Be Better Foundation (formerly Tony Foundation), a Vietnamese non-profit social enterprise, was established by Mr. Tran Van Tinh (Tony Tinh) in March 2022.
Tony himself spent a childhood full of hardship when he had to work for a living after school. Therefore, he has harbored the mission to help children, as well as the aged, who are in difficult circumstances to get support and opportunities for a better life. With Be Better Foundation, he hopes to connect more and more philanthropists and spread the kind intention to help more and more disadvantaged people.
Under any circumstances, when we look back to what we have and compare ourselves with those who do not have what we have, we will find ourselves luckier and happier than many people. Although we own no house, at least we do not live on the streets. Our children do not have everything like the children of the rich, but at least they have food and warm clothes. We always feel happier when we focus on what we have instead of what we do not have. When we focus on what we have, compared to those humbler and less fortunate than us, we will find our life as a privilege, how blessed we are.
Having that awareness, we can consider paying back this life a little bit as a gratitude for what we had and practicing our compassion. Being grateful for life and what we have, we will feel that this life is more meaningful than we thought.
In scientific research, genuine happiness and lasting happiness come from giving, making sacrifices, and helping others. Giving and being grateful for life help people’s lives profoundly satisfying in mind, more peaceful, easily overcome adversities, and help build meaningful relationships in society. Giving, and helping is also to set an example for those around us, for our children and grandchildren to follow, to learn how to have a humane, loving way of life.
Giving to help others is the noblest act of all religions. According to Buddha’s and Jesus’s teachings, giving and reaching out to help others are one of the noblest acts of a human being, the closest way back to God, the closest way back to one’s true self.
When to give
It is never the right time because life is impermanent, and nothing lasts forever. Everything depends on uncountable conditions. It is never the right time to give. When we have a few hundred thousand dollars more or a few million dollars more, we will donate, and then we will say that when we have a little more, we will help, again and again. There is no right time to give, only this moment, today when we can still do something meaningful.
How much is enough
It does not matter how much you give. It is essential to share with a good heart. It could be 50 USD or 100 USD or only 1% of your monthly income. Giving is like pooling into a long-term savings account with a little bit every month, but in the long run, its results are outstanding. In this case, your 50-100 USD per month can change the fate of a poor student.
The seed of Be Better Foundation was probably sown in the early 80s of the 20th century in Cai Von Town, Binh Minh District, Vinh Long Province where Tony, the founder of Be Better Foundation, was born and grew up.
In those days, though Tony’s parents were manual laborers and their lives depended on farming like many other families in the countryside, with all that they had, they not only raised 3 children but also took care of nieces and nephews in the family, gave financial support for their education, and tried to help neighbors. Even when the incident made the father, who is the breadwinner, unable to work anymore, the 8-year-old son Tony and his siblings, were still not allowed to drop out of school. The whole family had to share all the hard work and meager meals to survive, but the children definitely had to go to school. Tony’s father did not allow poverty and ignorance to prevent his children from reaching a future that he did not have the opportunity to realize.
Being grateful for the power of knowledge, imbued with his father’s teachings, and experiencing ups and downs in life, Tony realizes many things are worth more than money – the value of compassion, energy, and faith, etc. It is also the basis of the Be Better Foundation’s Social Development Fund, which gives hope to children who want to go to school and gives love to those in need.
During the past 16 years, Tony and his parents have spent a lot of time, energy, and money doing charity work. At the end of 2020, he decided to officially establish the Be Better Foundation’s Social Development Fund so that he could call on colleagues, friends, customers, partners, etc. to join hands with him in order to assist more people through the combined power of community.
Board of Supervisors
Le Tien Dat
Mr. Le Tien Dat (Daniel) is Managing Partner of ADK & Co Vietnam Lawyers
Vu Van Hau
Mr. Vu Van Hau is the Director of VIETVALUES Auditing and Consulting Co., Ltd
Lim Chor Ghee
Mr. Lim Chor Ghee is the General Director of Tricor Vietnam, and Co-founder IMM Group.
The Foundation Members
The members of the foundation contribute their time/work regularly or donate to the foundation every month. Their monthly donation is sometimes just $10 or $20/month, but it means a lot to poor children.
Some other philanthropists support the foundation regularly, but we are not allowed to publish their photos/names due to confidential restrictions.
List of regular members:
Currently, Be Better Foundation focuses on four primary goals:
- Helping children in tough circumstances go to school.
- Mentorship – equipping children with life-changing knowledge and skills.
- Free vocational training.
- Helping the elderly living on their own with great difficulty.
1. Helping children in challenging circumstances go to school
This is the leading and most important goal of the Foundation. “Challenging circumstances” can be understood as poor families in remote areas, ethnic minorities, or orphans. However, these children have the will, the ability to learn and dreams of changing their lives in the future. The activities supporting them include:
- Providing school meals.
- Providing learning equipment.
- Providing clothes.
- Learning-promoting scholarships (one time only) for poor children with special abilities.
- Full and long-term scholarships for secondary, high, and college students with extraordinary circumstances. Without long-term support, these children may be on the verge of dropping out of school because they have no families or relatives or they are entirely unable to cover tuition fees and basic expenses.
The Foundation will decide on short, medium, or long-term support for each case.
2. Mentorship – Training programs
This program is for poor high school and college students.
The founders of the Foundation and volunteers, usually business owners or experts in various fields, will equip students with knowledge, skills, and experience to succeed in life and contribute to society. This is done through discussions, sharing sessions, and meetings with students.
3. Free vocational training
For poor students who cannot afford to finish university, the Foundation will help them attend free vocational training courses by cooperating with many vocational schools in provinces and cities. With a stable career, these students will have a better income to keep moving forward for a better future.
Be Better Foundation’s desire as well as goal in the future is to build many vocational schools in different provinces and cities when having enough financial capacity. Then, the Foundation can also provide free vocational training for their parents, which helps their families live better.
4. Helping the elderly living on their own with difficulty
A part of the Foundation’s budget is allocated to help elderly people who do not have children to take care of them or a stable shelter. They need a little love, a little comfort, and a little care so that they can experience some late happiness and rest in peace.
A society cannot become better or develop sustainably without being based on good human values. Helping neglected elderly people is also meant to remind younger generations about the lesson of gratitude. Taking care of parents and grandparents is one of the core values that people need to uphold.
- Be Better Foundation undertakes that the finances are transparent through quarterly audit by a 3rd party. Financial statements are public and transparent to donors, sponsors, contributors of the Be Better Foundation.
- The founders and volunteers do not receive salaries from the Be Better Foundation.
- When performing charity trips, attendees and volunteers themselves share travel costs and personal expenses. The fund budget is not allowed to use.
Forms of receiving support
Financial support from benefactors:
- Tony Tinh – the founder of IMM Group has undertaken to contribute 20% of his company’s annual profit to the foundation. The co-founder of IMM Group has also committed to contributing 10% of his dividends from IMM.
- Voluntary, non-binding contributions from Tony Tinh’s friends, customers, and partners.
- Contributions from the community.
- Volunteers can contribute their time, effort, etc., depending on their abilities and desire.
The process of assessing cases in need
- The Foundation knows of those in need through the media, community or by chance.
- The Operating Board sends volunteers to get to know more about their real circumstances.
- The Operating Board discusses and decides on how to support them and how much.
- The volunteer committee implements supporting activities under the Supervisory Board’s supervision.
- The Foundation appoints a representative to follow each case to make necessary amendments to funding or stop supporting.