Back to school: Two young women wear ao dai. The Hue-based charity, the Ao Dai Association, besides helping poor girls study and get vocational training, is also trying to encourage them to wear the traditional Vietnamese ao dai. — VNS File Photo

HUE CITY — Many poor bright girls in Thua Thien–Hue Province will soon receive financial support for continuing their education while others will get vocational training from a new charity that has been established by women in Hue.

The Ao Dai (traditional long dress) Association, established last week, is now working to raise funds.

“Our association has been formed with the aim of respecting and preserving traditional Vietnamese cultures and lifestyles in general, and Hue’s culture in particular,” the country’s former deputy president, Nguyen Thi Binh, also the association’s honorary chairwoman, said.

Along with scholarships of VND1 million, it has also gifted an ao dai to 20 high school students living in remote districts like Huong Long and Thuy Bieu.

“I dreamed of wearing a new ao dai to school,” Ho Thi Ngoc Quy, who studies at the Hai Ba Trung School in Thuy Bieu Commune, said.

“Thanks to the Ao Dai Association, my dream has comes true. I will try my best to complete my studies,” added the 15-year-old girl, who, together with her younger siblings, earn money after school to support their parents.

A member of the association’s executive board, fashion designer Nguyen Minh Hanh of HCM City, said providing a “better life to poor girls is also our duty.”

The association will provide free training courses in sewing to poor girls so that they can find stable jobs.

The association and its partners, the Thua Thien-Hue Province Women’s Union and the HCM City Women’s Union, have organised dozens of cultural and charity activities to raise money.

It has more than 200 members, many of them local officials and well-known artists. — VNS