My name is Tsemdo and I grew up in a small village in Amdo, Tibet. I was one of the few lucky kids in the village to get a college education. And the first one in my family to ever graduate from a primary school. In 2009 I received scholarship from 100 Friends Project to continue my college education. I was enrolled in college in 2008 to study English language but the amount of the money that I had to pay for my school expenses was beyond my mother’s capability. My father passed away in 2003 due to a serious stomach illness and since then my mother had been supporting my education with her small amount of income generated from farming. So when I got into college, my mother managed to pay for the first year expenses and from the second year onwards the school raised the tuition costs and my mother and I couldn’t afford my education. Therefore I reached to one of my college teachers for help and through her introduction and recommendation, I got to know Marc Gold, who generously agreed to support my education. And because of that, I was able to continue my college education and in the beginning of 2011 I had successfully graduated from college. What the college education and Marc Gold’s support meant to me is that I managed to pursue my passion in photography and train young Tibetans on the Tibetan Plateau in photography and digital storytelling. When I received Marc Gold’s support I was already beginning to take photography seriously and involved in a participatory photography project called Plateau Photographers that has been training young Tibetans from across the Tibetan Plateau in documentary photography. I am now working as the executive director and photography trainer of Plateau Photographers. And in the summer of 2009 Marc Gold gave me digital camera which further enabled me to use my photography to tell stories and document endangered cultural elements on the Tibetan Plateau. All of these would have been difficult without the support of 100 Friends Project. And I am paying back 100 Friends generous support by serving local communities on the Tibetan plateau to share their stories and make positive social impacts. I am grateful of 100 Friends and I hope 100 Friends can continue to support Tibetan students and others like myself whose life would otherwise end up farming, herding, or looking for temporary jobs in the urban areas.
My name is Cheng Yong Sreng, I was born in at Kandal Province which is the south east of Cambodia, one of the poor country in the world. My family is farmer, we grow rice, chili, corn, cucumber, pumpkins and another vegetable, life as farmer in Cambodia is very difficult because we have much technique and the government didn’t support us as well. Even thought it is hard but I try my best to finish my study at high school in 2006, it is not easy as the sun of the farmer because I have to work in the farm and raise the cow, however I am not only a person who doing that in Cambodia, there are many children have to work even if young. After finished High School there is more problem because I didn’t have money to study at university and I don’t have place to stay in Phnom Penh either, it take two month for me to find the place to stay and finally I decide to train as gold smith, I don’t like it but do it rather than do nothing. 2008 I go to study at university and keep doing gold smith in part time. In 2010 it was the hard time for me because I have to move out of my uncle house, I have to think about my living and about my study because I didn’t have money to rent apartment and I have to pay for my university as well but luckily I know Hundred Friends Foundation which really supported me, Marc is a nice person he support me with the finance and plus many good idea. Now I had job and I can pay for a room where I and my sibling live together, my sister and brother are studying at university under my support, ‘my brother studying Sociology and my sister studying Tourism. 100 Friends Foundation is really big support to me than I support my family and hopefully next few year and I help another people.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
I remember the first time I met Marc Gold: it was seven years ago when 100 Friends was introduced to HSCV. I was the lucky staff member to take charge of the medical and family assistance program, so I had the opportunity to work with Marc. Time flies so fast! Now, seven years later, HSCV and 100 Friends are good partners and have been working together to help many families and children with different programs like scholarship, rice distribution, and health care. Without the support from 100 Friends, HSCV would find it difficult to make a difference in the life of very poor families and children in Hanoi and surrounding villages. We have helped the sick, the disabled, and those who are unable to help themselves. One case in particular comes to mind regarding a heart surgery. Without help from 100 Friends, the parents didn’t have enough money to pay for the hospital and especially the long, post-surgery follow-up visits and medications for their son. Because of the support from Marc Gold and 100 Friends, the family is able to pay for the medicine and now their child is happy and a good student in his class. The lad wants to send Marc and 100 Friends a picture that he drew and also there is a letter from his mother. Marc Gold is truly a godsend who is always giving to needy people when he is asked. I know that he cares deeply about the work that HSCV is doing and I hope that together we help the poor children whether in big or small towns, villages & hamlets or urban and remote areas. l’m confident that we will continue working together to make the world better. I would like to send my personal thanks for your sponsorship of HSCV over the last several years. Thank-you for your kindness. Your contributions have been making a significant difference in the lives of many needy individuals in Vietnam.
