Thu was born in a poor family in January, 1997, in a suburb district of Hanoi. Her father died of liver cancer, leaving her mother to work very hard to support the young children to the point of exhaustion. The Hanoi Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs stepped in with support, and Thu was turned over to an orphange in February, 2007.
During the past seven years, Thu has thrived academically and has been actively involved in the programs at the orphanage. A cheerful and sociable girl, she is well liked by her teacher and classmates, helps other people and was elected class president.
At the Grade 10 entrance exam in the academic year 2012–2013, eight orphans took the exam, but only Thu passed. This year, she is a member of a select class of the school.
Thu is very obedient, works hard to help the housemothers with housework, and tutors younger children. In July 2013, she represented the orphanage and attended the “Children’s Forum” of Hanoi City. The organizer selected her to be the MC for the opening of the Forum, and her confidence was evident. At the end of the event, she received word that she would be participating in the National Children’s Forum in September.
Participation in the National Children’s Forum was a great honor for her and gave her more opportunities to learn and interact with other children across the country.
The Forum also gave her an opportunity to enter a film contest on School Violence sponsored by the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Ministry of Education and Training Organization. The film she produced with a couple of other orphans, “The Day of School”, won Third prize.
In November, Thu experienced even greater joy and recognition when she and two other children from the orphanage were selected to attend at the “2013 International Film Festival for Asia Children” in Japan. Her one-week long trip to Japan was both fun and rewarding.
The many extracurricular activities have not deterred Thu from her commitment to studying. She regularly asks the orphanage’s board of directors to let her study overtime at the school and asks students to volunteer to help reinforce what she has learned in the evening during the week.
Much of the mental preparation that her schedule demands comes from the encouragement and support of her Sponsor. Letters filled with love and sincere encouragement motivate her to overcome fate and better herself. During the past several years, in addition to monthly support, her Sponsor also sent money to cover additional gifts to her. She has requested that some of the funds be put into savings that she will use for extra courses in grade 12 when she has to study for the university entrance exam.
With a dream of becoming a doctor in the future, Thu promises to always study her best and push towards the successful implementation of her dream as a student at Hanoi Medical University someday. She always silently thanks her Sponsor very much, knowing that their commitment to her all these years allowed her to dream and made the difference in what could have been a very difficult and disadvantaged life.