Dr. Nhung Tran-Davies – President and Founder
I was born in Vietnam near the end of the war, the youngest of six children. Our mother raised us with barely anything amidst the destruction and poverty that remained after the bombs fell. Strong in will and resilient in spirit, our mother sacrificed everything and took us children on a journey that changed the course of our lives. We were among the boat people seeking for hope, and after eight months in a Malaysian refugee camp, a group from Enoch’s Our Lady of Mercy church sponsored our family to Canada. I was only five then, but the kindness and compassion that was shown to our family left an indelible mark upon my heart.
Through the selflessness, sacrifices, perseverance, and compassion of our mother, I have learnt to live in honour of all those who have been so gracious to us through the years. As a medical doctor now, I have been privileged to work from within the inner cities of Canada to the substandard delivery rooms of Vietnam and barren clinics of an impoverished nation such as The Gambia, Africa. From the broken spirits of a child in my office to the conflicts and wars across the world, I am constantly reminded of our mother’s teaching that people can take everything away from you, but they can not take away your education. And the one thing I clearly see that will bring hope, health, justice, and peace is education.
Aside from my work as a physician, I enjoy writing children’s books. I also love to sketch and draw and find solace in mother nature, to travel and explore diverse cultures around the world, and most precious of all, to just hang out in the garden with my husband and three children. When my own spirit is restless and frustrated by the social injustice in the world, it is the smiles on our children’s faces that remind me of the legacy of those who have helped my family out of poverty. It is also a reminder of all the children still struggling in their daily existence back in my homeland and around the world. This gives me the strength and determination to continue working towards creating a society where all children have hope and opportunities to achieve their dreams. http://www.nhungtrandavies.com/
Linh Kim Truong – Vice President and Co-Founder
I am a proud mother of three beautiful children and wife to a wonderful husband. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to stay at home to take care of my children. I enjoy the simple things in life, like cooking and spending time with family, fishing, camping, good friends, and community service.
As a Vietnamese refugee, I feel fortunate for everything in my life, when I have seen for myself the many children who struggle to grow in impoverished conditions back home in Vietnam. My passion is to inspire and motivate myself and others to give a gift from the heart that will change a child’s life. I joined CVBF to help disadvantaged children in Vietnam by giving them hope and opportunity through love, education and the provision of basic needs.
Dr. Grant Davies – Treasurer and Co-Founder
As family physicians, the career which I share with my wonderful wife and colleague, we have witnessed the consequences of poverty and lack of education. In our daily work we may see people having to decide between medical treatments or feeding their family, or making health and life choices that better education could have prevented. In our travels we see the multitudes of children in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, begging and selling trivial goods to support and feed their families, instead of attending school. We try to travel the world with our three children, allowing them to also witness the disparity between our life in Canada and impoverished regions of the world, and hopefully to develop a heart for helping those in need.
We hope through the CVBF to be able to help just a few of those children in Vietnam, for whom education and basic needs are essential to escape the cycle of poverty.
Huynh Anh Mai – Executive Director
I grew up in Vietnam in a large family. My father was a teacher so supporting a big family was not easy. I grew up experiencing the hardship that most other Vietnamese also did. Being a teacher, my father strongly believed education is a basis of one’s success in life. My mother has a great influence in my life because she taught her children to care for others and practiced ”pay it forward” the kindness others have done for us.
After immigrating to Canada in 1990, my parents continued to support me all through High School and University. I am now married. My husband and I have a child who is in elementary school. I feel fortunate to live here and our son has more opportunities to access learning in such a great environment. We enjoy traveling but most of all, spend precious time together as a family.
I have returned to Vietnam a few times as I still have family there. Each time I went back, I saw poverty and miseries that most people especially the children are still suffering. I join CVBF in hope to support, create opportunities, and enhance quality of life to these few disadvantaged children. We deliver directly, along with help from local representatives, some basic needs like foods, assisted living equipment, and financial aids for education and higher training. I am inspired and determined to work harder to help make dreams a reality for these children.
Hoan Le McQuarrie – Chair
I practice engineering and live in Sherwood Park, AB with my wonderful husband Jim and our extended families are in Edmonton and southern BC.
My life began as a middle child in Vietnam at the end of the North and South Vietnam war. We lost everything. My dad was separated from us and imprisoned at the re-education camp. My mom took us to her relatives seeking refuge here and there.
Growing up in Vietnam was an endless grind of poverty but not knowing how to have a dream was the toughest. My mom and dad tried their best providing, protecting, and sending us to school whenever they could. I still don’t know how but miraculously, we survived and my dad managed to flee the country in the late 1980s, after multiple gambles with his life at sea.
My life changing opportunity came when my mom and us three siblings reunited with my dad in Edmonton, in 1995. It was in the middle of the winter but I did not feel the cold. My heart was warmed and filled with excitement of what await ahead. I remember my dad had this huge smile on his face when he registered us for ESL and told us that education was our ticket to a better life, and he was absolutely right.
With the support of my family and many great support programs here in Canada, I finished upgrading my junior high, high school, and went on to obtain my Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Alberta in 2004.
The difficult times in my childhood were bearable because of the many wonderful and generous people. Some were with little to do but gave valuable gestures of kindness and words and encouragements for us to press on our tough journey. I joined CVBF for the simple reason of pay forward the kindness that my family and I received. Let the less fortunate know that we care and understand their difficulties but through their perseverance and hard work a better life awaits them ahead.
I live in Oakville, Ontario with my wonderful husband and two great children. I came to Canada 35 yrs ago with my Dad and my three sisters as refugees with no money, a small bag that could only fit one set of clothes and a pocket full of dreams. To all generous Canadian out there, I thank you with every part of my body for whom and where I am today. It has been my privilege to be part of this amazing team. I share their vision and passion. If asked of why I am doing this, I only have one simple answer, that I am doing my part of paying it forward and it just feels right.