Although Chang’s parents worked hard, he still didn’t have enough food to eat growing up. Now Chang dreams of opening a restaurant to provide stable income for him and his family.
“I want to have a steady vocation,” the 21-year-old said. “When I was young, I dreamed about living in security.”
Chang is working hard to make his dream a reality thanks to Samaritan’s Purse sponsored-training at Hoa Sua Vocational School in Hanoi, Vietnam. We provide scholarships for ethnic minority students to study at the well-respected school where students learn skills such as embroidery, hotel management, baking, and cooking.
Samaritan’s Purse has supported more than 700 students since partnering with the school in 2002. We also provide life skills classes and opportunities to interact with Christian staff.
Most of our scholarship students are from poor families like Chang’s. He grew up in a mountainous community in northern Vietnam where jobs are scarce.
“We didn’t have gardens or rice fields to cultivate,” he said. “My parents had to grow corn on the mountainside, which is a five-hour walk from our house.”
Chang’s culinary training at Hoa Sua is preparing him to make delicious dishes from both Asian and European cuisine. He said he is excited about pursuing a brighter future in the restaurant business.
Chang thanks Samaritan’s Purse for the opportunity to receive training that will prepare him for a productive career. “I would still be at home going to the terraced field to help with farming if there were no school and no Samaritan’s Purse support. It would be terribly hard,” he said.
Love for family also motivated Trang, 19, to attend Hoa Sua in order to help support his parents and two younger sisters.
Trang was a significant contributor to the family income until he got sick a couple years ago.
“I was very strong and could help my parents with farm work. But I got an intestinal disease and I can’t do the farm work anymore,” Trang explained.
After two years of medication, Trang’s body slowly began to heal, yet “it’s still painful,” Trang said. “I just have to bear the pain.”
Since Trang will never recover to full strength, and hard, physical labor isn’t a long-term option, he’s learning hotel management skills at Hoa Sua.
The six-month training will allow Trang to quickly return to his community and begin looking for a job.
“My parents are waiting for me at home,” he said. “I’m very happy to receive a Samaritan’s Purse scholarship.”
Thao quit school after eighth grade to help her parents on the farm and to allow her brothers time to attend school.
“The farm work was very hard. I came home late at night and went to bed just to prepare for another hard day of labor,” she said.
Thao’s parents encouraged her to learn a trade so that she could more easily provide for herself and the family. Thao chose embroidery because she wanted to pass on what she learned to her siblings.
At Hoa Sua, Thao has learned to sew a variety of apparel such as aprons, pants, shirts, dresses, skirts, and school uniforms.
“This is all new learning for me,” Thao said. “My dream is to open a shop near my parents.”
Thao said she is grateful for our scholarship. “Samaritan’s Purse helped me a lot during a difficult time. I thank the Samaritan’s Purse staff for encouraging me.”
Many former Samaritan’s Purse scholarship recipients are now enjoying success in their fields. Luong (featured in the video at the top of the page) graduated from Hoa Sua in 2002 and immediately went to work as a baker at a five-star hotel in Hanoi.
That experience gave Luong the confidence to open a bakery of his own, which is well-known throughout Vietnam and has been featured on national television.
“I was accepted into the Hoa Sua culinary program and it totally changed my life. I never dreamed I’d have my own bakery,” Luong said.
“The culinary program totally changed my life.”
Luong’s parents divorced when he was 14 years old. He lived on the streets briefly before being accepted into Hoa Sua.
Students in the baking program learn how to bake bread, cakes, and pastries. Today, Luong’s bakery treats are so tasty that promising bakers from throughout northern Vietnam come to Hanoi to take baking classes with him and to learn how to open their own bakeries.
“Receiving the Samaritan’s Purse scholarship was a turning point in my life,” Luong said. “From the bottom of my heart, I would like to say a deep thank-you to Samaritan’s Purse.”
Please pray for the students of Hoa Sua Vocational School. Pray that they will trust in God’s plan for their lives and will come to know His love for them.
More than a billion people worldwide are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Through your gifts, Samaritan’s Purse is providing lasting solutions through hands-on farming training, home garden projects, and practical education about nutrition, as well as desperately-needed food staples for hungry families in emergency situations.