Set up in 2010 in Japan by Dr. Luu Quang Hung, Hoa Phong Lan (Orchid) scholarship fund has given 390 scholarships each worth VND3 million ($129.3) to students from low-income families in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the central provinces of Thua Thien – Hue and Quang Tri and the northern province of THanh Hoa.
Talking about the establishment of the scholarship fund, Dr. Hung said that he was being a postgraduate student in Japan nurturing a scholarship fund for Vietnamese poor but good students along with some of his friends. In 2010, they launched the fund named Sakura which was receiving the good support of Vietnamese students studying in Japan. In 2012, the fund managers decided to move to Singapore with new name Hoa Phong Lan ( Orchid).
Recalling the first days if establishing the fund, Dr. Hung said some young Vietnamese intellectuals inclusing Dr. Dau Son Hoang from Nanyang University and Nguyen Thi Minh Hieu from the National University in Singapore have contributed greatly to the fund. However, because the news of the fund centered around intellectuals abroad and colleagues via letter; therefore, the fund is not big.
Luckily enough when hearing of the fund, Professor Phan Thien Nhan of the National University of Singapore and his wife were willing to sponsor the fund activities.
Annually, the scholarship fund-raising dinner & celebration in combination with auction of precious items and artistic pictures given by benefactors. The fund has two forms of scholarships: the first for high schoolers and the latter for fellowship.
The first aims at encouraging destitute high schoolers in the pursuit of their studying Tin the academic year 2018-2019 alone, 67 students were given the scholarships with total of VND201 million. Most of scholarship recipients have better academic performance than before. Some of them have won high prizes from the national and international contests; for instance, student Nguyen The Hoan captured the golden medal from the international Math Contest and many have been studying in the US, England Taiwan ( China) whereas their peers have been studying in local leading universities.
The latter will support young students’ projects. Young students nationwide send document describing their projects and its meaning to the community in which they live; the fund jury will grant full or partial scholarship to an applicant.
In past years, the fund managers have sponsored some projects including Bonbon Cafe Talks – series of seminar against violence in schools; 141s Foundation: organizing mid-autumn festival for orphans in SOS village ; Den Long Do ( Red Lantern): to help homeless senior people in charity house in HCMC and ElephanBook: teaching children in charity house in the highlands province of Kon Tum.
Presently, the fund has opened its network in Japan, the US, and Denmark to spread its practical acts to help Vietnamese poor students. Dr. Hung said in 2019 the fund will have more activities in Australia adding that it will receive support of young students learning the alien country. Moreover, the fund will expand schools to grant scholarships to more students.