LUMS donation to student society helps impoverished children

03 November 2015

Nearly 500 Vietnamese primary school children have received food, clothes and school supplies thanks to a Lancaster student society, helped by a donation from LUMS.

RENEW is a society in Lancaster which supports Project RENEW in Vietnam (which stands for "restoring the environment and neutralizing the effects of the war"). It works in a city named Quang Tri, where large areas still contain unexploded ordnances.

The Lancaster group’s aim was to buy school supplies for children in Dakrong, a mountain in Quang Tri province.

RENEW society president Dat Nguyen explained that the children live in extremely difficult conditions and in many cases their parents cannot afford to raise them.

"Their food and education are provided mostly, but insufficiently, by the Vietnamese government," he said.

The society set about fundraising for the project.

"Our members and some great students who are currently studying in Vietnam created a small charity event to raise money (an acoustic night in Hanoi) and we just asked friends, families and anyone interested in our project to donate," said Dat.

In addition, they approached the LUMS International Office for a donation and received £500.

Thanks to all this hard work, the society has been able to buy 3,000 notebooks, about 300 textbooks, 2,000 pens, 300kgs of rice and lots of second-hand clothes to distribute to the children.

In September, Dat and other RENEW members went to Vietnam to distribute the goods to the children.

He said: "I'm happy that we have done successfully as expected. However, there is still room for improvement for our next projects."

Dr Radka Newton from the LUMS International Office said: "Supporting inspirational student societies like RENEW has been very rewarding for us. Dat and his team are great ambassadors for Lancaster and projects like these show how globally aware our students are.

"The happiness in the children’s eyes in the photos speaks volumes! Well done, RENEW. We are proud to have been a part of your great efforts."

To learn more about Project RENEW in Vietnam, go to their Facebook page.

To find out more about the RENEW student society, go to the LUSU page.