Student Stories

Nguyen Thi Trieu Anh


Nguyen Thi Trieu Anh’s father left when she was just 12 years old, but she still remembers him. She remembers the countless times he got drunk and beat her and her younger brother. The abuse was so frequent and so bad that when he left, she finally felt safe.

But, in her father’s absence, the family struggled. Being one of the poorest households in their hometown in Quang Binh Province, her 52-year old mother couldn’t afford to send her to school and incurred debts. “I worried about our family’s future,” recalls Anh.

Not long after, Anh found about REACH from her cousin’s friend who had studied housekeeping. At first, Anh was skeptical that anyone would provide tuition for free.  But with few other options to help herself and her family, she applied.

Looking back, Anh says her favourite memory of her experience with REACH was those first two weeks of life skills training. “There were a lot of students from different areas with different local voices,” said Anh. “We didn’t understand each other at first, but after the first two weeks, we became such a close-nit group.”

Anh’s teacher was from Hue and she found his teaching style easy to understand. “He empathized with my difficulties straight away and cared a lot for us. He often gave good advice and encouraged us. I considered him my second father and I often visit him back at the school,” she said.

After graduation, Anh’s teacher got her a job working at the Green Plaza Hotel in Danang. “At first, I found it extremely difficult, and I felt depressed at times. But my manager was so enthusiastic in guiding me, and my colleagues were so kind to me. Now I feel very attached to this job, and I want to improve my skills more.”

Anh now earns 4 million VND per month. She remembers using her first paycheck to buy clothes for her brother. And with more experience she is hoping to earn more money to help her younger brother go to school and support her mother.

Asked what would she would tell herself two years ago, when she was first considering studying at REACH, she said: “Go study at REACH Anh. REACH will welcome you, support you and give you the confidence to get a good job.

“I don’t know how to thank REACH. I will always be grateful.”

Other students

  • Ngo Van Nhuong

    Ngo Van Nhuong knows what it’s like to grow up in a crowded house. He, his two sisters, his younger brother, his mother and his father all live together in a small 20-square meter hut just outside Hoi An ancient town. His married sister’s home is far away but she has moved back in to look for work. There is only one bed so Nhuong, his father and his brother sleep on the floor.
  • Nguyen Thi Ngoc Yen

    From the moment you meet Yen, you can instantly tell she is very responsible for a person her age. Being a carer for her elderly parents has meant she has always known the importance of looking after family. Her 60-year old mother cannot stand for more than five minutes due to Sciatica. Her father, 64, is an unemployed fisherman, recently affected by the widely publicized dead fish epidemic plaguing central Vietnam.
  • Nguyen Phan Thuy Linh

    Even though it’s been five years, Linh still finds it difficult to talk about her father’s leaving. She hasn’t heard from him since but she knows from the other villagers that he has a new wife and family.
  • Nguyen Huu Manh

    What do you think about a dot in the middle of a blank page? Without any hesitation, some people might say “It is just a black dot!”, or “simply nothing”. But for Manh, “No matter how ugly that black dot is, it is the starting point to continue drawing the picture of your life.”
  • Pham Van Cuong

    Cuong is 22, and comes from the Muong, a ethnic minority group in Vietnam. His family lives in Ngoc Lac, one of the poor mountainous districts in Thanh Hoa province. His family is under preferential treatment.