By the time Viet finished high school, the way of life in Don Phong had transformed, and in 2013, at the age of 18, Viet left ChildFund’s sponsorship program to step out on his own.
“My sponsor James inspired me,” Viet says. “We regularly exchanged letters, and he became a friend.
“He always encouraged me to study hard and finish high school.”
In 2017, Don Phong commune become self-sufficient and ChildFund wrapped up 12 years of work in the area.
Over the past eight years, Viet has been helping to grow the family’s tangerine plantations, working to improve the yield and quality of 400 trees.
It hasn’t been without its challenges but his passion to stay educated, and passion for farming and learning about the latest agricultural technologies has paid off.
“I used to feel down when I saw better looking and bigger tangerines at the market,” Viet says. “But with better and frequent care, the tangerine trees are now growing well.”
Often Viet’s own family – his wife and baby daughter – join him on the farm.
It brings him much joy to be able to support his family, he says, and his goals for the future are simple: “I want to carry on what my parents started and improve the family’s plantations.”
Lucky for Viet there’s no better place to do so than in Bac Kan, where tangerines are loved by so many.