100 Friends and its Founder Marc Gold have been partners with Blue Dragon since 2006. I met Marc while he was in Vietnam seeking people in need of help, and immediately knew I had met a kindred spirit. 100 Friends is like no other charity. Marc finds the people who have fallen through the gaps, who receive help from nobody else, and empowers them to fulfill their dreams. By working together, Blue Dragon and 100 Friends have assisted Vietnamese children living in poverty who need access to healthcare and schooling. 100 Friends has funded children and families who have needed direct support; and on a management level, 100 Friends has provided Blue Dragon donors with tax deductibility when needed. These are practical actions which have made a tangible difference to people in need. 100 Friends is now turning 25. With Marc’s vision and passion, this special charity has done even more than it set out to. Happy birthday, 100 Friends; I hope you will continue for many years to come.
Founder and CEOHanoi, Vietnam
I first came to know about Marc through my mom who met him when working as a seller on the beach in Lovina, Bali. My mom met Marc and his friend one day at work and as they have a good chat, they came to the house and that was my first time to meet Marc. We really had a nice chat. Marc and his friend were really nice, friendly and funny. We talked a lot about what am I doing. At the time I was a 17 yr old student in Senior High School and also helping mom on the beach as a souvenir seller. Marc and his friends from 100 Friends talked to me about the school, how I was going at school, how can I divide my time between school and work, what motivated me to go to school even though my parent income wasn’t enough. I was so happy when Marc from 100 friends told me that they will help with my school fees, so was my mom and dad as I have a younger sister and brother who were also both at school – it really helped us. School here can very expensive on a small income, It is really hard for people like me to go to school here in Lovina, the expenses are so high. I am so grateful and very very happy when 100 friends helped me for my school. I promised to do well at school. I went to vocational high school for tourism industrial so after I graduated I am able to find a job.Now I am married and living in Sydney, Australia with a good living standard. 100 friends also helped my sister for school and now she is working in our home town as a supervisor in a major hotel. No words can describe how happy and our thanks to Marc and 100 friends. Thank you for your help and kindness to me and my family. My best regards
Lovina, Bali, Indonesia
To All those 100 Friends of Marc Gold, The Community Working Group: Burma, would like to thank you for your wonderful support for this very important work. 100 Friends was the very first organization to help us with this rather unique program. Through the years you have continued to help us help those with very little opportunity. Our team of community volunteers and medics are able to access areas that are often overlooked by government and larger NGOs. CWG is able to meet individual needs through basic medical service, counseling, teaching, escorting, and by providing food supplements, transportation and medicines to those without resources. It is rather overwhelming to see the extent of tragedy in this near collapsed State. Despite the “New Openness” and the rush of investment into this economic frontier the sixty years of mismanaged government has placed millions into poverty with all the accompanying hardships that follow.CWG is uniquely able to get into these impoverished areas and work with individuals, families, and schools.CWG is dependent on the goodwill and kindness of people like you. We operate on a small budget and your contribution has already done more than you might imagine. Thank you for opening your hearts in this special way and know that you have brought some measure of peace to others you may never even meet. CWG is so grateful to Marc Gold and the good folks of “100 Friends”. I would like to let you know to what ends this latest participation of 100 Friends have gone towards. 1,562 Healthy Meals We know that no matter what opportunity, or good circumstance of life may arise for kids we care for in our three day centers, if they are hungry or sick it means little. CWG can provide a nutritious meal once a day for these children. This is what we can do. We do it good. Thanks to you and your 100 Friends. Our “Healthy Meal Program”, together with the educational day care centers, and an eye towards medical intervention, offers stability to children in a quite fragile environment. Cheers to you and thanks so much from all the volunteers here to all the kind folks of 100 Friends.
