Dear Friends and Supporters,
When Robin and I established the VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) and Heartbeat Vietnam in 2006, we thought only of saving one child at a time. Now, amazing partnerships with the World Bank’s Global Development Learning Network, AusAid, the Canadian Embassy, ExxonMobil and Fedex, as well as many others, help us to save over 3,000 children a year.
The Foundation team is driven and focused on improving access to quality health care for poor children. Their work to improve capacity in the pediatric health care system is producing longlasting, important results on which further improvements can be built. In the area of secondary education, VCF programs mentor and nurture some of Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth and ethnic minority girls who have shown extraordinary potential despite their difficult circumstances. Finally, the not-for-profit International Management Initiative of Vietnam (IMIV) is working well to bring high quality, short-term business education to all levels of executive management.
VCF collaboration with a wide range of funders – including corporations, foundations and multilateral organizations – has proven very successful. The result of these alliances, alongside the continued support of individual donors, is that thousands of children have been saved and given a second chance at life and a better future. Every single donation brings us closer to realizing our mission, and we are grateful for your support.
The VinaCapital Group was pleased to help launch this fine organization and I have been very proud to serve as its chairman. It is very exciting to meet the people whose lives have been touched, and see the changes the VCF work has produced. We are grateful to each and every donor, and we hope you will stay on board with us for this exciting journey.
CEO, VinaCapital Group
Art lovers are in luck and so are poor children with congenital heart disease because of the hard work and generosity of students from Saigon South International School, The International School of Ho Chi Minh City, The American School and The British International School.
Artwork created by students and faculty will be auctioned at Crescent Mall, Phu My Hung – District 7, Sunday June 2, 6pm. All proceeds will go 100% to Heartbeat Vietnam to save the lives of poor children.
Since 2006 Heartbeat Vietnam has funded surgeries for over 3,100 children. However, across Vietnam thousands of children who suffer remain in the backlog, needing life saving surgery.
Please join our dedicated students and update your art collection while saving children’s lives. Join us Sunday at Crescent Mall for “Heartbeat Art Auction!”
The 4th Annual Scar of Life event held May 15 to raise funds for poor children with congenital heart disease was a success for all involved. Ms. Ngo Thanh Van hosted the event for Heartbeat Vietnam, a program of VinaCapital Foundation, at the grand TajmaSago Castle in Ho Chi Minh City. Over 200 guests enjoyed the gourmet food and breathtaking venue while entertained by Dam Vinh Hung, Linh Nga and My Linh.
The disadvantaged children are the greatest beneficiaries as the enthusiastic guests lined up to bid on auction items donated, along with the food, venue and entertainment, to raise funds for heart surgeries. The personal jewelry of Ms. Van’s as well as the Longines watch were the major auction items but large contributions were also made for the 25 silent auction items.
At the end of the night $144,800 was raised in total- enough to save the lives of 145 children. VinaCapital Foundation and Heartbeat Vietnam are grateful to Ms. Ngo Thanh Van and her Vietnam Artist Agency team, all the entertainers, our 200 guests and our sponsors- KhaiSilk, TajmaSago Castle, BMW, Longines, Moevenpick Hotel, Vietnam Airlines, Emirates, IDP, Yen Viet and many others for making the Scar of Life 4 a night to remember for the children of Vietnam.
Please see more pictures below:
“When I received the information from Heartbeat Vietnam that the number of children with congenital heart disease provided heart surgery was decreasing due to the worldwide economic problems, I suddenly realized that the chances for those kids on the waiting list to have a life were also decreasing day by day and their dreams were blown away also. I wish I could tell them the truth that: “Sweeties, there will be no dream come true! No doctor, no engineer, no teacher, no police, no lawyer…or any other dreams! For you, just survive or not. Will you be able to get through this week, this month, or this year? Will you be one of a few lucky children who will be saved? So, sweeties, no more dreams please!” But for me it was unacceptable to say so! Nothing in this world can stop children from dreaming even though they might be just broken dreams.” – Quoted from Ngo Thanh Van’s “heart letter” about the concept of the “Scar of Life” event this year: THE DREAMS.
Ngo Thanh Van has planned a very special evening on May 15th with a cultural show featuring 4 performances by dancer Linh Nga and Bong Sen show team, and featuring singers Dam Vinh Hung and My Linh. Guests will be delighted by a delicious buffet and cocktails as guests of Mr. Khai at the elegant Tajmasago Castle in District 7. This will be an evening to remember for years to come, we hope you can join us.
