Meanwhile at UNIS Hanoi
Our Global Alumni Notes
Ruby Davies (Class of 2013) started the blog Endo and me, sis in order to raise awareness for endometriosis and the effects it can have on people’s lives. Endometriosis is a condition where endometriotic tissue (very similar to the cells forming the uterine/womb lining) is located elsewhere in the body causing tenderness, extreme pain during the monthly period and other long-term effects. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women worldwide (that's over 176,000,000!) and is currently incurable. However there are lifestyle and medical adjustments that can help lessen its impact on life.
Having been diagnosed with endometriosis in 2014, in the blog posts, Ruby discusses her experiences with endometriosis, as well as the tips and tricks adopted after over 10+ years living with the condition. Ruby shared: "I find the blog therapeutic as it also holds me accountable for my own holistic treatment plan - I have to take care of myself in order to practice what I preach. The blog has followings on Facebook and Instagram, with over 1,500+ supporters. Through the blog itself, as well as the social media platforms, I have already made friends with fellow endometriosis warriors across the world. The support from them, as well as my friends and family has been truly overwhelming. I cannot wait to see where things go from here!"
Ruby graduated from the University of Dundee in 2017 and from the University of Edinburgh this last May and is currently a trainee lawyer at Dentons, the world's largest law firm.
Duy Nguyen (Class of 2006) started the page Closer to Earth as an initiative to share actionable steps that everyone could take to make a positive impact on our planet, whether it's going zero waste, ideas/ works that turned single used wastes into useful items or projects.
Duy shared, "I really believe that one of the best ways to help raise awareness is that we just have to start with ourselves. We run an e-commerce business selling children's products, and it really bothered me seeing the amount of packaging waste that would accumulate over time. Since we already have an audience of thousands of customers and growing, I thought there's no better way to spread the words through our products. Starting October 2019, we will start to replace our current packaging to using the reusable pouch for packaging and D2W biodegradable mailer bags and will continue to find ways to address the problem."
Sofia and Erik Cunelius (Alumni Faculty/Staff) found out that Linnea Niklasson (Class of 2019) was coming back to Sweden after graduating in May 2019 and organized a mini reunion in their home in Stockholm. Sofia was Linnea's Swedish teacher at UNIS Hanoi in Grade 6 and 7 and her husband Erik Cunelius was the soccer coach during this period. Linnea got to meet Sofia and Erik's two new family members while talking memories. Sofia is working at an IB school in Stockholm.
Effective July 2020, Andy Page-Smith (Alumni Faculty/Staff) is appointed the next Academy of International School Heads (AISH), a community of heads and deputy heads of international schools around the globe. AISH membership consists of heads of school of 45 different nationalities, in 90 different countries and spread across six continents at schools with different curricula systems and language offerings. Andy was UNIS Hanoi Elementary School Principal from 1998 to 2001. Click here to read more.
Kevin Wade (Class of 2009) is running for Virginia House of Delegates. Kevin will be on the ballot for the Democratic Primary Election on June 11. Kevin comes from a Thai-American family and attended UNIS Hanoi from Grade 9 to Grade 11. Click here to find out more about Kevin and support him.
Sofie Brondum Reeh (Class of 2017) visited UNIS Hanoi with her friends during the rainy days of Spring Break. Sofie is going to start university in Denmark this August after a two year gap time.
Anh Nguyen (Class of 2011) participated in a clean up activity last Sunday in Ho Chi Minh City with a group of friends. He wrote in to share:
I did a clean up today with an amazing group of people who wanted to do something good. Even strangers joined us after seeing our effort to make a change, no matter how small that change was. We met a person who was cleaning up before us, saying that he couldn't imagine doing it himself. With the amount of trash in Vietnam, I don't think any one person can do it themselves, but if we get together and do this as a fun activity, we can all enjoy a cleaner environment.
It starts with small steps. The #trashtag challenge has been started by an online trend, and it is the only online challenge I have done, because I really believe it does good, and hope that it doesn't stop until Vietnam can be the cleanest country in the world #vietnamvodich.
Littering is a big problem, and cleaning up like this is not a sustainable way, it is akin to treating the symptoms and not the cause. Cleanups like this only make a difference, when the littering stops. While we were cleaning up, there were already people throwing trash right next to us. The solution to the problem of littering is to overcome the inconvenience of cleaning up for yourself. When you throw plastic on the street, know that it will stay there and your children will be living on trash in the future.
I want Vietnam to be clean for one simple reason. I love this country, it's beauty and charm. So I challenge you, dear reader, to get friends together and do a few sessions of clean ups. And tell your neighbor to not throw that piece of trash on the ground."
Joyce (Alumni Faculty/Staff), Daniella (Class of 2018) and Jacqueline "Coco" Miller (Class of 2020) stopped by UNIS Hanoi while visiting from Singapore. Joyce is working as a K-12 Librarian at an international school in Singapore; Coco is currently in Grade 11 while Daniella is using her gap year to work and gain experience. Daniella is thinking to study Business in Singapore after this gap year.
Bas Augustijn (Class of 2014) stopped by the School on his solo trip in his gap years between University and post graduate degrees. Bas' plan is to visit all the countries and places he and family once lived. Bas is living and working in the Netherlands.
Linh Nguyen (Class of 2018) was selected to receive one of the Vanderbilt University's Nichols Humanitarian Fund Awards to help improve health care access and education system in Ban Lien, an impoverished, geographically-challenged region in Lao Cai, Vietnam. Thanks to the support from the Fund, Linh will be travelling back to Vietnam in summer 2019 to allocate the granted funds alongside SANSE, the Service Learning group co-founded by Linh during her time at UNIS Hanoi. A former UNIS Hanoi scholar, Linh is pursuing a double degree in the field of Communications and Human and Organisational Development at Vanderbilt University on a full scholarship. The merit- and need-based Nichols Humanitarian Fund is awarded to service-based projects proposed by students to address an area of need of a community, domestic or international.
Linhlan Dover Arthur (Class of 2002) married Ben Arthur on 16 March 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Instead of gifts or money, Linhlan and Ben set up a personal fundraiser on a crowd raising platform and asked the guests to donate to Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, hoping to raise AUD 1,603 to mark the date. The couple proudly shared that AUD 7,000 was raised as a result, "We are very happy that this money will go to helping street kids, and those affected by trafficking, AIDS and disabilities as well as help put those in need through school and rehabilitation." Linhlan and Ben and their children are living in Australia. They plan to be back in Hanoi this Spring for a small celebration with friends and family in Hanoi.