Education is not free in Vietnam and many other countries in Southeast Asia. In Khánh Hoà province, Vietnam, low-income students barely possess any school supplies because their families even struggle to survive against food & housing insecurity. This big disadvantage badly affects their ability to complete the necessary education. We, the Unity Through Diversity Club at Portland Community College, are raising a small but impactful fund to help alleviate the cost of their school supplies, which will widely open the door for these low-income students.
In addition, a part of the fund will also be used to assist a local orphanage named Nhân Ái which is currently providing a safe environment for 130 orphans. Imagine losing your parents, and living in a orphanage where all is craved is an act of LOVE. Even a stranger who just gives a simple smile is a powerful feeling.
Kien, one of our members, is from Vietnam. On July 22, 2017, Kien, Jazmin Menjivar and other friends are travelling to Vietnam, but not empty handed. We are raising funds to make a contribution to the low-income community there through our “Spread the Love” Project.
How is the fund spent?
About $300 will be charged through Go Fund Me!
$1,300 will be used to buy school supplies for students in need. Each student will receive a bag which has a backpack, pens, pencils, color pens, coloring books, notebooks, glue, ruler, scissors, erasers and other materials. If we received more donations, we will add school uniforms (white shirt and black/navy pants) to our bags. A bag is worth about $30-$35. From K-12 and of course college, everyone needs to pay the tuition and fees to be able to go to school. The cost of school supplies is another struggle that stresses the students and their family at the beginning of every school year. For this reason, we hope to be able to give out school supplies bags to 30 students.
$1,300 will be given to Nhan Ai Orphanage (http://bit.ly/2u8Bl0l), which houses approximately 130 orphans. $1,000 of that money will be given in cash to help for the purchasing of food for the orphans, general upkeep of the orphanage and periodic expenses. Our group will use $300 to celebrate a day where we just cook, serve food and play with the orphans.
$100 will be spent on assisting volunteers and to cover other related costs.
Thank you so much!
Who are we?
We are Unity Through Diversity, a student-led club at Portland Community College. We started on June 2016 in a tiny room at our local college and we have been growing. We respect differences among people. We believe that change starts with movement, therefore movement impacts not only locally, but also targets global issues. Unity Through Diversity helps people strive to understand differences in cultures, generation, and identities from our collective human experience.
Our core team members are respected leaders in their communities.
Trami Nguyen (she/her/hers) has worked in leadership positions with many diverse backgrounds at Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), JADE District, and Church. She believes that advocacy is essential to improving our neighborhoods. Communities will grow stronger if people invest their time and energy into fixing the issue versus staying oblivious to the cause.
Ryo An (he/him/his) has advocated for marginalized communities throughout APANO, Outside In, and Portland Community College (PCC). With firsthand experience on housing insecurity and homophobic environments, he wants to remedy these lingering issues in our communities with advocacy work. Ryo believes that by sharing his story, we can view life’s obstacles as humble beginnings to greater work.
Jazmin Menjivar (she/her/hers) has taught free citizenship classes and mentored local high school students who are at-risk dropouts. With her English and El Salvadoran background, she identifies with issues surrounding language barriers and disabilities. She sacrifices her vulnerabilities in order to give everyone a chance to learn in an equitable environment. Jazmin believes that we all can rise together and advocate for our community.
Phuong Phan (she/her/hers) grew up in a family surrounded by domestic violence. She firmly believes that nobody should be abused. She has advocated against abuse to protect not only her mother, but also people around the world. As a feminist and student advocate at the Women’s Resource Center at PCC, she has learned that by standing together, we can fight to eradicate sexism and domestic violence.
Kien Truong (he/him/his) identifies as low-income and first generation college student. He recently emigrated from Vietnam. However, his language barriers did not hinder his education and involvement. Through the Associated Students of Portland Community College, he showcases his commitment to social justice by creating events that are accessible and inclusive to not only students, but also the community. He discovered his passion and now plans to continue these community-oriented goals.