A Story of Hope

Dong Nai, February 17, 2014

Respectfully addressed to Brittany’s Hope Foundation

I was born in a family with 7 children (three older sisters, two older brothers, one younger brother and I). My parents are farmers by trade, they worked hard but their income was minimal. I can recall there were days where we did not have any food to eat.  Consumed with the worries of providing for the family, my parents worked long hours and were not there to look after us children. My older brothers and sisters made the sacrifice of giving up their education to care for us and to alleviate the family’s financial burden. My younger brother and I were able to continue our education. I was happy to have such an opportunity, but I knew deep down in my heart that my privilege of attending school would not be long.

As a little girl I did not have many wants in life. The wants I did have were to have enough food to eat and to be able to continue my schooling like the other boys and girls in the community. My family situation pained me a lot which caused me to cry often at night. My parent’s were getting old and simply could not continue to provide for me and as a result I was sent to the House of Love.  Once I came under the care of the House of Love, my life changed drastically, I had food, and most importantly I was able to continue my education. One year later, I found out a family in the United States had chosen me (Me!) to sponsor through the Brittany’s Hope Sponsorship Program. For the first time I felt so alive in knowing that someone half way across the ocean was supporting me spiritually through their letters and care packages and physically with their monthly donation to Brittany’s Hope. My spirit soared and I gained so much self-worth and confidence.

Time has gone so fast! I graduated from High School with high marks and was eager to continue my education to pursue a career in nursing.  I knew that the best place to study for this chosen field is in one of the universities in Ho Chi Minh. As I explored my options, I quickly learned that the cost for living and studying in this big city was high. I thought that I had to stop this dream because there was no way I could find the funds. When everything seemed to have ended, Brittany’s Hope learned of my desire and  opened their hands and heart to help me so that I could fulfill my dream and continue my higher education. I can’t find any words to express my thanks and appreciation for their help!

I became a student of Au Viet Intermediate School in Ho Chi Minh City in 2011 and have since completed two years of college.  I am happy to report that I earned good results in my studies and received my certificate from the college. I am so proud to share with you, my sponsors, Brittany’s Hope and those who have supported me that I found a job at a private clinic in Dong Nai province working as a nurse and making about $150/month!  I now can support myself and have the ability to give back to others in need with my skillset in nursing.  To this day I still find myself pinching my face to ensure all this is not a dream! I am the first in my family to have had the privilege of completing high school and the first to complete college.  Your support and investment in me has created a change not just within me, but with my family.  I have broken free from the vicious cycle of poverty!   It is a relief to know that my future children will not have to suffer as I once did, as they will have an educated mother that will be there to teach them and protect them.  Education is powerful and I am so appreciative of the opportunity I have received.

I would like to say thank you to Brittany’s Hope Foundation, my sponsors and the Nuns who supported and helped me during this time. My birth parents gave me life but you gave me a future!  Thank you!

Sincerely yours,

Gloria- Tran Thi Thanh Nhan