Having access to education should not be limited by your family’s wealth or economic status but unfortunately for many of Vietnam’s youth, being able to chase their dreams is just not possible.
Giving back to the incredible community of Hoi An and its surrounding region is something that is on the minds of many who visit or live here, but they have no idea what to do. By supporting the Lifestart Foundation, you have a chance to help a charity that is doing incredible things for the youth and disadvantaged families of Central Vietnam.
What is the Lifestart Foundation?
The Lifestart Foundation (LSF) is a grassroots not-for-profit charity that is committed to breaking the poverty cycle and actively supporting young promising students by giving them access to a complete education.
Scholarships are given to academically gifted students who do not have sufficient family income to be able to complete secondary school, high school and then university. These students are supported through every facet of their education including their tuition fees, books, uniforms and also food and accommodation. Since it is common that students need to live away from home to attend university from 4-6 years, Lifestart Foundation makes sure they are comfortable and taken care of so there is no financial burden or stress on their family. Even the dream of becoming a doctor is a possibility, with major scholarships provided to attend Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
All students are allocated a mentor upon receiving their scholarship to guide them through their schooling years. This mentor monitors the students’ dedication to study along with academic progress and achievements.
To date, students that have been blessed with the amazing opportunity provided to them by LSF have obtained degrees in Medicine, Architecture Studies, Law, Environmental Studies and Teaching.
Other Charity Work
Aside from opening education doors to the youth of Central Vietnam, LSF is involved in other worthwhile community projects:
Sustainable and ongoing income streams: Hoi An locals can take part in vocational training projects or LSF Fair Trade workshops, where they are able to learn about making different arts and crafts to sell.
Housing: There are a number of extremely poor families that live in homes made from coconut leaves or tin, which can be dangerous and expose families to the elements. Most do not have running water, a bathroom or a kitchen, so LSF provides safe accommodation to those families whose homes are not at a suitable living standard. These families receive a modestly-built brick and cement home with a kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms.
Transport: LSF provides bicycles for Vietnamese locals to be able to get to school or work so they are able to make a living or continue their education.
Disaster Relief: With annual devastating typhoons and floods, many families lose their homes and belongings, and even their livelihood. LSF assists these families with getting back on their feet quickly and can even provide seeds for the growing of crops.
How Can You Help?
The Lifestart Foundation has invested over 14 billion VND in the youth of Central Vietnam so far and has a growing number of success stories. There are many more willing and able students that would love the opportunity to be able to further their education but need the help and support of LSF in order to do so.
By sponsoring a student through LSF, you can ensure that they receive ongoing support for their education whether it is in secondary school, high school or university. You’ll receive regular updates on their progress together with an annual letter and photo.
There are also other ways you can support this wonderful charity. You can:
- Volunteer your time.
- Donate: Donations are always welcome to buy supplies and to assist with education programs and family support.
- Organise a fundraising event.
- Purchase a LSF gift certificate.
- Join a lantern making class: This is a great way to experience some Central Vietnamese culture and learn a new skill along the way. Classes are available daily and all proceeds go into supporting the LSF Education Scholarship project.
You can also purchase items from the LSF Workshop store located at 14 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street where proceeds will go directly back into the charity.
To find out more information about how you can help the Lifestart Foundation, please visit their website: https://www.lifestartfoundation.org.au/donate/
Volunteering with LSF – Erica Gardiner