The VinaCapital Foundation was founded in 2006 by Don Lam - Co-Founder and CEO of VinaCapital, and Robin King Austin, to improve the lives of children in Vietnam.
The seeds of the foundation were sown when VinaCapital sponsored the surgery cost for a child with congenital heart defects (CHD) named Cam Dung from Quang Nam. VinaCapital’s staff also donated 4 blood units for Dung’s surgery. Though diagnosed with serious heart defects since infancy, Dung barely received any treatment because her family was too poor. It was only when she had reached 8 years old and her ventricular septal defect became critical that she was introduced to VinaCapital for emergency support. Moved by Dung’s circumstance, Don Lam – Co-Founder and CEO of VinaCapital, was inspired and determined to start saving more disadvantaged children like Dung.
In December 2005, Don initiated The VinaCapital Challenge Campaign for Children’s Hearts with a challenge gift of $31,500 from VinaCapital to encourage people to contribute to poor children’s heart surgeries. Don was passionate about the program and began to reach out to the VinaCapital family of investors and portfolio companies to raise funds.
Don knew Robin King Austin, an American expat who came to Vietnam in 2003 following her husband who was the CEO of a USA company. Robin wanted to help vulnerable children in underserved communities. Both Don and Robin had a powerful vision to build an organization that focused on saving the lives of children with congenital heart defects and creating a better, healthier Vietnam. With their joint dedication, Don and Robin co-founded the VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) in 2006, with VinaCapital as the funding partner covering all VCF’s overhead costs. VCF became an American non-profit tax-deductible 501(c)(3) organization and licensed as an international NGO in Vietnam to implement development and humanitarian projects in 63 provinces.
In 2008, the program name Heartbeat Vietnam was created for the flagship program of the foundation which provides free heart surgeries to disadvantaged children with CHD. VCF continues to expand its program activities in the health and education sectors with an evidence-based, data-driven and real-time monitored approach. Don Lam has served as Chairman of the Board of the foundation since its establishment. In 2018, Robin King Austin retired from the CEO position and now serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. The current CEO of the foundation is Rad Kivette who has served at VCF since 2009.
VCF is honored to be the first member in Vietnam of a united global community of more than 200 member organizations fighting against cardiovascular diseases.
This is a joint effort to create a powerful movement that influences national and global health agendas delivering long-term sustainable change.
VCF has been awarded certificates and recognition from the authorities of every province in Vietnam for our efforts and meaningful work over the years.
In 2018, VCF received the Award for Community by the Australian Chamber of Commerce for our programs’ achievements and impacts throughout Vietnam.
In 2020, VCF earned the Saigon Times CSR Award for the positive impact that we have made to the community and sustainable development in Vietnam, as well as The AmCham 2020 Community Impact Achievement Award for VCF’s contributions to COVID-19 Pandemic Relief. VCF’s achievements have also been recognized through the CSR Recognition Award 2019, 2020 and 2021 by AmCham Vietnam to VinaCapital Group – our long-time donor for more than 15 years.
In 2021, VCF was honored to receive a special Certificate of Merit from the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations for our cooperation and significant contributions to the country’s sustainable development, and the 2021 AmCham CARES Award for our Covid-19 relief activities in Vietnam.
VCF has been consecutively voted by our volunteers and partners as the Top-rated Nonprofit on GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits.
We also earn the highest level of recognition for our reporting transparency on Guidestar – one of the most prestigious organizations that validate NGOs’ efficiency, transparency and reputation.