Heartbeat Vietnam, a program of The VinaCapital Foundation (VCF), began in 2006 by saving poor children who needed heart surgery, on child at a time. Up to now, Heartbeat Vietnam has saved 3,111 children afflicted with heart disease in 18 hospitals throughout 63 provinces around Vietnam.
Heartbeat Vietnam program is proud to have actress Ngo Thanh Van as the Program Ambassador. She works with all enthusiasm to organize the “Scar of Life” events every year. Since 2010, the “Scar of Life” events have saved 575 children. The event always has a new, fresh concept each year for the same and simple purpose: save more and more children until one day no child has to die of congenital heart disease in Vietnam.
Ticket for the event this year: $500 a pair
For more details or reservation, please contact us at +84 8 3827 8787 or email to Ms. Thu: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Val Monk is one of our generous donors and the founder of 1000miles2work initiative in the UK to raise money for heart children in Vietnam. Her enthusiasm and her effort have inspired lots of people. Together with friends and partners, she has brought new life to 12 Vietnamese children so far.
This year, year of the Snake, Ms. Val Monk has come up with an idea to raise more money. The idea involves racing half way around the world: The virtual London to Ho Chi Minh Team Relay Race! This is going to be an epic virtual adventure, the ultimate endurance challenge that doesn’t need a backpack. You just need to create or join a team then cycle, row, spin, jog, skate or swim in a 9,000 mile virtual team relay race across the map against other teams. Val named her idea “Pumped”.
You may ask “Why get Pumped?”, then the answer from her is quite simple and obvious: Life is too short and all that…
VinaCapital Foundation will match any money raised by Pumped two or three times to pay for heart surgery for children whose parents simply cannot afford to pay for it. So that, with only $1,000 you raise through Pumped you can save 1 precious life. It’s that easy. Last year, Val and Thomas and Nick committed to cycling 1000 miles to work each. They raised over $10,000 which turned into $33,527.25 and paid for twelve operations.
As we ride/run/swim the sponsorship will pay for operations to happen as soon as possible and so during the race we will see the money, and lives, mount up. There is nothing happy like an email letting you know that an operation was successful!
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s visit the website and register at www.pumped.org.uk
On January 27th and 29th 2013, the VinaCapital Foundation program team accompanied the convoy of Ironman Foundation bicycle riders to visit three disadvantaged families in Long An province, families who have had children with congenital heart disease. Before the Lunar New Year Mr. Todd Gilmore and his Ironman crew bicycled 70 kilometers to visit and celebrate the lifesaving surgeries that they provided for these poor children.
The first trip was on January 27th 2013. Todd and his 10 companions departed at dawn and rode 40-kilometers to reach the first destination, Nguyễn Thanh Tùng’s family. At 7.30 am, the VinaCapital Foundation team joined the convoy at Tan Thanh ferry in Can Giuoc district. The atmosphere there was overwhelmed with the excitement as the two teams came together. The scene of foreigners biking on the road brought a brand new image to the people of Can Giuoc.
When the convoy reached the Tung’s alley, they were surprised when Tung’s grandmother was waiting for group in the sun-baked weather. She wanted to greet her grandchild’s heart donors. The grandmother bursts to tears when she told the group about the family condition and difficulties. At Tung’s house, the air was full of warmth, thankfulness and happiness. Despite the long distance, Todd’s and the teams’ faces were full of happiness because of the joy they had brought to Tung’s family.
On behalf of the biking team, Todd presented his regards to Tung’s family. Todd and Rod, another Ironman Biker, talked to Tung and his family in Vietnamese. The story became more touching when the crew found out that Tung lost his birth mother when he was a little child. His birth mother died of the same heart disease that Tung had before his surgery.
The team was surprised to learn that due to the complications from heart disease Tung had brain surgery when he was in 3rd grade. However, at that time, Tung’s family did not know that he had congenital heart disease. When we visited Tung’s family, Tung’s father was not present because he works far away from home. Every day, Tung’s father travels more than 60 kilometers to work in Ho Chi Minh City. He is a bricklayer with the uncertain and unstable income.
Two months after heart surgery, Tung has made a full recovery from the operation. He is about to return to school to meet his teachers and friends after a long time struggling with the disease. While having a conversation with Todd, Tung said in shyness that singing is his little hobby. With the new healthy heart and new life, hopefully Tung will always raise his voice in song and make his dreams come true.