Dear sponsors! It has been a long time since I wrote to you! How are you doing? You have been very busy, haven’t you? Please spend sometimes to read my letter! Firstly I would like to send thousands of best wishes to you and your family with good health, successful work and happy in your life. Dear brother Marc Gold! I have heard from Hanh that you have just got married to a young and nice lady, when you come to Vietnam, please visit my family. How are you doing? You have been working so hard but you still remember and take care of my son and me. I am very grateful and moved! Yesterday, Hanh sent me your donation and I spent to buy a set of desk and chair, books and clothes for Hung. He is very happy and he loves it very much. Thank you so much! I promise that I would try to raise him as a good boy in order to pay your love and care to us. Dear brother Marc Gold! Your image is still in our memory when you visited my house, at that time my family was in terrible condition… You appeared like an angel who saves my little son’s life and you are like his father who delivered to him the 2nd time. I had hospital fee to cure my eyes and you created job for my family to overcome the most difficult time in my life. Now you are getting my better, Ngoc Hung still has to take medicine daily. I am really moved to your kind and big heart. Thank for you and Hanh who have been helping us and bring a bright future to us. Hung is raised with love from our family included you and Hanh. He is at 2nd grade this year and he is growing up, very handsome and clever. He is at the 1 out of 39 excellent students in his class; his teacher awarded him with notebooks and pens. I have been working hard, my salary is not high but I can pay bank loan and save money to buy a motor bike. My mother in law is getting old and weak, she has just got an eye surgery and she is getting better now. I still have a lot of things that I would like to share with you but for the next letter! Finally, I would like to wish you and your wife healthy, happy and successful in all your work and your life. We are looking forward to seeing you in one day! Mum and son Nguyen Ngoc Hung
Anh chị phương xa kính nhớ! Đã lâu rồi, hôm nay em lại ngồi cầm cây bút viết đôi dòng chữ bé nhỏ để gửi tới thăm sức khỏe của anh chị. Chắc anh cũng bận lắm phải không ạ? Nhưng anh ơi hãy bớt chút thời gian để đọc đôi dòng chữ nhỏ bé của em gái phương xa tới thăm anh chị nhé. Đầu thư cũng như ngàn lời tâm sự em muốn gửi tới toàn thể gia đình anh chị những lời chúc tốt đẹp nhất còn riêng anh em luôn luôn cầu chúc cho anh chị trăm năm hạnh phúc, sức khỏe rồi rào và thông trong mọi lĩnh vực… Anh Mare Gold ơi! Em được nghe chị Hạnh tâm sự kể cho em n ghe qua là anh mới cưới vợ trẻ đẹp lắm. Khi nào anh chị sang Việt Nam công tác thì hãy bớt chút thời gian đến thăm mẹ con em anh nhé. Dạo này anh có khỏe không ? Công việc có bận hay vất vả lắm không anh? Anh mới cưới xong chắc công việc cũng bận lắm anh nhỉ? Anh chị bận nhiều việc thế mà vẫn còn quan tâm lo lắng cho mẹ con em, em biết ơn anh chị nhiều lắm. Anh ơi! Hôm qua chị Hạnh có gửi số tiền mà anh chị đã gửi quà về cho bé Hưng em đã nhận được rồi anh ạ. Em đã đi mua cho con 1 bộ bàn ghế để ngồi học và một bộ sách của kỳ 2 lớp 2 , với 1 bộ quần áo dài tay nữa anh chị ạ. Bé Ngọc Hưng có bàn ghế mới lại quần áo mới nó thích lắm anh chị ạ. Đó là những món quà anh chị thưởng cho con rất quý và ý nghĩa, em cảm ơn anh chị nhiều lắm. Em hứa với anh chị là em sẽ dạy bảo con thật tốt học thật giỏi để không phụ tấm lòng cao quý của anh chị đã dành cho mẹ con em. Anh Mare Gold ơi! Em vẫn còn nhớ mãi hình ảnh ngày nào mà anh sang thăm mẹ con em, khi đó gia đình em đang chìm đắm trong cơn bão tố…. Anh! Đã giống như một vị thần tiên xuất hiện cứu giúp mẹ con em vượt qua cơn bão tố đó và từ đó bé Ngọc Hưng con trai bé bỏng của em đã được anh chị cứu chữa cùng như anh chị đã sinh ra thêm một lần nữa con đã được đi mổ tim kịp thời và đã cho em tiền để chữa khỏi đôi mắt còn tạo công ăn việc làm cho mẹ con em đỡ khổ và còn khi bé Ngọc Hưng mổ rồi vẫn tài trợ cho con em tiền thuốc theo định kỳ. Em thật sự quá cảm động trước những tấm lòng cao quý, sự nhiệt tình giúp đỡ mẹ con em khi khó khăn như anh chị cùng chị Hạnh người phiên dịch có tấm lòng nhân hậu với tình yêu thương vô bờ bến để mẹ con em mới có được như ngày hôm nay. Bé Ngọc Hưng ngày nào đã được lớn lên trong tình yêu thương của bà, mẹ của những người thân trong đó có cả anh chị cùng chị Hạnh người đã luôn luôn giúp đỡ mẹ con em. Bé Hưng nay đã là học sinh lớp 2 rồi anh chị ạ! Con rất đẹp trai và thông minh, vừa rồi con được xếp lthuws 1/39 em học sinh giỏi trong lớp và được cô giáo thưởng vở cho nữa đấy anh chị ạ. Công việc của em thì rất vất vả mà lương thị thấp nhưng em thấy con như vậy em cũng được an ủi và rất vui. Còn về mẹ chồng của em thì sang mấy năm nay bà hay ốm nhiều hơn và đợt vừa rồi em đưa mẹ đi mổ quặm hai bên mắt bây giờ cùng tự đi lại được rồi ạ. Em đi làm cũng giành giụm tiền để trả hết nợ ở ngân hàng rồi và em cùng mua được 1 cái xe máy để đi lại nữa anh chị ạ. Tâm sự của em thì còn nhiều lắm nhưng bây giờ cũng hơi khuya rồi em hẹn anh chị khi khác anh em mình lại tâm sự tiếp anh nhé. Cuối thư 1 lần nữa em chúc anh chị cùng toàn thể gia đình luôn luôn mạnh khỏe , hạnh phúc và gặp nhiều may mắn, toại nguyện mọi ước mơ, thành công trong mọi lĩnh vực của cuộc sống. Em gái cùng con trai của anh chị luôn luôn chờ một ngày nào đó sẽ được đón và được gặp anh chị! Mẹ con cháu Nguyễn Ngọc Hưng.
