Carrying on Pearl S. Buck’s legacy of bridging cultures through humanitarian aid & intercultural education. Fighting for the marginalized, advocating civil rights, & providing healthcare, aid & education for countless impoverished children, worldwide.
Real LifePhuong was born in 1994 to a very poor farming family in a suburban district of Hanoi, Vietnam. The harvest from their land on the hill could not cover living expenses for a family of four which included her parents, herself and a younger sister. Her parents worked very hard to do what they could for their young family, even working for neighbors to earn extra money. The hardship and physically-demanding lifestyle took its toll on her mother who died of exhaustion at the age of 29, leaving Phuong, 7 and her 6-year old sister, motherless. Her father was unable to care for them so Phuong and her sister were taken to an orphanage.
A big turning point in her life came in November 2005, when Phuong joined the Pearl S. Buck International, Vietnam child sponsorship program. Being matched with a Child Sponsor after experiencing such loss at a young age truly changed her life. Phuong said knowing that someone paid special attention to her and wanted to help her with their whole heart was the most wonderful feeling she had ever experienced. More importantly, she said she feels that she belongs to someone. During her nine years in the child sponsorship program, Phuong wrote many letters to her Sponsors to share happiness, sadness and everything that happened in her life. The letters exchanged back and forth with her Sponsors bridged the distance and deepened their connection to each other. The correspondence proved to be a very big motivation for her to overcome difficulties in life and to live well. With the support of her Sponsors, Phuong has been given hope to fulfill her dreams of higher education. She is now a first-year university student with dreams of becoming a vet.