Why Thai Dang, a Survivor of War and Malaria, Gives to UNICEF

November 15, 2017

Our supporters have personal reasons for giving. Some believe in the cause. Others give because they encountered UNICEF at a crucial crossroads in their lives — and it made all the difference. Thai Dang was one such child. When he was 13, Dang contracted a bad case of malaria, but in his small village in Vietnam, there was no treatment for him. "They used traditional medicine and prayed. I was so bad, they were just about ready to give up on me and leave me to die," he remembers. Then a UNICEF medical team arrived and provided the medicine that saved his life.


But this wasn't the only time UNICEF came to his aid. "High school was a dream for me. In fact, I was the only one from my village who got to high school," he recalls. "My parents couldn't afford to send me to college, but I found a brochure for the National School for Social Work that UNICEF sponsored. Miracle! I got accepted! To me back then, that school was like a five-star hotel. I never slept on a mattress before I got to that campus. UNICEF is my savior. Besides my parents, UNICEF is the third member of my family."


Here, in his own words, is why he gives to UNICEF:




After the Fall of Saigon, Dang and his older brother escaped Vietnam on a very small boat that almost capsized. Rescued by a fishing boat, he spent eight months in a refugee camp in Indonesia before moving to Duluth, Minnesota. Now, decades later, having created a life in the United States, he returns the favor, supporting UNICEF to give today's children life-changing opportunities. "You've got to reach out and help — and UNICEF is the tool for me to continue doing that for the rest of my life." 


#GiveHope now to support UNICEF's programs around the world, because all children deserve the right to good medical care and a quality education.