The VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) and the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund are jointly organizing three-day Empowerment Workshops in Ho Chi Minh City from July 13 to 15 for 50 ethnic minority girls who are members of the “A Brighter Path” program.

The event had the honor of welcoming Ms. Truong My Hoa, former Vice President of Vietnam and Chairwoman of the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund, Mr. Rad Kivette, CEO of the VCF, and distinguished guests.

The Dream Meeting equips rural ethnic girls with the necessary skills and motivation to complete their high school education and prepare for university in the city. They visited three major campuses - the University of Economics, the University of Social Sciences & Humanities, and the University of Medicine - to better understand the environment that awaits them in one year.

The leadership and public speaking skills workshops led by CEO Le Thi Thao, international designer Betty Tran, and Brighter Path graduate Thach Ngoc Anh Thu, aimed to increase the girls’ confidence and competency. Another workshop, on critical knowledge of sexual and reproductive health, was chaired by Professor Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, former Director of Tu Du Hospital.

“A Brighter Path” is a seven-year education initiative for exemplary ethnic minority girls who are selected based on their academic records and passion for social improvement. The goal of the program is to empower the girls to overcome poverty and cultural barriers and become competent and confident as leaders in their communities.

The girls will inspire other people in their communities to dream, build a career, and live their life in a more productive way. In addition to tuition fees, scholarship recipients will be awarded books, notebooks, accommodation, nutrition, and uniforms during three years of high school and four years of university. Forty-six girls in the first group of “A Brighter Path” graduated from university and have jobs or are starting families. These successful results build a solid foundation for “A Brighter Path” to continue with a second group.

“The impact from ‘A Brighter Path’ is tremendous,” said Ms. Hoa. “After graduating, the students from Phase I have become young professionals who are devoting their talents to building a better life for their families and communities. They are working hard to help improve their hometown and many of them have joined the Women’s Union to bring modern knowledge to ethnic women.”

“Women’s empowerment and gender equality are important in Vietnam and ‘A Brighter Path’ alumni are making positive and sustainable impacts. We are very happy with their contributions after Phase I. They give us confidence that Phase II can achieve even greater goals.”

“VCF’s mission is to empower Vietnamese children, including ethnic minority girls in ‘A Brighter Path’, to overcome difficult circumstances, enjoy better education, and have a healthier, better life,” said Mr. Don Lam, VinaCapital CEO and VCF Board Chairman. “I believe that investing in education for these girls is one of the best investments we can make to contribute to Vietnam’s growth. When these girls graduate, have a job and build their career, they will be the frontrunners of economic development in their villages.”