A Brighter Path: Scholarships for Ethnic Minority Girls
Providing education, skills, resources and hope for a brighter future.
More than half of Vietnam’s ethnic minority households live in poverty, according to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office. Over six million people struggle to address their basic needs and have no chance to prosperous.
Living in rural areas, their financial struggles are exacerbated by social and cultural isolation. Ethnic minorities, especially girls, often lack the opportunities to further their education. Factors such as the need for girls to work to support their families help with the household chores, and early marriage impede their opportunities for education.
The VinaCapital Foundation created Brighter Path, a program for Ethnic Minority Girls to provide hope for a brighter future and a break from the poverty cycle for ethnic minority girls in Vietnam.
This program provides 50 impoverished ethnic minority girls with mentoring and scholarships while they attend high school and university. Each student receives a seven-year scholarship (three years of high school and four years of university), including support for books, food, housing, and uniforms or clothing. Their families must commit to support their daughter’s education throughout the duration of the scholarship.
Prior to the start of each school year, VCF convenes all beneficiaries for the “Empowerment Meeting”, engaging the girls in workshops relevant to their personal and academic growth, including career planning, building good study habits and self-confidence, financial literacy and health and nutrition. The girls are also exposed to exemplary Vietnamese women who mentor and inspire them.
As a result, the girls who arrive shy, scared and with very narrow horizons, develop confidence in their ability to succeed, a much better world-view, and many opportunities for their career. With an education, a young girl has the power to break out of the poverty cycle. As she does, she can also channel her resources to help create better prospects for those closest to her, in her family and her community.
During Phase 1 of the program, 47 girls were accepted into college or university. In 2017 the majority of the girls graduated and began full-time jobs. Others in longer degrees are in their final years of study, or beginning post-graduate degrees.
In September 2014, VCF funded an additional 28 ethnic minority students in a four-year university scholarship and mentoring program.
In June 2017, 50 additional girls from 23 ethnic groups in 36 provinces were selected for the 7 year program.