I first got involved with Children of Vietnam in summer 2011 as a fellow in the Asian American Pacific Islander in Philanthropy's cohort of VIETFellows--a group comprised of 2nd generation Vietnamese Americans learning about the history of Agent Orange in Vietnam and its disastrous effects on communities exposed to the deadly dioxin even 40 years after the end of the war. It was through my placement with COV and time spent in the Hope System of Care program that I came to respect how much impact a small group of dedicated staff from a small non governmental organization can make in the lives of so many vulnerable children with disabilities (CWD) and their families living in remote areas of Da Nang City, Vietnam. The staff of COV, and especially my supervisor in the Hope System of Care program, astounded me with the energy they put into their work and the genuine strides they took to ensure that those in a position to do something about the welfare of CWD were doing something no matter how small the effort. I left COV in late 2011 believing a brighter future was possible for these children thanks to the efforts of COV, its allies in Da Nang, and supporters around the world.
Fast forward years later and my and COV's paths cross once again when I was hired to become their grants & administration assistant. With even more privy to the internal operations of the organization, I find myself astonished on an almost daily basis by how far strong vision, leadership, and belief in a mission can sustain an organization and lead them to do the great things COV has done in its 20 year history. Without being bias, I can honestly speak to the integrity and compassion of COV's leadership evident by the network of steadfast donors and supporters who continue to build brighter futures for the children of Vietnam with COV through their time and monetary gifts.
Everyone is a bit skeptical about donating to a cause that they have not personally been involved with. I can understand because I felt the same way. When I became aware of Children of Vietnam several years ago I wanted to check it out to make sure the funds were being used as stated. I found out that COV had been approved to participate in the Federal n Combined Federal Campaign Fund (Federal workplace donations). This status helped me feel more comfortable donating money to COV. Since then, I have continued my donations to COV for many years, and I am certain that the money I donate is used judiciously and prudently. The COV newsletter keeps me informed of current projects in the DaNang area. I have participated in several fund raisers and have encouraged my friends and family to donate to COV.
Recently, I have become even more involved with COV as a volunteer. This experience has provided me more insight into Children of Vietnam. I have found the individuals involved to be extremely caring and compassionate. They are focused on COV's mission of building bright futures for the vulnerable children of Vietnam.
I was recently able to visit Children of Vietnam's in country office in Da Nang, Vietnam. Children of Vietnam supports children in poverty in Da Nang and Quangnam province. Seeing first hand how the organization functions was eye opening to say the least. I was impressed at the number of children directly assisted by COV- who provides funds for school tuition, books and uniforms to over 600 school children. Seeing the children's faces as they received their scholarships made the trip worthwhile. It was interesting to find that many of the parents attended the scholarship presentations- I realized how much they relied on COV help with their children's education.
I was privileged to observe Children of Vietnam's Hope System of Care program first hand at the annual evaluation day. Here medical professionals, educators and families with handicapped children are brought together with COV specialists to produce an annual plan to assist the children in all ways possible. This is a much needed program as the local government services are not sufficient to take care of these afflicted children.
COV has harnessed the best services available to support a wide variety of deserving children. The local COV staff are dedicated as well as professional. I am certain that the funds raised for Children of Vietnam efforts are meticulously administered to provide the best results possible. COV is an agency of positive change in DaNang and the surrounding province.
COV is a wonderful organization that takes their initiatives to heart by reaching out and changing lives of the under-privileged. I have volunteered with them for over 10 years. The staff in America and Vietnam are extremely dedicated to their mission and are a joy to work with. Seeing their programs first hand in Vietnam is inspiring. I have met the 25 Bright Girl Scholars and they are now aspiring to be doctors and policewomen. I've also visited three recipients from the Empowering Foundations for Women and their Children Program, focusing on impoverished single mothers with children. The gratitude the families and children show is palpable and the hope in their eyes is brighter than any wishing star. Thank you for making such a difference in so many lives, including mine.
As a Vietnamese person, i have seen so many wonderful contribution of Children of Vietnam to the children. COV has brought the hope to the hopeless. Thank you Mr. Ben Wilson, Ms. Nancy and Ms. Huong for your greatness.
I have been a volunteer and donor with COV since 2012. During the American War in Viet Nam I was a soldier in the two provinces south of Da Nang that are now part of COV’s Area of Operations. Doing volunteer photography with COV each March in Viet Nam takes me out to the locales of serious incidents experienced in 1968. Interacting with the Vietnamese peacefully with a camera rather than violently with a tank is helping me heal some very old wounds. This healing would not be possible without Nancy, Huong, and the COV organization.
Additionally, COV further helps me by administering The Dragoon Scholarship Fund I established in 2010. This is a small program focused on one of the many villages brutalized by my cavalry troop so long ago. Starting with six children this fund now supports 31 students as they progress through their schooling. Huong and her crew identify the truly needy children and ensure that the funds are properly applied.
