VietHope believes that a good education is essential to Vietnam’s growth and future. As such, VietHope works to create educational opportunities for financially disadvantage children in Vietnam. The Merit Scholarship Program and the Community Scholarship Program provide financial assistance to children living in rural areas while they attend primary and secondary schools. Our University Scholarship Program was established in the spring of 2005 and focuses on helping talented first-year university students from poor families.
General Vietnam Snapshot
- Vietnam is ranked in the 110th position of the 1999 UNDP Human Development Index; 50% of its population of 80 million is under 18 years old.
- The national per capita income amounts to US$220 per year.
Vietnam Student Demographics
Primary and Secondary Education
- An estimated 40,000 street children are working and living on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City alone.
- Over half of the country’s students do not continue on to secondary school, meaning they stop learning to read and write by the age of ten.
- While primary education is free for the first five years, there are school facilities that cannot adequately handle all the children, so students attend school for only half of the day.
- Many students drop out of high school to find work to help in supporting their families.
College Enrollment Rates
- Overall education enrollment rates in Vietnam have been increasing in the last few years. However, relative to primary and secondary school enrollment rates, college education enrollment is substantially lower.
- The low college enrollment rate in Vietnam can be at least partly attributed to the lack of funding. Every year many talented students who are accepted to the top universities find themselves unable to pursue a college degree due to their families’ financial restraints, the rising costs of a college education, and the extremely limited availability of governmental scholarships.
- Providing college scholarships through the University Scholarship Program to promising students with great potential is our hope to give such students the opportunity to pursue a college degree.
Letters from Scholarship Recipients
Below are excerpts from letters written by two of VietHope’s beneficiaries:
Sir/Madame, I have received the checks you have sent to me! It came right at the time when my family needed it most, when I had school fees to pay. We almost found no way out. Then, with that sum of money granted, I was so thankful, and it is hard for me to describe how happy I was.”
Le Hoang Giang, Merit Scholarship recipient
When I was in junior high school, I often dreamt that I was sitting in a lecture hall in a university where I would be studying…Today, I am a first year student and like many of my friends who first arrived in the city, we have encountered many challenges that have forced us to adapt quickly to our environment… Through USP, not only did I receive financial assistance, but I also received another special gift: friendship.”
Hoang Thi Kiem Lien, University Scholarship recipient