Introduction to Vietnam Student Development Fund (VNSDF)
The Vietnam Student development Fund (VNSDF) has been created in 2009 to support good students coming from poor families in VN. The VNSDF provides these good students chosen after a competitive application and interview process with a scholarship that pays their tuition fees throughout the whole university study. The VNSDF will also offer a training program to these students.
VNSDF's students and volunteers
In Vietnam, there are many students who are in a difficult financial situation, particularly those who come from poor families living in rural areas. For them, life in the city, the costs of living, rentals, transport, are very expensive due to a high inflation* in Vietnam. In particular, the annual university tuition fees that can represent 2 to 5 times the monthly salary of a factory worker or a hired farm worker represent a heavy burden for poor families. It is expected that the tuition fees will increase even more in the next 5 years, with a steep increase in particular for branches such as medicine, pharmacy, technology, but also for other branches. Therefore these poor students are obliged to find other sources to finance the cost of studying. If a severe illness or any dramatic event like an accident or loss of a parent happens in the family, these students might be at risk of dropping out of University. Students whose families cannot help them might be forced to work many extra hours to support themselves and that might prevent them from concentrating on their study and having good marks at the University. It’s important for students to get good grades at graduation in order to get a good job later because the labor market is very competitive with hundreds of thousands of young people graduating every year in the whole country.
The Vietnam Student Development Fund (VNSDF) is a group founded by young Vietnamese professionals living in Vietnam or overseas Vietnamese professionals who are volunteers in this humanitarian endeavor. The VNSDF will be able to help the students coming from poor families during the whole course of the study. The scholarship recipients will be chosen case-by-case based on review of their application files, and according to criteria of financial needs, social and academic merit, leadership qualities and their contribution to the community by active community service. There will be interviews of the individual students by members of the VNSDF executive committee in the final stage of the application process in order to select the best and most active students. Every year, there will be a review of the applications to renew the scholarships. The students must remain in good academic standing and continue to be active in community activities if they want the renewal of their scholarships.
The particularity of this scholarship is that one sponsor can “adopt a student” and establish an individual sponsor-mentor relationship with his/her student if he/she wishes it. So he/she will be able to follow the progress of his/her student and advise him. The sponsor will get the email of his/her student and the student can report to him/her. This bond can be interesting both for the sponsor-mentor who will know his/her student well and for the student who can learn from the sponsor. But sponsors who do not want or do not have the time to do mentoring are not obliged to do it: they can go through the mediation of the VNSDF too, so the students will get a sponsor, but no mentor in this case. However, these students can participate like the other students in the VNSDF training program, with workshops and online discussions about different topics: for ex, life-skills education, English communication, effective learning at the University, teamwork training etc…
The important thing is that we want to be able to support the poor students throughout the whole course of the study in order to help build Vietnam’s intellectual and professional force for tomorrow.
The student will write a receipt of acknowledgement when he/she receives the scholarship. He/she will submit his grades every semester and write a progress report every year, if he/she wants the scholarship to be continued.
The scholarships will be received through a specific bank account in Vietnam. The official treasurer is Ms Dang Thi Minh Phuong. The bank account in VN has been opened in her name, with Mr Phong Nguyen having power of attorney (in case of Ms Minh Phuong’s absence).
At the end of the year, the secretary will write and present a brief summary of the activities of the Fund, and the treasurer will present the accounting report to the Direction committee. The President, Vice-President and other members of the Administrative board will have a supervisory role and verify if the accounting is correct.
The students who are beneficiaries of the VNSDF will have representatives on the Board who will be students themselves - Mr Do T. Nhat, Mr Vo H. Q. Vinh (Univ. of Saigon), Mr Le K.Qui (Univ. of Can Tho) but not recipients of the scholarship.
At the end of the academic year, a thank-you letter on behalf of the VNSDF will be sent by email to the sponsors. Our hope is that the sponsor will support his/her student(s) during the whole course of the University study, have a personal relationship with his/her student and have the satisfaction to see his/her student(s) graduate from University and become active in life and society.
The youth of Vietnam is THE FUTURE of the country.
The students represent the elite of this youth; they represent STRENGTH, HEALTH, ENERGY, ENTHUSIASM and HOPE.
Please help the Vietnam Student Development Fund by becoming a sponsor or volunteer!
Your donations either financial, or in time or commitment are very much appreciated!
By P. Huynh-Do, Coordinator, Executive Committee, Vietnam Student Development Fund (VNSDF) 1.05.2011