Marc Gold and 100Friends shares our both our heart and our goal of seeing meaningful change in the lives of those who are impacted by poverty and crisis. When Marc and team came to visit our work along the Burma border for the first time, it was soon clear that our two organizations fit very well together. The ease at which 100Friends worked alongside our team and Marc’s enthusiastic open-mindedness to see, feel and then act on the needs he was observing has made this partnership a joy from day-one. Through our partnership with 100Friends, we’ve seen real needs met, lives changed and futures brightened. Our first full-time Burmese medical staff got her start with a grant from 100Friends and continues to work within some of the most vulnerable border communities. A Burmese migrant woman, once given a small amount of startup capital from 100friends was able to start her own small business and move one step further from a life of uncertainty. I’m happy to call Marc and his team both partners and friends of Compasio Relief & Development and look forward to many more years of working together.
Dear Marc Gold, My father was feeling a little ‘lost’ after retiring from nearly four decades of work for a bank in India. That changed when he read about what you are doing at 100friends. He became inspired to do small acts of kindness. He found that he was not helpless to make a difference, even with his pension from the bank. He found a new focus and purpose in life and was much happier for it. His last few years were spent in happily others in the way you and your friends do. The most important thing he was excited about was in telling all of us that we don’t have to be very rich, or have grand designs, to improve things in this world. He passed away last year. I hope to remember the spirit of his philanthropy and continue it. I am sharing this with you to encourage you to continue doing what you are doing, and to ask you to tell your story anyplace you can. You never know who is waiting to listen. Warm regards,
Before I met Marc Gold, I had never dreamed about getting my bachelor’s degree in this life, especially, I had never dreamed to attend a prestigious college in the USA to get my bachelor’s degree in business and education. I will get my B.A. in December 2015 and I am going to try to get my Master’s Degree as well. Not just getting my degree from a prestigious college that is so good, but I have learned so much about the world since I came to the USA. I have met many friends from the USA and other countries like Japan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and so on. My horizons have expanded from learning since I learned so much about different cultures and perspectives. I was born in a rural village in Kham (Eastern) Tibet. My parents and grandfather are farmers in their entire lives, and my brother and I are the only person who has been to a college in my village. I am not just my family’s pride, but I am the role model for other village girls, too. 100 Friends has also made it possible for my brother Norbu to attend college. When Marc met him 4 years ago he had only completed 1st grade and now he is in college in India. 100 Friends also provided important help for my parents and grandfather. They are barley farmers, getting old and since my brother and I went for our education 100 Friends provided funds for their living expenses and help on the farm. I was like the frog in the well who sees the world as big as the well size before I met Marc that I just did not have any special expectations in life but grow up and follow my parents’ lives. Marc is like the angel that came to transform my life. He has transformed my life to a completely different way than my parents and I could imagine; and now it seems like the whole world has opened up to me. Since I met Marc, I have changed tremendously. I am an educated woman now, and I am positive and confident about my life. I will use my knowledge and skills to help others in Tibet and elsewhere. I really appreciate 100 Friends Project that has changed my life.