Last week Tran Viet Hoang, a student at Hanoi University of Education, arrived at Vietnam Investment Review’s headquarters to receive a scholarship thanks to the Swing for the Kids scholarship fund.
|Swing for the Kids making students’ dreams a reality |
Hoang is a disadvantaged student from the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien. His mother is weak due to being affected by chemicals left over from Agent Orange, and the pair of them get scant income from selling vegetables at the market. When Hoang lives in Hanoi, he has to earn money to take care of himself. But now, he is being helped up thanks to the scholarship fund.
“I arrived in Hanoi in February to start an offline study programme at the university. I started to look for part-time jobs to earn money without the support from my family. I am working at a bubble tea restaurant and as a tutor,” Hoang said.
Hoang was delighted when he learned he would be receiving support in the form of a scholarship. “I am grateful to the organising board of the tournament. I will send a part of the scholarship to my mother to buy medical supplies and food. My mother’s improving health will help me focus on studying,” Hoang said.
Chao Lo May, a freshman from the Academy of Policy and Development under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, was also excited to become one of five students at the academy to receive a scholarship funded by Swing for the Kids.
May was born in a poor family in Bat Xat district of the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai. The family depends on his elderly mother, who is a farmer, and his brother-in-law – who is a freelancer with an unstable income. Their life became ever harder when the pandemic broke out.
“The tough life in the mountainous region in collaboration with disadvantaged family circumstances forced students like me to make a double or even triple effort to get a good academic result. I always remind myself that studying well is the only way to escape poverty,” May said.
Thanks to his effort and determination, he has been an excellent pupil for many years. In Grade 12, he won the second prize in a scientific research competition organised by Lao Cai, with a project about herbal bath products from traditional remedies of the Dao people in Sapa.
“Since I came to Hanoi to start studying at the academy, it has been hard because I have to fend for myself in the city where everything is expensive, while still ensuring good academic results. Thus, I am so grateful to be supported with such a large amount of money. I can pay part of my tuition and living expenses, and the path to fulfilling my dream of becoming a businessman becomes closer and easier,” May said.
The other four students of the academy that received a scholarship worth $435 each from the Swing for the Kids fund are Mai Van Yen, Vu Minh Phuc, Ho Thi Binh, and Phan Thi Khanh Huyen.
Another five students at Hanoi University of Education received a scholarship worth $260 each. They are all students who have been studying well despite their difficult backgrounds and have learned how to be self-reliant in a large city while receiving little or zero support from their families.
Vu Minh Phuc, a 19-year-old student from Thanh Oai district of Hanoi, was born into a very poor family. Her parents are too old to work, and her mother is often weak due to heart disease and other ailments, and must be treated at Hanoi Heart Hospital and Viet Duc Hospital around the year. Phuc’s younger brother is studying at Nguyen Du - Thanh Oai High School, and so earning money to pay tuition for Phuc and her brother has been a big burden.
Phuc said, “It is the first time that I have received a meaningful scholarship, which helps cover part of my learning expenses and buy school equipment and textbooks. It simultaneously provides us with spiritual support through stimulating us to make strides in learning to get a good job, and I can help my parents and my brother.”
Since 2007, Swing for the Kids has gained a reputation for its humanity, prestige, transparency, and professionalism. Although the value of the scholarships is not big, it shows confidence in the pupils’ bright future.
Le Trong Minh, head of the tournament’s Organising Board and editor-in-chief of VIR said, “We believe that the fund will continue to complete its mission as a bridge between warm kind hearts and poor students. The scholarship will be the spiritual encouragement to help alleviate hardships for poor students and foster their ambitions.”
Since Swing for the Kids was established, the tournament has raised over $800,000 to provide more than 18,000 scholarships for disadvantaged students, build IT classrooms with new computers, and upgrade numerous schools in over 40 cities and provinces across the country.
