Elaine Dang went to Vietnam with VNHOPE

Elaine is a graduating senior at UCSD that dreams of helping to establish a regulatory agency for nonprofits to do more effective and meaningful work.

She attended VNHOPE’s two-week summer service camp which provides much needed medical, dental and optometric care to the underserved population in Vietnam unable to access healthcare services due to financial, logistical or social reasons.


Elaine noted the language barrier as the largest obstacle she and her peers faced. Although Elaine had a limited fluency in Vietnamese, her non-Vietnamese speaking peers heavily relied on her and other native speakers.


“I appreciated the challenge to improve my skills at a language I barely used in my everyday life and would look to google translate for the words I could not find in my own vocabulary.”

Despite this challenge, Elaine mentioned that during her time with VNHOPE, she was able to overcome obstacles like these because of the valuable friendships she made, all of which inspired her to keep a positive attitude throughout her experience.


When there was down time, Elaine fondly remembers playing with the children who would come with their parents to the clinics.


After her time in Vietnam, Elaine has become extremely interested in learning more about nonprofits and how they can be improved.

VNHOPE is a nonprofit which aims to provide much needed medical, dental and optometric care to the underserved population in Vietnam who are unable to access healthcare services due to financial, transportation or social reasons, to travel to Vietnam’s local healthcare centers and communities and provide them with medications, medical equipment and healthcare information for the benefit of the local population, to organize medical missions as a way to mentor, nurture and train the next generation of medical humanitarians who will serve in Vietnam and to promote medical teaching and training to aspiring and current healthcare students and providers -both in the US and Vietnam.



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