In hopes of a better future

Nguyen Viet Dung, 18, KOTO Graduate


Nguyen Viet Dung, 18, was one of the four recipients of the Project Happy Feet scholarship that allowed him to continue his education at KOTO.

At only 18 years of age, Nguyen Viet Dung has had to go through experiences that many his age could not even imagine, much less share.

Coming from an abusive, single-parent household, Viet Dung’s difficulties began in 2003, when his parents divorced.

His mother left for Hanoi following the divorce, leaving Viet Dung and his two siblings with his father, who spends most of his time at home.

Things got worse as Viet Dung’s father started hitting him.

As a result of the lack of household income, Viet Dung was forced to quit school. He held odd jobs at a leather coat company, and as a shoe seller, before staying home to help with the house work.

However, Viet Dung saw a glimmer of hope upon hearing about KOTO.

He applied, and started his training in May 2009.

This year, he became part of the latest batch of KOTO graduates.

When Project Happy Feet met up with him, he was full of smiles and gratitude. He has found a job on board a ship at Halong Bay as a waiter and hopes that with this new income, he will be able to help his family lead a better life.