Life Life

28/09/2018 - 08:30

Silent germinators

In almost 20 years, the image of the three professors Odon Vallet, Tran Thanh Van and Le Kim Ngoc was too familiar with people in charge of Hue’s learning promotion, and the students and pupils receiving Vallet scholarships at the beginning of school season.

Prof. Odon Vallet awarding scholarships to pupils

To many, moving a long distance from France to Vietnam by air, then to many other provinces before coming to Hue city is extremely arduous, yet it seemed nothing to these three professors who are more than sixty. Just meeting young excellence to whom they were about to award scholarships, all of their fatigue would almost disappear and replace by a happy smile on the face instead.

The Vallet Scholarship was named after the age-old family of Professor Odon Vallet, working at the University of Sorbonne, France. Through the “Gặp gỡ Việt Nam” (Recontres du Vietnam) - a science and education organization, founded by Prof. Tran Thanh Van and his wife Prof. Le Kim Ngoc, this scholarship has been officially brought to Vietnam in general and Hue city in particular since 2001. Also, around that period of time, at the beginning of the school year, which is in late August and early September, the three professors have been to Hue city to hand over every scholarship to students and pupils with academic excellence

Odon Vallet obtained his Doctor of law, then became the professor of religious history at the Sorbonne University - a renowned university in the world. He is also a famous philosophy essay writer, but few know that he was educationally influenced by his father, an excellent businessman yet with a great tolerance.

Right from his young age, he was taught to love, share, and help disadvantaged people because there might be a lot of them who are talented, intelligent and kind-hearted. His father passed away and left a large inheritance. Since then the professor wished to use that entire amount (100 million euros) as a bank deposit to help young disadvantaged students.

“Initially, I helped poor students in France, then I awarded a lot of young people in the world. And when I met Prof. Tran Thanh Van and Prof. Le Kim Ngoc, it was also the time for this scholarship to approach to students in Vietnam and Hue, the place I extremely love,” slowly recalled Prof. Odon Vallet in his tall and thin appearance.

Deputy Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Dung (left) presenting flowers to express gratitude to Prof. Odon Vallet, Prof. Tran Thanh Van and his wife Prof. Le Kim Ngoc

Every year, despite how busy he might be, Professor Odon Vallet arranged time to accompany Prof. Tran Thanh Van and his wife Prof. Le Kim Ngoc to provinces from South to North of the country to hand over scholarships that provided both financial and spiritual values to excellent pupils and students of Vietnam. Anyone who have witnessed this significant scholarship award ceremony for pupils and students of Hue city in this luxurious space of the Duyet Thi Duong theatre inside the Imperial Citadel would understand the sentiments of these professors who always nurture young people in a quiet way. Before starting the ceremony, all three professors usually went to young awardees' seats to learn about their situations, stories and then inspired them with words of encouragement. This brought warm atmosphere to the ceremony at all time.

Hue city obtains one tenth Vallet scholarships awards in the country.

In the last 18 years, the Vallet scholarship program has granted more than 32,000 scholarships with a value of about VND 200 billion to the students and pupils all over the country. Scholarship value is constantly increasing to meet the recipients’ prices of living and learning. Particularly, it valued from VND 3 to 4 million from the first years, and now increased to VND 17 million for students and VND 10 million for pupils. Only in Hue city does the number of this scholarship occupy one tenth of the total award in the country.

One more special and interesting thing most of young awardees and their accompanying parents used to question is that why not organizing the ceremony somewhere else, but this Duyet Thi Duong theatre, a luxurious theatre reserved for the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty and their mandarins, and a privileged space for them to enjoy excellent art performances. Prof. Tran Thanh Van shared that, beside the material support, he also wanted the awardees to understand more about the traditional culture of the motherland. This was also an introduction and promotion for the world cultural heritage to international guests invited to the ceremony.

Received the Vallet scholarship many times for her outstanding achievements, Vo Thi Dieu Trinh, originated from Phu Loc district, was still feeling touched as organizers called out her name. Recently, she has been successfully admitted into the Medicine and Pharmacy College - Hue University, major in General Practitioner. Trinh told that the Vallet scholarship has eased her life in years of studying at An Luong Dong high school while she lived in a disadvantaged circumstance; her mother left home since she was born. And similar to Trinh, many generations of students before, now and later have been nurtured by the Vallet scholarship on their journey to conquer knowledge.

Those who received scholarships, despite not speaking out, silently expressed their thanks deep from their hearts to the “Saints” Odon Vallet, Tran Thanh Van, Le Kim Ngoc. Yet, Prof. Odon Vallet is always moderate at all time, and advises the youth that: “Don't thank me. Thank your parents - who gave birth to you. Thank your teachers - who brought you knowledge”.

Leaving Hue city, the three professors wished to see these scholarship awardees in the following years. Though their hair turns grey and their legs slow down due to old age, in their eyes, there is always a faith in the young generation of Hue city, those who received scholarships will fly high, fly far... then return to contribute to their homeland.

By Phan Thanh

 

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