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From sponsored child to helping others in Vietnam

28-year-old Nhu grew up in a remote village in Hoa Binh, a rural province in northern Vietnam. Her parents were both farmers who worked hard to provide for Nhu and her two siblings.

“I was born into a poor family. Like many other people living in the same village, we relied on agricultural activities for our living. Life was difficult and the local economy was weak,” says Nhu. “I still remember the image of my parents working and sweating in the paddy fields on hot summer days.”

When Nhu was 13 she was sponsored through ChildFund by an Australian sponsor, Brendan, and his family from Victoria. For Nhu it made her feel like she had another person watching over her. “I was very motivated by my sponsor through our letter exchange. From my perspective, the most important benefit of being an enrolled child was the huge encouragement I received that encouraged me to strive for my future.”

As a child, Nhu dreamed of treating sick children and people. Today she is turning that dream into a reality. After graduating from medical training college in 2008, she now works as a local health worker specialising in family planning in the community where she grew up.

“I feel proud of what I can do as a health officer. I love to directly give treatment to children and take care of them,” says Nhu. “Children are the most vulnerable and need proper care. This is my passion in my career.”

Nhu has watched her community in Hoa Binh transform over the past 20 years. “Sponsorship has made community development programs possible. There have been big positive changes in our communities. Schools have been rebuilt with sufficient facilities so children have better access to basic education. Today 100% of the children in my commune are able to go to school and receive a good education.

“With ChildFund`s support, many roads were reconstructed using concrete. This has made travelling more convenient. Canal systems have been improved and built to enhance agricultural production. Additionally, clean water supply systems and sanitation facilities have also been constructed, helping to create a new face for our rural areas compared to before.”

As if her job as a health worker didn`t keep her busy enough, Nhu has also worked with ChildFund Vietnam as a sponsor relations volunteer in her village for the past five years. It is her role to deliver letters from sponsors to the children in her area and help them write letters back, as well as encourage all of the children to get involved in activities implemented by ChildFund in their community.

“To me, volunteering for ChildFund is very meaningful since I can make a significant contribution to child development. I see this volunteer job as a way that I can help other children to enjoy the same opportunities I had when I was small,” she says.

While she is no longer sponsored, Nhu continues to feel motivated by her friends in Australia. “I want to express my deepest appreciation to my sponsor. Thanks to them, I received a good education and had the will to strive for success in my study and my work. They made me what I am today. As a grown-up, I am trying to devote my little effort to help the local community and children, just like how my sponsor helped me before.”

ChildFund Australia would like to thank all of our supporters who have sponsored children in Vietnam over the past 20 years! Your generous support is having intergenerational life-changing effects on the children and communities we work with in northern Vietnam.

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