I am Nguyen Ngoc Diep, a researcher in water resources at Can Tho University. I joined the Philip David Gray (PDG) Trust “family” when I was a third-year student specializing in Natural Resources and Environmental Management at Can Tho University.
The PDG Trust provided me in the last university year with both physical and mental support. I received full tuition during the course of my studies. In addition, understanding the difficulties in doing a graduation thesis, the PDG Fund also provides me and other final year students additional financial aid to pay for the process of preparing the thesis. That helps us reduce the financial worries for the family and lets us focus on completing the study well. The PDG Trust also offers us the opportunity to participate in academic programs such as the “Science Summer School” in Quy Nhon with full support for the cost of traveling, accommodation and meals.
Apart from the financial support I received from the PDG Trust, what means most to me are meaningful spiritual values. Right from the first days of contacting sisters from the fund, sharing with them about the future orientation of myself, I received extremely sincere and valuable advice at a time I was still quite vague about the future. Also, as a member of the PDG family, I feel the connection between members. Besides, I also learned a lot from the life experiences and stories from those 10 years of family members.
Above all, understanding the mandate of the Trust is to contribute to poverty reduction for Vietnam, I try to improve myself to become a good citizen for the society. Each of the studies I conducted with the hope to achieve positive results to solve the problem of water resources for farmers, one of the most vulnerable and lowest income groups in Vietnam. After more than one working year, I applied successfully and received an offer of an Erasmus Mundus scholarship from the European Commission for a Masters programme in September 2019 in “Water and Coastal Management” in three countries: Italy, Portugal and Spain. After completing the Master programme, I hope to bring more meaningful projects to help people faced with the challenges of water resources and climate change in the future.
Update June 2020
Diep is currently living in Spain and has almost completed the first year of a Masters programme. In August, Diep will move to Italy and will write a Masters thesis at the University of Bologna. With a strong desire to contribute to solving difficulties in water resources in the Mekong Delta region, Diep has choosen the thesis topic “Assessment and proposal of rainwater storage solutions in the context of climate change and increasing salinity intrusion“.
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