Currently over 1,200 children in Vietnam receive sponsor support. For just $31USD per month - less than the price of a cup of coffee every day - a sponsor can make a huge difference to the life of a disadvantaged child.
Here are three stories from our Sponsorship Programme that demonstrate how lives can be changed significantly.
Hau is 26 years old. He is the eldest of two children and comes from an extremely poor family.
Hau's parents divorced when he was 9 years old and his father left Hau's mother to bring up her two children alone. The three of them lived in a tiny house in one of the many slum alleys of Ho Chi Minh City. Hau’s younger sister has Down's Syndrome and used to attend a special needs school.
Hau was aware of the challenges his family faced and always tried his best at school. His mother had a small stall selling Vietnamese bread and from daybreak each morning before school Hau would always help her to prepare the bread to sell at the stall.
Hau was in fourth grade at primary school when he joined our Sponsorship Program. With lots of encouragement from his sponsor, Hau studied hard and he graduated from the Ho Chi Minh City of Transport University in 2013. In his spare time Hau also worked as a tutor to help support his family.
Hau's time under our Sponsorship Program came to an end when he graduated University. As part of our ongoing monitoring process, our Sponsorship Team stay in regular contact with all of our Sunshine Sponsorship Children, even those who have left the Programme. In one of our catch up meetings, Hau told us he wanted to continue his studies oversees so that he could get the best job possible to provide for his family.
In March 2014, he fulfilled his dream when he was awarded a full scholarship to study Nautical and Economic Law in France. Besides studying and living for free, he also receives a monthly allowance of €600 for the duration of the three-year course.
Through his hard work and dedication - and with the support of his sponsor - Hau has been able to break the cycle of poverty. He said that when he returns to Vietnam he hopes to provide a better standard of life for himself and his family.
Thao was born in 1993 to a poor family in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. Her father left when her mother was pregnant and has had no part in her life. She is one of twin girls.
As the bread winner of the family, and despite constant ill health, Thao's mother has worked in many jobs to make a living. She is currently working as an assistant at a food stall near their house.
Thao has been under our Sponsorship Program since 2001. Through her sponsor's support, Thao’s tuition fees have been paid for. Without this constant worry Thao could concentrate on her studies and maintain a good grades at school.
She successfully passed the entrance exam to study Accountancy at a higher learning institute. She worked part-time throughout her studies at a health and nutrition company. Due to her diligence, hard work and good exam grades she was offered a full-time position by the company on completion of her studies. Her probation salary is well above the average Vietnamese monthly wage of US$185; a terrific start to her career.
Thao is really happy with her new job and told us she is looking forward to her graduation ceremony at her college in October.
We wish Thao the very best of luck for her future.
Duong comes from Ben Tre, a rural, agricultural province about 110 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Duong's mother has been the sole provider for her family since her husband left the family when she was just two months old.
Duong's mother currently works as a hired helper at a poultry stall in the local market, which pays very little. It is very difficult to cover even basic daily expenses. Duong was identified to us as at high risk of dropping out of her school.
Supported by her sponsor in Switzerland and the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation since 7th grade, Duong has been able to continue studying. She achieved consistently good grades and won many accolades from her teachers and her friends.
Duong recently completed high school and left with excellent exam results. She passed the university entrance exam to two highly regarded Vietnamese Universities and will study Medicine and Pharmacy at her chosen University.
Duong will no doubt have to work incredibly hard for the next six years of her medical school course but if she shows the same dedication and hard work she has previously demonstrated, we all believe that Duong will achieve the success she deserves.
Becoming a sponsor can really help to change a child's life and break the cycle of poverty.