Award Year: 

While serving as a PiA fellow at Can Tho University, Dan launched the Can Tho Youth Empowerment Project, which works to cultivate meaningful exchanges between students at Can Tho University and the broader community by engaging in charitable works.

From the Can Tho Youth Empowerment Project: 

It is our belief that all children deserve an opportunity to flourish, and it is our privilege to be able to offer services to help some children in great need follow their dreams. By creating and sponsoring several work-study positions, we have been able to develop a unique educational program which offers English lessons, computer instruction, and tutor support. At the same time, we are providing students of Can Tho University with scholarships to support their own pursuit of education and valuable work-study experience that is relevant to their field of study.

What We Do:

CTYEP provides a variety of educational resources for children at two local institutions in Can Tho: Buu Tri Pagoda (a pagoda that cares for dozens of orphaned children) and Hoi Tu Thien (a local charity that provides shelter and educational opportunities to homeless and street children).

These resources include:

  • Two computer labs with a total of 10 computers
  • Six part-time work-study positions: Students from the University who provide 10 hrs./wk of service (including teaching) to the sponsor institution
  • 16 hours of English classes and 8 hours of computer classes per week
  • Organized game nights and events for the children
  • A summer leadership camp


  • Under 12 English: T,R  5:30-7:30pm
  • Over 12 English: T,R 6:00-8:00pm
  • Computer Class: W 6:30-8:30pm
  • Supervised Computer Practice (8 hours/week variable times)
  • Activity Night: Saturday 6:00-8:30pm

How You Can Help:

Sponsor a teacher for $35/month. All of our teachers are students at Can Tho University who receive small stipends in exchange for working and teaching for our program. We currently employ 7 student-teachers each of whom is responsible for an English or computer class.  

Sponsor a vocational scholarship. For $150 you can provide an opportunity to a child at our sponsor institution to attend a vocational training school to study a trade such as motorbike repair, hairdressing, or tailoring.

Give what you can. Even a small donation goes a long way. Given the structure of our organization, there are absolutely no overhead costs, so all donations will go directly to programs, maximizing the impact of every dollar sent.

Quick Facts:

Since 2006, our organization has directly sponsored or facilitated:

  • 1500 hours of educational programming for underprivileged children in Can Tho
  • More than 100 hours of activities and games
  • 5 vocational scholarships
  • 2 computer labs
  • A 3-week Summer Leadership program

For more information about the Can Tho Youth Empowerment Project, please visit our blog.

To read about our summer program, developed by Kate Thirolf of the University of Michigan visit the following url:

View article on the project: More Than Child's Play

Donations can be sent to Can Tho Youth Empowerment Project, c/o Dan White at 760B Madison Ave. Charlottesville, VA 22903. Please make checks out to Can Tho Youth Empowerment Project.

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