In love with Vietnam

Female director strives to benefit Vietnamese children

Sharon Kane, Country Director of Plan International Vietnam, is a warm-hearted person who always strives to have many practical projects for Vietnamese children to help them take control of their lives and become the country’s future.
Sharon Kane started her work at Plan International Vietnam in 2016. One of her first tasks was to build a national strategy for the term 2016-2021 which focuses on young people, creating conditions for young people to participate and make opportunities for themselves.

Sharon overcame the language barrier to communicate with Vietnamese children and discuss their plans and orientation. This is her way of understanding more about their current problems, making Plan’s projects work more effectively.

“Vietnamese children are more confident, sensitive and active than children in other countries that I’ve worked. I am delighted to see the changes in them through Plan’s projects”, Sharon said. 

Sharon Kane, Country Director of Plan International Vietnam. Photo: Viet Cuong / VNP

The launching ceremony of the project “Vietnamese Girl Leadership on Menstrual Hygiene Management”. Photo: Viet Cuong / VNP

Sharon Kane supports students in a school affected by flood in the central region. Photo: Plan International Vietnam

Sharon Kane visits people in the mountainous region. Photo: Plan International Vietnam

Plan International Vietnam support people in flood-affected areas. Photo: Plan International Vietnam

 Sharon and locals clean up the remnants of the storm that just passed. Photo: Plan International Vietnam 

Sharon takes part in a charity event at Ba Tang commune, Huong Hoa district,
Quang Tri province. Photo: Plan International Vietnam 

Sharon is happy when meeting with highland students. Photo: Plan International Vietnam 

Sharon Kane is close to Vietnamese girls in projects for the rights of girls and young women. Photo: Plan International Vietnam

Among the young people who came to Plan International Vietnam, the story of a young girl named Huu, a Van Kieu ethnic minority in Quang Tri, impressed Sharon the most. Huu was very quiet when she came to the group in 2018 and had difficulties communicating. After 3 years, Huu has become more confident and is now one of Plan’s youth advisory committee members. Young people living in Huu’s neighborhood consider her a role model in learning and changing. Huu represents thousands of Vietnamese youth who have received help from Plan to develop themselves.

Since June 2019, Plan International Vietnam has improved the lives of over 650,000 children, including 32,185 sponsored children, and a further 15,856,924 children and youth (7,647,982 girls) through their influencing and campaigns work on girls’ rights. By 2022, Plan aims to improve the lives of 2 million girls from 1,875 ethnic communities in Vietnam so they can learn, lead, decide, and thrive.
Talking with Sharon at the launching ceremony of the “Vietnamese Girl Leadership on Menstrual Hygiene Management” project, I also shared the joy of her passionate story about Vietnamese children. The project, implemented by Plan International Vietnam and the Vietnam Women's Union, has created favorable conditions for adolescent girls living in urban areas and ethnic minority communities in remote and rural areas to equip themselves with knowledge about reproductive health. According to Sharon, the project is expected to benefit 27,880 young people in 40 primary, secondary and high schools in Hanoi and Quang Binh”.

During her 5 years working in Vietnam, Sharon has participated in creating the Children's Council model, implementing health, vocational training and girl protection programs. These activities have brought positive changes to thousands of young people, especially those with difficult circumstances.

Sharon is from Melbourne, Australia and has a Master's degree in Public Health. She spent 8 years working in Afghanistan and Pakistan in maternal, child health, nutrition programmes and child protection programs. She was also a member of the Red Cross Emergency Response Team with urgent humanitarian operations in Haiti, Libya and Pakistan.

Story: Bich Van        Photos: Viet Cuong & Plan International Vietnam
        Translated by Hong Hanh