If you happen to be a veteran of that war you might consider volunteering or donating to any one of COV’s worthy programs. You will likely do as much good for yourself as for the Vietnamese.
i have volunteered for many non-profits with varying levels of engagement and value, and I have to say working with COV was my best experience yet. Although they are small, it allow them to add a personal touch and you feel very valued as a volunteer. I first reached out to them as part of a community requirement for a leadership class, but over time i have continued to be drawn into their cause and mission. It was very fulfilling to see the strategy and plans we developed for them being utilized, communications was excellent even as busy as they were, and they were very open minded and appreciative of the work. Highly recommend Children of Vietnam!
Where to begin. I became acquainted with Children of Vietnam in 2003 and my love for the organization and its mission grabbed me from the beginning. My late husband had served in DaNang and had always wanted to return. Through Children of Vietnam, I was able to fulfill his dream and his passion for its children. I have had the opportunity to visit Vietnam on four different occasions with COV, both as a volunteer and member of the COV Board of Directors. In working with the COV staff in Vietnam, I saw, first-hand, that each program is carefully developed and administered. Each child and family is treated with respect and dignity; every dollar/dong is spent carefully. My fondest memories were meeting with university students - hearing their life stories and dreams. I have been able to provide university scholarships for 2 young ladies and correspond with them on a regular basis. There is no better way to bridge the miles that divide us and truly make the world a family.
When I joined the Children of Vietnam Board, I had never been to Vietnam and only read of the work done by this amazing organization. I have since traveled to DaNang 4 times. Visiting the Street Children program and working with the staff was one of the most heart warming an inspiring experiences of my life. The staff works directly with each child and family. Each penny and dollar is maximized to assist those in need. I have experienced children receiving scholarships, bicycles and homes. Tears of gratitude tell the story. Come and join us. It will change your life.
As a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and a master degree candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, I can adamantly say that working with Children of Vietnam has been the vital experience that strengthened my education and enriched my life. I have been working with Children of Vietnam for the past three years - and will always look forward to work with this great organization. First, I worked as a volunteer at their fundraising events and then as an intern for the organization in DaNang, Vietnam.
As an intern, my main objective was to capture and understand the life experiences of these single-women and their children. I also taught English to the Vietnamese COV staff and to young scholars, who are children of family of low-income. I was clear of my objectives and the execution of my plan. Yet, I did not expect to be so profoundly transformed by working with COV staff and experiencing life at a 20/20 eyesight.
COV staff are extremely professional and generous. They are graceful in the ways they treat people, especially to me as an intern who knew little about Vietnam, Vietnamese language, and Vietnamese culture. Yet it was not only grace that made this particular group of people so endearing to my heart. What struck me so deeply about COV staff is that they are incredibly generous and passionate about the work that they do. All of the COV staff truly believe that their work is influential and critical to their community. As such, they work extremely hard to transform a community of need into a community of hope, change, and empowerment.
Additionally, working with COV has transformed the way I viewed my life, thus my career choice. As an undergraduate at Chapel Hill, I sat somewhat on an ivory tower of success. I was academically successful and fairly decent in my living conditions. I have seen poverty plenty of times in TV and researched about people living in poverty. Academically, I possessed the theories and the knowledge about what poverty is and how we could effective resolve it. When I applied to be an intern for COV, I expected to bring my knowledge as a college student to Vietnam to teach people on how to live a more sustainable and empowered life. Yet having met these incredible women and their children, I realized I know little to nothing. I did not expect to be so profoundly educated and transformed. To be brutally honest, they did more to change my life than I did to impact theirs. These women opened up their homes and their life experiences for me to capture and to understand. They know more about living and how to sustain their lives more than anybody can, especially more than any U.S college students. How or why? because despite the challenges of their lives, they are still living and smiling! They do not view their lives as inferior or as unfortunate. They work with the hands they are dealt with. As such, I admire them - their strength, their courage, their knowledge, and their humanity. It is through working with COV that I gained a sense of humanity and understanding about poverty that no books, no great novels or no Nobel Prize-winning or ivy league professors could teach me. COV gave me an opportunity to humanity and a life-changing experience.
An excellent charity. They use donations towards helping children and their families by buying basic things that we take for granted. They regularly update donors with their progress and work. I will continue to support this worthy charity.
What a great organization. They really use donations to directly help and change peoples lives. Seeing photos posted on their FB page of people benefiting from my donation makes my day.
I have volunteered with Children of Vietnam (COV) since my early days in college and have seen first hand the devotion that COV's staff in Vietnam takes care of the children and families in Danang when I returned to the country after graduation. They give families the personal attention and specialized care that will help the most with their situation, from personal health plans to economic assistance that will help them built small businesses that will bring in consistent income to help their families. I had the opportunity to interact with COV's staff in Vietnam who are very talented and have chosen to work with COV even though they could also choose to work for many others. I can see the passion they have to their work.
I visited Children of Viet Nam (COV) with Dining for Women in March of this year. Our group was fortunate enough to have Nancy Letteri with us for a visit with several of the recipients of COV's generosity and guidance. What a difference these benefits can make in the lives of the women and children involved! COV is certainly doing a remarkable job with the many approaches they are using to pull a community out of dire poverty.
