Student Tran Thi Nga's letter

TT Nga

I am Tran Thi Nga, currently 3rd year student at Can Tho University,  majoring to be a Literature Teacher .

I was born in a family of 5 with severe financial difficulties, we have a paper from the authorities confirming that we live under the poverty level. That's why my childhood was not an easy one. My parents had to earn a living, so they often gave my sister and me to the care of neighbours, while they went  away from dawn to dusk to work for other people. On some rare days, the neighbors would give us something to eat at noon, but on some other days, we had to wait for our parents' return in the late evening until we got something to eat. My younger sister often cried from hunger, i could do nothing else than take her in my arms and tell her: "baby, please don't cry, our parents will come back in the evening and cook something for us!". I thought: If our parents were not so poor, they would not have to work for others, so far from home, and me and my sister, we would not have to be away from Mom and DAd for such long hours! When we grew up, we had to help harvest the rice or take care of the ducks for other people. But since the birth of my youngest brother, life became even more difficult. We have no land. My parents have to work for other people to raise their 3 children. Sometimes they find no work at all, so their income has been most unstable. Only during the season of rice harvest, do they find work as hired laborers and the pay is low for farm hands.  Mom has been suffering from spinal degeneration and kidney stones. Dad’s health has also been affected by war, sciatica and fatty liver. My younger sister got to study in a different city so life became more difficult for us. Thus I had to work after school to get money to pay for the cost of living. With the recommendation from Ms. Phi, Ms. Phuong and other VNSDF volunteers, I got  the VNSDF scholarship, financial support and mentorship from Ms Lilian Dahlman. This scholarship helped me pay for the cost of living and studying.

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Student Xuan Dao's letter


Xuan Dao loves the flowers of the Mekong Delta

My name is Dao. I am a senior student at Can Tho university.  I was born in Vinh Thanh district which is a poor district in Can Tho, where few young people especially few girls get a chance to study at the university. My father has not had a stable job before. He just found a job recently. He works now as a security guard in a secondary school. He does not receive a high salary but this work is suitable for him because he is not strong anymore. My mother has had degenerative spinal disease for a long time. Her health is getting worse and worse. But my parents always try to support my studying. My younger brother and me are studying in Can Tho city. Fees for our study become a burden in my house. Besides school, I have to work a part-time job as tutor to earn money to help my family pay for our study and living costs.

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Student Vo Hoang Diem, Can Tho

Dear Vietnam Student Development Fund

My name is Vo Hoang Diem, a second year student of Can Tho University, majoring in Finance-Banking. My family has only 3 people: my mother, my sister and me, because in November 2009, my father unfortunately died in a traffic accident. My family has no land or any possessions therefore my mother has to work as a hired laborer but she has no stable employment or income. Both my sister and I are pursuing a university study while my mother has to work to bring us up, to pay for the tuition fees, study materials and living costs uncluding rentals. But mom is now getting weak as she has gone through a lot of difficulties to save our path to university.


Student Diem on a boat in the Mekong Delta during the Green Summer Campaign

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Letter from student Nguyen Van Thang


My name is Thang. I am now studying at HCMC Economics University, class 36.

I was born in Thanh Hoa, in a family with lots of tremendous upheavals and conflicts. My father had a serious psychological disease, used to hit and beat others. My scared mother left our family when I was just 5. A year later, my father was arrested and sent to the province's psychiatric unit then he died of unknown reasons. I had to live with my aunt, but soon had to escape from her beating, thrashing and unfair treating. This time was really a nightmare. 

I am still so scared when I think about my childhood, a time of cold and hunger. To survive, I had to do variety of jobs. However, no one wanted to hire me, a small child, except to sell vegetables.  Most of the things I was doing at that time were not good. I used to be a thief, a burglar, etc…at times. When I was eight, a gentle monk felt pity for me, then let me live in the pagoda in Ha Tay (now Hanoi) and go to school. Unfortunately, the pagoda burnt after 1 year. I was sent back to my village, lived by selling vegetables from door-to-door. 

At the age of 12, I was fortunate to meet an overseas Vietnamese returning to VN to open free schools for poor high school students. I was learning with a thick timetable to catch up with other students. I won the provincial award for grade 9 outstanding students, so they sent me to study in Hanoi till grade 12. I mostly concentrated on my study and did not worry about living costs. I got a prize for outstanding Mathematics student, reaching the quarter-round in the Olympia knowledge competition and Echo Peak from Thanh region. I met my mother again, but after a work accident, she was handicapped and could not work any longer because of spinal disease. I always tried my best to study with the hope to be successful in the future...

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Le Hoang Khanh’s letter

My family is very poor, owning no farmland. To support our family, my father works as a manual labourer and wanders the streets of our town to sell lottery tickets. My mother developed degenerative spinal disease which has ruined her working ability, so she has to stay at home and takes care of my psychologically ill and handicapped sister. Moreover, my tuition fees posed a heavy financial burden on my family.


Le Hoang Khanh – Student at Can Tho University – Major: Construction Techniques

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