Dear Fulbright community, friends and supporters,

There’s a beautiful proverb in Vietnamese: “Bán anh em xa mua láng giềng gần” (A neighbor nearby is better than a relative far away). Yet, during this fourth wave of COVID-19, the love Fulbright University Vietnam received proved to me that in hardship, everyone is our neighbor.

On August 01, 2021, Fulbright University Vietnam called for support from our community to buy 3-5 ambulances to help transport COVID-19 patients to hospitals. To my astonishment, our community responded immediately to meet the predicament we are in. In just two weeks, we successfully raised enough to buy three (03) Hyundai Solatis, two (02) Ford Transits, and one (01) general ambulance for COVID hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong.

I’d like to thank all organizations, individuals and groups from all around the globe who donated for this meaningful cause. I cannot stress enough how your gift will help strengthen HCMC’s capacity to transform COVID-19 patient care and improve the health of our community.

My dear friends,

Many people asked me why such a University as Fulbright is trying to do too many things besides teaching; why an academic institution is calling for donations on behalf of Ho Chi Minh City, first with #SupportSaigon, and now with this call for more ambulances. And I told them: Why not?

These are unusual times, to say the least, as Ho Chi Minh City and the rest of Vietnam are facing significant disruptions and suffering. That is the reason why at Fulbright, we believe this is a unique juncture for us to lead – not only in how we adjust our activities as a university, but also in how we can contribute to the society, to make a difference, and to simply do good. Only by being aggressively proactive, we can help protect this city that we call home, heal our community, spread the love and kindness, and contribute to the national effort to cease the proliferation of COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

In this difficult time, Fulbright University Vietnam believes that we cannot just do what is expected of us; we must do what is right. And the right thing to do is to give. But don’t get me wrong, giving is never just about the money. I have seen members from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management working day and night to advise HCMC’s administration. I have seen Fulbright members working around the clock to fundraise for our initiatives to help Ho Chi Minh City. I have seen our students sparing their last bits of monthly allowance to help.

And I have seen YOU. Thank you for assisting us in our quest of making a difference, of doing the right thing. From our #SupportSaigon initiative to this call for ambulances, time after time, you have shown me that action speaks louder than words; that compassion and empathy will be our strength to carry us through this challenging period. That is the exact quality and spirit we would love Fulbright students to continue honing throughout their lifetime.

My dear friends,

Although these past several months have been difficult, and there will likely be more challenging days ahead, please keep a cool head to deal with the hardships, but a warm heart to care for others. Let’s be “neighbors” of not just the people around you, but also to those in need. In this day and age, help can be just a phone call away.

Please acknowledge my deepest gratitude.

Be well and stay safe,

Dam Bich Thuy

President, Fulbright University Vietnam

Dear Fulbright Community, Friends, and Supporters,

What started as a Fulbright Economic Teaching Program over 25 years ago, has turned into a Fulbright University Vietnam that changes lives every day. Thanks to our financial aid and our scholarship programs, we have managed to help Vietnamese young talents pursue quality education at Fulbright. However, we also want to make a difference in our community and touch the lives of as many members of our society as possible. Through our #SupportSaigon mini-concert last Saturday evening, I believe we successfully did that. Thank you for your Giving spirit.

It is with tremendous gratitude and pride that I announce that we successfully received a total of 558,940,090 Vietnam Dong coming from 294 transactions to our bank account and Momo account to #SupportSaigon. All proceeds will be donated to the “Zero-dong Minimart” effort today to help provide the necessities for the underprivileged community in Ho Chi Minh City. This amount will be sufficient to help more than 900 impoverished households having enough food and necessities for almost a month.

The #SupportSaigon initiative details many of Fulbright’s notable efforts to give back to our community. It encompasses service and volunteer projects, or research targeted to our local communities. Combined with the 200 million Dong from the Fulbright Community that we donated to the Vaccines Fund, we have contributed more than half a billion Vietnam Dong to aid Vietnam’s battle against Covid-19.

I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Vu Minh Hoang, Dang Anh Kiet, Nguyen Minh Tien for proudly representing Fulbright to perform at the concert. I would also like to thank Dang Phuong Anh and Seth Emmanuelle Maderal for your commitment to public service, even though you have yet become a Fulbright student. And how can I forget the moving performances, the heartfelt support from our famous singers and artists: My Linh, Tran Manh Tuan and An Tran, Quang Dung, Le Hieu, Duc Tuan, De Choat, MINH and Bich Ngoc BN, and Minh Beta. You brought life to the concert and touched the hearts of hundreds of viewers.

The initiative could not have come into fruition without the help and support from our partner DatVietVAC and their company, VieZ. Their timely guidance helped the Fulbright team plan the program to the last detail and make the program more engaging and exciting. We would like to thank PNJ for such a meaningful initiative as the “Zero-dong Minimart,” and for providing us strong support in planning the concert. We would also like to thank our partner FunBee for their tireless effort in providing necessary technical support to bring the concert to the home of our audience.

In addition, the careful coordination between many departments among Fulbright to execute the #SupportSaigon mini concert in only three days represents what strategic collaboration can accomplish within an organization. Well done to all.

Last but not least, I would like to send my earnest appreciation to broad participation from our students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends and supporters, who watched and donated to #SupportSaigon. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge unlike any we have faced in living memory. However, it also brought out the best in many people—people who have shown compassion and empathy and offered a helping hand to others during this extraordinary time.

Since becoming president of Fulbright University Vietnam, one of the things that has been a source of tremendous pride for me has been the depth and breadth of Fulbright’s service to our society. The founders of the original Fulbright project planted an important seed more than 25 years ago, and it has been this community that has nurtured its growth. Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey.

Please be well, and stay safe,

Dam Bich Thuy

President, Fulbright University Vietnam