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June 11th 2013
Published: June 20th 2013
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A -  Scholarship StudentA -  Scholarship StudentA - Scholarship Student

Is now completing his final years of Medical School in Hue thanks to his wonderful sponsors from Victoria Australia.
One of the very important projects of the Lifestart Foundation in Vietnam is the education of children. At the core of this project are the 7-year Education Scholarships covering years 6 to 12 in Secondary school.

The children are around 12 years old when they are awarded this "life changing" Lifestart Foundation scholarship. The 7 Year Education Scholarship cost covers all school fees, books, stationery and uniforms, plus the cost of “additional classes”. Without the opportunity to attend additional classes, both at school and under private tuition, most children will probably not make it past year 9. Paying for government school fees alone will not enable these students to progress to Year 12 with high enough marks to enter University. Furthermore, coming from such poor families, without our support too many parents decide to remove their children from school to work in the fields to help support their family or to work on the street selling trinkets to tourists. These Lifestart Foundation Education Scholarships give the children a chance to finaly break the poverty cycle.

This blog is being sent to you now because, firstly, the new school year in Vietnam starts in September and scholarships will be awarded to candidates who meet Lifestart Foundation’s criteria in August. Interviews are held during June and July. Secondly, in Australia it is the end of our tax year and donations will be eligible for tax deductible status, which can almost halve the cost to donors.

The criteria for scholarships is simple. The children must be excellent students, at the top end of their class, and they must come from extremely poor and disadvantaged families. We thoroughly check out all of the details regarding each potential scholarship student with local authorities and in interviews with their families, teachers and school principals. All students are monitored and mentored regularly to ensure that academic achievement and dedication to study is maintained at all times.

What does a 7 year scholarship cost? The cost is $3,500. That’s not $3,500 each year, but $3,500 for the entire 7 years. This is paid up front so that we have the funds in advance to guarantee the whole scholarship period. These funds are quarantined and invested separately in bank term deposits exclusively for the use of scholarship costs. To obtain a tax deduction in Australia, which can gain a tax refund of up to 46.5%!o(MISSING)f any donation, Lifestart Foundation directs the donations through Global Development Group, a registered deductible gift recipient in Australia. The net cost after tax to donors can then become just $1,872 for giving a child the gift of a full and complete education and also a wonderful opportunity to improve their life and to break the poverty cycle.

What do you get in return for a 7 Year Education Sponsorship donation? Each donor is matched to a student and you receive their details, including a photograph. Then each half year donors receive an update on their student’s progress, a recent photograph, a copy of their school report and a personal letter from their student, both in Vietnamese and translated into English.

And if you do travel to Vietnam, you can meet with your sponsored students at the Lifestart Foundation Workshop in Hoi An. Our experience is that donors who have met with their sponsored students are left in awe with their enthusiasm and appreciation of having received a scholarship. The children know the value of a chance at an education that their parents never had. Many of them live in a
Scholarship StudentsScholarship StudentsScholarship Students

Hong and Lua 2010 & 2011 7 year Education Lowther Hall Scholarship students pictured with Chanel and Erin from Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School, Australia
“residence” no bigger than the Australian family’s car garage, often with dirt floors and without electricity, and do their homework by candle light.

All of our scholarship students without exception happily spend all of their time either taking classes, studying or helping at home.

The minimum amount of study at home that all students do is one and a half hours daily but many do four to five hours. They then all complete housework to help their families, this includes, cooking, washing clothes by hand and cleaning the house. Most of their parents are rice farmers who work 12 hours per day, 7 days per week for an income of approx. $1 per day.

If you asked any of our students what they would like, it is always something to do with education, either more classes or books. No such things as mobile phones, flat screen TV's or ipads on their wishlist!

If you were fortunate enough to be able to see the look on the faces of these children, when we pass on the knowledge that they are the next recipient of a scholarship, and hence an opportunity to not only change their world, but their entire familys' would be filled with joy at how simple it is, for one of us to be able to make such a difference to them in such a significant way.

We are continually motivated to expand our help to these children. Kindly give your consideration to becoming a scholarship donor to Lifestart Foundation for 1 or more children. If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact us at

If you are one of our Education Scholarship sponsors who has been to visit us here in Vietnam and had the opportunity to meet with your student we would love to hear about your experience via the comments section on this blog.


We are seeking sponsors for our annual Education Scholarship day out. This will take place in August and this is a day that all of our students look forward to for the entire year. This special day will be the ONLY day in the year that these kids have what we would call a "fun" day.

Our students come from far and wide so this day once a
2012 Annual Education Scholarship Day 2012 Annual Education Scholarship Day 2012 Annual Education Scholarship Day

Some fun and games at the beach in the afternoon
year gives them all the opportunity to meet and connect with like minded students and to forge lifelong friendships. The day consists of many firsts for these children including

- a visit to Danang - a large and eye opening city for many country children who have never left their country side towns. Most have never seen a building more than 2 storeys high.

- a first bus trip

- a trip to the cinema if the budget will stretch that far

- lunch in Danang

- a visit to the bookstore - which is a highlight for these studious children

- finishing off with a few hours at the beach for a swim and some games

We now have almost 70 students in our scholarship program and the cost for the annual day out for them is $1,000

This includes hiring two thirty- five seat at buses @ $200 each and allowing $8.50 per child for lunch and a drink, cinema ticket and a book from the bookstore.

If you would like to be part of a group that supports this very memorable day please let me know.
2012 Annual Education Scholarship Day2012 Annual Education Scholarship Day2012 Annual Education Scholarship Day

The students pictured in Danang
If we have 10 donations of $100 that would be fantastic. Each $100 would allow 10 children to participate in this day.

We would also welcome corporate sponsorship for this annual day. If you have any contacts at the resorts between Danang and Hoi An this may well be something they might like to support and sponsor.

A sincere thank you from all of the students and the Lifestart Foundation Team to those supporters who are already sponsoring our current scholarship students.

For those of you who are little techno challenged like myself if you click on any of the words in blue it will automatically link you into that subject.

Don't forget to have a look at our new website and find out how you too can support us from anywhere in the world.

Lots of Love from Karen

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