This nonprofit hits near and dear to my heart, as I am Vietnamese. The people involved in the nonprofit are so passionate about what they do, and they are definitely doing great things by trying to help the children of Vietnam.
When I first heard about Children of Vietnam, I thought this was a nonprofit too good to be true. I'm in the Vietnamese Student Association at the University of Virginia and COV was our cultural philanthropy project last year. I admire Children of Vietnam so much for putting a phenomenal amount of time and effort into a worthwhile cause that they are truly passionate about. I feel like Children of Vietnam embodies one of my favorite quotes by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
I volunteered as a UNC-VSA member once this semester when Children of Vietnam held their Little Red Envelope event to celebrate Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. I had immense fun playing a Vietnamese game, Ba Cua Ca Cop, with the little kids who were visiting, and they all seemed to be having fun, too. I was impressed by how organized and put-together the event was, and one woman was telling me how thankful she was to have an opportunity to expose her child to Vietnamese culture -- she even drove 1-2 hours to make it to the event, after hearing about it online! COV is a great, wide-reaching organization, run by very dedicated people.
I have worked with Children of Vietnam through the UNC Vietnamese Student Association. Over the years, we have maintained a great relationship and the VSA executive board members and other members have had a great time working together for a great cause. Volunteering with COV has been fulfilling and such a wonderful experience. The people we have worked with directly such as Helen and Nancy are hardworking and genuinely caring individuals. COV does amazing work and we are thankful for the opportunities COV gives to UNC VSA to be a part of that!
I had the pleasure to volunteer for this incredible non-profit organization, Children of Vietnam. The staff are very committed, dedicated, and professional. They are so amazing and I'm very satisfied with their work and hard efforts to bring the best to these disadvantage children. I'm honor to have supported such caring people and the lives they have enriched through their services.
An amazing charitable organization! Ben, Nancy, Huong and numerous staff work so very hard to to provide food, education, housing, and medical care to the wonderful children and families in Vietnam. Way to go and keep up the amazing work.
I had the privilege of working with Children of Vietnam during the summer of 2011 in Da Nang, Vietnam. I heard about Children of Vietnam from a good friend that had worked with them for many years. While studying abroad in Southeast Asia, I was traveling through Vietnam for a month and wanted to do research about the orphanages in rural areas to see if I could raise money to help them out in any way possible. I reached out to Children of Vietnam via their website, and they were very helpful and prompt in their response. We traveled with a group of four students, only one of them speaking Vietnamese. After I reached out to Children of Vietnam, they allowed me to reach out to the orphanages to contact them directly to set up my research. While in Da Nang, we visited the headquarters of Children of Vietnam and we were all very impressed with the office and the hospitality of the employees. Most of them were able to speak English so that we could communicate, and they told us about the history of the organization and what they are currently working on. I was surprised to see all of the areas that Children of Vietnam was able to work in. They seemed very well established, connected and deeply rooted to their community. They had pictures describing the projects that they are working on and pamphlets about all of their past accomplishments. While in Da Nang, we also worked with another Non-Profit that helped out orphans in the rural areas. Immediately, you could tell the difference between these two organizations. Although Children of Vietnam may have been founded by an American, the organization had a devout connection to the community that is deeply integrated. The employees of Children of Vietnam in Da Nang were all Vietnamese locals and understood the culture and spoke the language. When I returned back to the states I was able to raise some funds for Children of Vietnam and I specified exactly which orphanage I wanted them to be directed towards and how to be spent. Then in December 2011, my friend from Singapore was able to visit the orphanage again and all of our donations were documented, photographed, and distributed exactly as well had requested. I could not have been happier while working with Children of Vietnam. We really were able to learn so much from the organization while in Da Nang, and upon returning home to NC. I look forward to working with them again in the future!
I have been a volunteer and donor for Children of Vietnam and have been exceedingly impressed with the work they do to improve the lives of people in Vietnam. Their emphasis on education really is a way to break the poverty cycle. I have bought several houses for single mothers in Vietnam and took my family over to see the work done. The people of COV are so devoted and compassionate.
Two years ago my family and I went to Vietnam and make a short documentary (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gda9FHoOFw) to show what Children of Vietnam was doing with $27,000 that had been raised by the giving circle, Dining for Women. I was extremely impressed by the organization and efficiency of COV. They are building houses for $1100, providing scholarships to girls and bicycles for transportation. The staff is among the most caring people I have ever met. It is such an outstanding organization.
While I did not have the opportunity to work directly with Children of Vietnam, I did have the privilege to help out the organization in several joint functions with UNC-VSA. I would consider the experience, and the cause to be a very worthwhile and personable one that has enriched me and anyone else involved. While interacting with several people involved in COV, I realized that they were very passionate about their cause. Being an American-born Viet, I have had very few opportunities to aid and make an impact in my "home country." This organization places a heavy emphasis on the underprivileged and future of Vietnam and provides people like me with an opportunity to help out.