The 15th Swing for the Kids annual charity tournament will take place on April 16 at BRG Kings Island Golf Resort in Dong Mo, Hanoi to continue raising funds for talented but disadvantaged students.
In addition to large corporations and organisations such as Samsung Electronics Vietnam, Vingroup, KinderWorld Education, Bob Parsons Foundation, Sun Group, Vietnam Beverage, Maxum Paint, AT Travel, Vietnam Textile, and Tasco, hundreds of additional golfers join up every year. In recent years, the number of golfers has always far exceeded expectations. They highly appreciate the humanitarian spirit of the event, considering it as a noble gesture and a social activity that should be maintained and spread further.
“When the cooperation and social responsibility of businesses are enhanced, many programmes have been organised, contributing to bringing more knowledge to Vietnamese children, to the promotion of social responsibility, and the progress of society. And Swing for the Kids is so proud to lead the trend,” said former Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc, chairman of the fund.
Last year’s charity golf tournament raised VND1.3 billion ($56,500) from donors like Vingroup, Samsung, BRG, SeaBank, KinderWorld, and hundreds of other companies and entrepreneurs. Of this, VIR directly presented VND1 billion ($43,500) to students across the country, and another VND300 million ($13,000) was delivered to Vietnam’s Learning Promotion Fund.
As of last September, VIR has presented scholarships to 10 localities across the country, including Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Dien Bien, Phu Yen, and Ninh Thuan. A total of VND600 million ($26,000) has been delivered to 900 well-performing students.
That month, an online ceremony between VIR and the University of Transport and Communications took place to assist 50 students who were stuck in Hanoi and struggling financially. In addition, hundreds of millions of VND were offered to students of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities as well as a Fatherland Front Committee in Dong Da district, where thousands of students from five surrounding universities are living.
Nguyen Tien Thinh - Representative Maxum Paint
For several years now, Maxum Paint has been accompanying VIR in charitable activities, particularly those in favour of students who come from needy families but have been doing their utmost to shine in their studies.
Despite various hardships, especially in the past two years, our company continues to work with VIR’s Swing for the Kids to support underprivileged yet brilliant students who are the future of our country, this year acting as the Hole in One co-sponsor.
As a sponsor, we hope frequent exchanges are held between the Organising Board and beneficiary schools and colleges to ensure deserving students do not miss out.
Dang Thi Ngoc Han - Miss Vietnam 2010 and ao dai designer
I am glad to have an opportunity to participate in a sports tournament earmarked to favour children. I have partaken in many diverse community-oriented activities, and those beneficial to children are of my particular attention.
Being part of this significant event is my great pleasure as it helps us to improve physical health, simultaneously enabling us to contribute our minor part to advocating the learning efforts of students.
To spread its significance, apart from joining the event physically and making contributions to support deserving students, sharing the event on familiar networking sites is also important.
Nguyen Huong Lan - Director of Corporate & Business Development KinderWorld Education
Focusing on education, our top target is that the scholarships and quality training programmes we have been giving the students would provide the knowledge and skills necessary for them to earn a living, and not just a meal for a single day.
Like many other units operating in this field, our training facilities were among those feeling the hardest brunt of pandemic impacts. Despite that, in 2020 we still realised 60-70 per cent of scholarship commitments. In the upcoming time, with the re-opening of the state for educational units, and as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually removed, we are confident of facing no difficulties in completing set scholarship commitments.
Lee Seung Jun - Director of Communications Samsung Electronics Vietnam
We would like to thank the organisers for this chance to support poor students with good study outcomes. We are very pleased that Samsung and Swing for the Kids share the same goals for charity and corporate social responsibility.
We are also happy about the launch of the tournament after more than one year of suspension during the pandemic. We appreciate the results of last year’s scholarship activities despite the cancellation of the tournament. Continuing to share the same core values and human actions, Samsung pledges a long-term companionship to the tournament in the future to deliver contributions to the growth of the Vietnamese youth.