Two Vietnamese students debuted on Wednesday their charity foundation, the first student-established fund to be licensed by the local authorities, and raised over US$170,000 to construct bridges to help students safely cross rivers in Vietnam’s rural areas.
The Nam Phuong Foundation was introduced to the public for the first time at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City.
The fund is generally meant to gather school and college students around the world to do charity work in Vietnam.
It was set up by Dinh Thi Nam Phuong – a sophomore at Britain’s Oxford University – together with her brother Dinh Ba Khang – enrolled in the 11th grade at an international high school in the southern city – and approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs in September last year.
The fund will be managed by VinaCapital Foundation, the charity arm of Vietnamese asset manager VinaCapital, and receive legal support from local law firm VCI Legal.
Pledges to contribute more than VND3.6 billion ($171,428) were made at the debut event by local and international school and college students, donors, and Vietnamese celebrities.
Phuong and Khang planned to build four bridges for local people and students to ford rivers, instead of using boats, in rural regions this year but that number will be more than double thanks to the donation.
“We will construct nine to ten bridges with that amount of money,” Khang said.
A $14,000 bridge was already built in the southern province of Tien Giang in September 2011 from funds raised by the two siblings.