Why We Invest In Success!
There are many reasons to support The Scholarship Fund. Discover for your yourself the different perspectives from some of our donors who encourage you to join them and "Invest in Success"!
"Charity begins at home, and Hanoi is currently our home"
Maeve O'Donnovan and Dan Hamer
UNIS Hanoi parents Maeve O’ Donovan and Dan Hamer have been staunch supporters of the School’s Scholarship Fund since its inception five years ago. The couple, who have two college-age sons and one daughter, Sorcha in Grade 11, believe that helping people who are less fortunate than themselves, is an essential part of being a good global citizen.
Maeve explains, “I am originally from Ireland, which is a very giving nation and so I grew up giving to good causes. I’m not in Ireland right now but I am here and so I ask myself; what can I do here? What I can do is contribute to the Scholarship Fund.” Dan, who works in the energy sector adds, “There is an old saying that charity begins at home. Well, Hanoi is currently our home and we believe in giving. Charitable giving is also a way to stay connected to our community.”
Although the couple readily acknowledge the needs in Vietnam are many and varied, they say that giving to education changes more than one life and more than one circumstance in time. Dan elaborates, “We believe that education and healthcare for women are the two most effective ways you can help foster development and reduce poverty in nations such as Vietnam. Aside from UNIS Hanoi’s Scholarship Fund, we also support children whose parents have health issues. We pay their school fees so that the children’s education is not impacted. With education, a child can take of themselves and their families onto a different level.”
Maeve who is also the Board Administrator at UNIS Hanoi says it is evident that the scholarship programme at the School is shaping futures. “Just look at what our scholars have achieved!” she says. Dan continues, “What we love about giving to the Scholarship Fund is that we know pretty much dollar for dollar is given to a child and is not going towards administrative costs. We know that big charities have become big business. This is not a business, this is making a difference in someone’s life. I’d urge everyone to donate. Just think: for the price of just one family meal at a nice restaurant, you could improve lives.”
"‘It’s a domino effect of positive change"
As a seasoned educator, Middle School math teacher, Medeha Zahid knows the power of education. Having taught in inner city schools in the United States before joining UNIS Hanoi, she’s seen the impact education can make in elevating a child out of the trenches of poverty. This holds true moreso for girls, an issue she’s passionate about. She says, “Everyone here has a commitment to learning, and when we know that education is the most powerful tool a person can have, why shouldn’t we support it? As a member of the expatriate community here, I see how extremely privileged we are and I think the least we can do is to give back to a community we get so much out of".
But making a donation to the Scholarship Programme is not just about being charitable, insists Medeha; it’s also worth the investment, if the success of the first two graduates is anything to go by. She explains, “Two of our scholars have since graduated and have done very well and the impact they can have is tremendous. I think the programme is life changing and is a domino effect of positive change.”
Although Medeha has been teaching at the School for the past four years, this year she finds herself teaching a scholar for the very first time. This, she says, has given her a new perspective and deepened her commitment to the initiative. Medeha added, “Right now we have eight scholars at our School. But wouldn’t it be great if we had a larger percentage of our student body on scholarships? The Scholarship Programme is one thing we can do to give back in a meaningful way. I would like to see all members of the UNIS Hanoi community giving. Any amount shows that we truly believe in making a difference. We should walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”
"The Diversity is good for the School"
A mother who witnessed the influence UNIS Hanoi’s first scholar, Nam Nguyen, had on her oldest child, has become an ardent supporter of the Scholarship Fund. Ms Kelly Kim who hails from Korea would often hear how impressive Nam was - as a person and as a student, from her daughter, Joanne. Her interest piqued by Joanne’s glowing reports, Kelly decided to donate to the Scholarship Fund.
Kelly reveals, “By coincidence, Joanne was in some of the same classes as UNIS Hanoi’s first scholar, Nam. I quickly learned that Nam was bright, innovative and a natural leader. I was very impressed by the fact that Joanne learned a lot from him even though they come from different worlds. I think this diversity in the school is very good and that’s why I believe the programme should continue.”
Since Nam and Joanne graduated from UNIS Hanoi in 2015, Kelly has continued to support the programme. “Last year, I was one of the Scholarship Champions, encouraging parents that I know to make a gift to the Fund.”
Kelly hopes to continue supporting the Scholarship Fund, both as an individual and as part of the strong Korean community who make a donation collectively. She says, “UNIS Hanoi is a very good School and I believe we should all do something to support the School and uphold the reputation of the School.”
“No Gift is Too Small”
Former Board Chairman, Quang Nguyen and his wife Chi Pho are firm believers of the Scholarship Programme, making a generous donation every year towards the Scholarship Fund. The couple, whose oldest child studied at UNIS Hanoi from Grade One right through to graduation, and whose second child is currently in Grade 7, say the Scholarship Programme is good for Vietnam.
Chi says, “We are privileged to have this life and we know that our two sons have both benefited from learning at UNIS Hanoi, academically, socially and physically. We see the benefit in them every day. We believe that every child should have the right to quality education, no matter their economic situation, that’s why we support the Scholarship Programme. And just look at the results so far! I see that many of the children who won a UNIS scholarship have achieved very good results. Some have left UNIS and won full scholarship at very prestigious universities. We admire the effort of less privileged children who came to UNIS and did well. With the education that they are getting from UNIS Hanoi, they will advance further than they would if they were just supported through a local high school. They can achieve more because UNIS prepares them well for their future, opens their eyes and gives them confidence. Whether they will return to Vietnam or work overseas, we know they will be very good at what they do and we will be very proud that they are Vietnamese. I say let's give these kids a chance!”
With an appreciation that there are many other ways in which people can contribute to the development of people in Vietnam, Chi says that as much as someone can, they should also consider donating to the Scholarship Programme. She explains, “I hope many parents will join us by making even small gifts that together will make the fund large enough to make a real difference. I also hope that people will come to see the benefits in the Programme, like we have, and give more and more.”