4 things that VOICE changed my life forever

Bốn điều VOICE đã thay đổi cuộc đời tôi

In order to enhance the interns’ public communication skill, VOICE usually organizes presentation competition simulating according to the form of “TED Talk”. They do not only present in Vietnamese but also in English. There will be three TED Talk competitions in one six-months long-term training program of VOICE: two in Vietnamese and one in English.

The following is the script of Hannah Vu’s speech that won the first place in the last TED Talk competition:

My name is Hannah, I am 24 years old. I am an activist from Vietnam, and I am also an intern at VOICE, I have been in the Philippines for 6 months.

6 months ago I wanted to become a rich person with a lot of money, today I still want to become a rich person but of knowledge and loves.

6 months ago I didn’t know how to introduce myself in English, but today I can make an English presentation.

6 months ago, I was single, today I have a very “handsome” boyfriend.

So, why my life has changed too fast? It’s because of VOICE.

Today I will talk about 4 things that VOICE changed my life forever.

Firstly, VOICE gives me an opportunity to go back to school. I had to leave my school when I was 15 years old because of family problems. My dad passed away when I was 10 years old. After that, my family didn’t have enough money for me to continue in school.

Going back to school always is my dream, but it seemed impossible. That’s why when I got VOICE scholarship and came here, I have to say as my dream comes true. At VOICE school, I have classes, I have teachers, I have classmates and I can learn everything what I loved to.

The second thing that VOICE changes me is respecting the differences. Before I came here I didn’t hate but I also didn’t like LGBT people, now I really love them. Before I came here it was very easy to make me angry if someone say something not good about my religion, but now I feel comfortable and I want to hear more from them. I have to change myself a lot because of VOICE working environment. At VOICE, there are people from different regions of Vietnam: the North, the South, and from the center. There are also different religions: Catholics, Christians, and Buddhists.

VOICE gave me a lesson: the only way we can live together happily is for us to respect the differences of each other.

Bốn điều VOICE đã thay đổi cuộc đời tôi

Thirdly, VOICE makes me more confident. When I first came here, my English was zero, as our office manager used to say: when I came here, even I could not spell my name. But today I can stand here and do a TED talk in English in front of all of you. Next month, I am going to some conferences abroad and I will have some English presentations. The important thing is I believe that I can do well. I know I still need to improve more, but I think it’s good for me for six months.

And not only English but also a lot of skills that VOICE gives me. I cannot imagine myself a worker 3 years ago can do all things what I am saying today. 3 years ago I even didn’t know how to use computer, I didn’t know what Microsoft word or excel is. VOICE helps me to achieve the impossible things. I know I tried my best, but I understand that I cannot try myself without VOICE.

Finally, that VOICE changes me. After 6 months I can see my passion more clearly. I know who I want to become and what I need to do to help our country.  And, after 6 months, I got a lot of skills, experiences.

Today I can see the big picture of Vietnam. I know how to build a team of people with the same vision and mission, I know how to start a social project and make a good campaign.

Today I am confident to say: I am a young person, I am an activist, I will contribute to democratic process of Vietnam. And I will inspire the other people.

Every day there are many opportunities coming to us. For me, I am very happy about what I did choose 6 months ago, it was my opportunity.

In our lives , there are many turning points. To me, until now, the most wonderful turning point in my life is coming to VOICE.

Thank you VOICE.

Thank you for listening.