On January 29th, the crew continued the journey to Long An to visit two other children, Nguyễn Thị Cẩm Linh and Lê Ngọc Bảo Trân. At Tran’s house, both mother and father have to go to work. There was only Tran’s grandmother and older sister are at home. The family was so happy to meet the Heartbeat Vietnam and Ironman convoy of people who saved Tran’s life. Tran is a lovely girl who always smiles. Everybody loves Tran’s laughter that fills the house. Looking at this bright little girl’s face, no one would know that she had to bear the pain that disease brought to her. Leaving the house, the team was happy because one could see and feel the healthy life and happiness on little Tran’s face.
The crew moved to Cam Linh’s family. Her father works far away also so that we only met her grandmother and mother. Linh impressed us a lot. She has a lovely smile. She is also gifted with artistic talent. Meeting Linh, it was difficult for the team to believe that only 2 months before she was weak, bedridden and crippled with congenital heart disease.
The Long An Heartbeat Vietnam/Ironman bicycle road trip of January 27th and 29th ended joyfully for every member of the crew because Todd Gilmore and his Ironman friends brought three children new life and hope for a future.
On behalf of Heartbeat Vietnam, the three children, and their families, the VinaCapital Foundation cannot find adequate words to express our deep gratitude to Todd Gilmore and the Iron Man Foundation for saving these lives and families.
Today is January 31st and it’s not an usual day because today is the last day of the “Fight for Five Hearts” campaign. The campaign closed while 5 lives open.
“Fight for five hearts” is Heartbeat Vietnam’s campaign in partnership with Jetstar to save children who have been suffering congenital heart disease.This campaign started on November 1st 2012. This platform was quite new for the social network users in Vietnam. However, with the huge support from our ambassadors: 365daBand, actress Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc, singer MiA; our partners: MobiVi, Jetstar; and our friends, we were confident to finish this small journey.
Before closing this campaign, Heartbeat Vietnam team would like to give big thanks to 365daBand, actress Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc, singer MiA, MobiVi, Jetstar and all of you for being with the “Fight for Five Hearts” campaign to this moment. Together we have saved 5 out of 20,000 heart kids in Vietnam. Hope that we are still together on the bigger journey.
Here are some descriptions and pictures of two children of the campaign:
Nguyen Ngoc Chau (2010) – Dong Hoang commune, Tien Hai district, Thai Binh province
After catching pneumonia when he was only 7 months, Ngoc Chau and his family discovered his congenital heart condition. When his parents took him to the National Hospital of Pediatric and Cardiovascular Center – E Hospital for treatment, they received none for his condition. Although Chau needs a heart operation as soon as possible, his surgery cost is out of his family’s financial reach. Both of his parents are temporary workers for a small garment company. Their combined incomes are about 143 USD/month, an unstable amount that fluctuates every month. The family’s limited income puts the surgery’s cost out of reach. Chau is now living with his parents and his grandmother in a small modest house just 20m2 in size. Chau has been battling his congenital heart disease for 2 years, and his health continues to deteriorate with fevers, coughs and fatigue becoming too common.
Ly Thi Yen (2008) – Ban Duoc, Hoa Binh, Binh Gia, Lang Son
Little Yen is Nung, is one of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities, and lives with her family in a remote mountainous area of Lang Son province. When she was two months old, Yen started coughing constantly, had reoccurring high fevers, developed black fingertips from lack of oxygen, and significant loss of appetite. Yen’s family brought her to the local clinic where she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. In attempt to restore some vitality to her tired body, the clinic provided antibiotics, protein, and saline. It would be the first of many trips for Yen: repetitive loss of breath and exhaustion necessitated Yen being almost a permanent fixture at the clinic.
Watching their granddaughter struggle daily with the disease emotionally drained Yen’s grandparents. Complicating matters and increasing their anxieties, Yen’s family speaks Kinh, the Nung’s own dialect, making it difficult for the family to understand Yen’s disease.
Yen’s family house is built with coconut leaves. The surrounding three hectares of rice paddies are the only means of income for the family, including Yen’s elder sister, younger brother, parents, and grandparents. There are more than a few days when the family does not have enough money for food. Additionally, there is no means of transportation for the family, and the local market–the one to Yen’s home—is a half-day away. The provincial hospital is not any closer. Yen’s family’s bleak financial means and distance from the closest surgical hospital makes Yen completely dependent upon the generosity of philanthropists, the government, and the community for her survival.
