic community or person with disabilities becoming a much-needed therapist, teacher, nurse or doctor, working for the poorest rural communities of Vietnam. By sponsoring a woman to train at university, you are also helping the people of Vietnam.

Scholarships of $20 per fortnight, paid as $250 at the start of each semester (i.e. $1,000 over 2 years) will support these students.

 

THE WORK THAT YOUR DONATION WOULD DO:

$25 Will feed a university student for up to 50 days of their course. Student food allowance is 50 cents per day.
$50 Will pay half the cost of one semester’s text books.
$250 at $20/fortnight Will cover half of one student’s basic costs for one semester of study, including university fees, text books, food allowance and room rent.
$1,000 at $250/sem for 4 semesters One Study Scholarship. Half of the basic costs (fees, books, food and rent) for 2 years of university study for one student. The other half is matched by the student’s family and community.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

As soon as we receive a scholarship donation we prepare a funding contract between us and our project partners in Vietnam. This agreement clearly sets out the responsibilities of both parties to the contract. We are to make payments on time to the student. The student must inform us if they  fail or leave the course. They must also provide receipts and an email each semester to confirm their course attendance.

Scholarships cover approximately 50% of the study cost. The monastic community and family of the student then pay the other half of the cost. We send $250 to Vietnam for each sponsored student at the start of the semester. When the student receives the payment they sign, scan and email a receipt to us and email a progress report to their sponsor.

Scholarship donors receive a student profile, contact and visit information and regular progress reports. For business sponsors we can provide a certificate of appreciation, suitable for printing and framing.

Donations are paid into our trust account held in Australia. For this not-for-profit charity account there are no commissions, admin costs or account keeping fees. Each year’s sponsorship funds are paid from the account at the start of each semester (Sept & Feb).

Each student prepares a personal profile and emails it to us to provide the sponsor with an introduction. You and your sponsored student are encouraged to communicate regularly, particularly if the student is studying English. All students learn English at school. But spoken English might be limited, so students often get their friends to help translate emails.

For a PDF example of the offers and receipts involved with this program, click here.

TYPICAL STUDENT ALLOWANCE

Typical minimum study costs for a poor woman from a rice farm who studies in a city are a basic student allowance for cheap digs, minimal food and university charges. It is not a lavish allowance and does not extend to items such as consumables, computer purchase or travel to visit parents. The breakdown is shown below:

Item Allowance per semester 
Uni fees 4.5M vnd ($225) per semester (varies, depending on uni or college)
Textbook and activity allowance 2M vnd ($100) per semester
Food allowance 10,000 vnd (50 cents) per day, 1.8M vnd ($90) per semester
Room rent (digs) 0.25M vnd ($12.50) per month, 1.5M vnd ($75) per semester
Total Total cost to student is $500 per semester Scholarship covers 50% of costs @ $250 per semester or $20/fortnight

 

In the 2014 financial year we assisted education by course sponsorships and supply of educational materials. Typical projects were:

 Student scholarships

An Binh Orphanage is a private facility run by Holy Cross Order nuns in Saigon. During the day, the orphans and disabled residents work or study. Our sponsors in Australia provide support to individual students in their study courses. Course fee receipts were emailed by Sister Lich (seated on the left) to receive payment. An Binh scholarships total $800 per semester.

Hung, our board President, visits An Binh orphanage.

 

$900 on computers

At An Binh Orphanage, our interpreter and IT expert Phap kindly donated his time to upgrade the old computer with extra RAM, a printer and monitor donated in Australia. He also assembled and installed two new computers for the residents (one on each floor).

$200 on a study library

For the study library at An Binh orphanage, we purchased English language posters, DVDs, inspirational books, textbooks and illustrated children’s books. Disabled Australian Nick Vujicic was well known in Vietnam so his translated book was of immediate interest.

$500 on student library

Huong Duong (sunflower) Orphanage, near Can Tho, is a private orphanage partly funded by an overseas French-Vietnamese organisation. It has about 25 boys and five girls. Construction of study room bookshelves and the purchase of library materials was managed by Hien (interpreter).

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$500 on student sponsorship

Leigh (centre) walks with his sponsored student Hiep, and her friends Tuyen and Huyen. All three women are attached to the convent at Huong Phuong and were completing the foreign languages degree at Hue university.

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$400 on school travel bicycles and blankets

Trang Nua (Vinh) shelter for 14 homeless children is funded by the convent. We purchased 3 bicycles so kids could get to school on time and 10 winter blankets.