In the afternoon of December 28th 2012, our ambassadors and MobiVi,a company of mobile payment services, together with us, VinaCapital Foundation, visited the first child of “Fight for five hearts” campaign. His name is Bui Minh Quan, from Khanh Hoa province. He is 10 months old, he really looked healthy after the surgery. Sometimes, he smiled although three days before he got a fever.
We brought some gifts to him. Especially, our ambassadors: 365 da Band and singer MiA got a big teddy bear (it was even bigger than baby Quan) and wishes from actress Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc. She couldn’t come due to her schedule but she was very happy to hear about Quan. She promises to visit other children of the campaign.
2012 ends with happiness for baby Quan’s family and for us as well. We would like to send a BIG THANK to our ambassadors, to Phu Song Yeu Thuong-a program of MobiVi, to Jetstar and to everyone for your great kind support!
There are 4 children of our campaign and a thousands from everywhere in Vietnam still waiting for miracle. It is our pleasure to be with you on the way to save heart children through our Facebook campaign, please click on this link and keep saving more kids: https://apps.facebook.com/phusongyeuthuong/?cam=hanhdongvinamtraitim
On December 7th, 2012, VinaCapital Foundation accompanied with University Medical Center (UMC) to bring an outreach program to poor children in Can Tho and surrounding provinces. UMC team included: Dr Nguyen Anh Dung, Cardiac surgeon, deputy of Cardiac Dept Dr Luong Cong Hieu, Cardiac surgeon Dr Nguyen Dinh Dai Khanh, cardiologist Cardiac nurse, Le Thi Ngoc Lien Cardiac nurse, Nguyen Thi Bich Chi There were also two volunteers from Singapore, Samuel Oh and Daniel Oh joined the team.
We have prepared for the trip since the end of October. We had a detailed itinerary that indicated job for each person. For those who join this program for the first time, they must be excited and yes, that was the feeling of some of us. November 7th, after lunch, we went to Can Tho. There was heavy traffic jam, our bus moved little by little and we arrived finally at 6 PM. However, everyone was in good mood and was eager to see the children the following day. November 8th, the outreach started at 7h30 in the Can Tho Central Hospital. It was supposed to be 150 patients coming to the outreach but in fact, there were 113 cases screened this time. It was a small number compared with numbers from other outreaches in other provinces but cases here were more severe. Base on the statistic, among 61 children brought to the screening, 33 children (that meant more than 50%) need surgery. 33 families know what they have to do but they don’t know how to do without money. Children, little bodies, have suffered pains day by day because of heart disease. Some of them even suffered lack of love from their parents because they were abandoned. Those children have lived with their grandparents or aunt or uncle. Maybe I have good imagination but there is sadness in their eyes… The checking process had three steps for patients with heart disease: General check by Dr. Dung/Dr. Hieu → Ultrasound test by Dr. Khanh → Final advice by Dr.Dung/Dr.Hieu The atmosphere of the ultrasound room was filled with sadness and worry since almost patients coming to this step were diagnosed with cardiac disease. Right here we have listened to touching stories from the patients. We shared with them to alleviate their depression.
Doctors and nurses of UMC were very enthusiastic. They checked each case as carefully as they could to ensure they got the accuracy results. Being tired and sick, some kids cried and one baby even refused to be checked. Doctor Khanh advised his parents to bring him to the University Medical Center for free ultrasound testing.
Time was passing by and it was nearly 5 PM, patients and their families got worried because the closed time was coming, but we promised not to leave until finishing our work. We left Can Tho at 6 PM brought along case histories and images of kids with purple lips, black fingers. We know we have to work harder to help them!
One of stories impressed us a lot was the story about Phan Van Phong, ten-year-old boy, lives in Vinh Thanh province. His appearance caught my eyes: he looked thin and pale, he was wearing a long sleeve shirt with a trousers and the special thing was that his face expressed no feeling. We tried to talk with him but he was not willing to respond. His father had to explain more for the questions we asked him. Phong is the first child in family, he has two other siblings. His parents are freelancing labor so their income is low and unstable. Phong should have been in the 5th grade but because of bad health, he cannot walk to school. It takes 1 hour for him to go to school on foot! Although his mind is strong, the body is not strong enough to stand it everyday. We asked about his dream as the last question and he said that he dreams of a healthy heart because he loves school, he loves knowledge and more important thing is that he would like to be a doctor! It is a good dream and should be encouraged.