Our Story

The Foundation was formed after a conversation of a family about the difficult life of indigenous people in rural areas, where young children are subjected to dangers daily on their way to school. The charity’s founder, Miss Nam Phương, realized that with her small network she could raise enough funds to build bridges for small and remote communities, whereby eliminating unsafe boat rides.

In September 2011, the first bridge was built at Mỹ Thuận hamlet, Cái Bè District, Tiền Giang province in southern Vietnam.

The strong and positive feedback from the town of Mỹ Thuận directly inspired the creation of the Nam Phuong Foundation, as Nam Phuong believed that ‘Build a Bridge’ is a project that could be implemented at other locations around the country, and even globally.

Then, on the 19th September 2013, the Nam Phuong Foundation was the first charity by students to be granted an Establishment License, number 1048/QĐ-BNV by the Ministry of Home Affairs, in association with the international Nam Phuong Foundation.

Dinh Thi Nam Phuong

Phuong has just graduated Philosophy, Politics & Economics of the University of Oxford, the United Kingdom. She is an alumna of Charterhouse School and Roedean School in the United Kingdom, as well as the International School of Ho Chi Minh City and Nguyen Du School in Vietnam.

Dinh Ba Khang

Khang is studying Economics at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) – The USA. He studied at the International School – Ho Chi Minh City and was a member of student representative association


Our Mission

We don’t just build bridges.
We build gateways of necessity and opportunity for those in need.

“In Vietnam, every hour, 1 child dies from an injury such as drowning or a traffic accident” – UNICEF

Building a simple bridge can create an enormous difference for these communities. Not only will young children not be forced to face danger on a daily basis, but a bridge will also help improve the local socio-economic situation and transform a community held back by waterways.

The Nam Phuong Foundation, working with local governments, is dedicated to improving the lives of these communities through micro-infrastructure projects that are low cost, high impact, and long term

Our two aims are:

  • To reduce water-related dangers facing young children.
  • To improve the socio-economic situation of a community as a whole.


Build-a-Bridge is a project entirely led and organized by students. We come from different parts of the world but share the same goal: to create a permanent positive change.

Project Mentors

Film Director

Phillip Noyce

Australian filmmaker Phillip Noyce developed an interest in films at an early age, producing his first short at 17. He first made a 19-minute short about a vaudeville pageant, called That’s Showbiz (1973), and his next short, a 44-minute documentary about two very different brothers (Castor and Pollux, 1973) won the Sydney Film Festival’s Rouben Mamoulien award. God Knows Why, But It Works (1975), a docudrama about medical care among the Aborigines, marked Noyce’s debut as a professional filmmaker.

After 1998’s The Bone Collector, Noyce decided to take a break from Hollywood. He made in his native Australia the “stolen generation” picture Rabbit-Proof Fence, which achieved great acclaim and won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film in 2002.

He created his first company in Sydney in 1986 and resettled in Vietnam in 1994 to found Lazard Openasia, Lazard Frères’ investment banking arm for Indochina. After a management buyout in 1998 with his two partners, he diversified Openasia Group activities from advisory services to retail, distribution, technology services, and corporate investment.

He was Vice-Chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1998 to 2005 and is Vice-Chairman of the French Government Foreign Trade Advisors’ group in Vietnam since 2005.

Chairman of OpenAsia

Đoàn Viết Đại Từ

Founder, Group Chairman, and CEO of

DatVietVAC Group Holdings

Đinh Bá Thành

Mr. Thành is a Founder, Group Chairman and CEO of DatVietVAC Group Holdings, a marketing communications, media & entertainment powerhouse in Vietnam. He has more than 20 years of creating and managing businesses in Vietnam. He started DatVietVAC in 1993, the country’s first privately owned advertising and media foundation, building it from the ground up to become the leading media powerhouse in Vietnam today.

Currently, Mr. Thành serves as Chairman of World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) Vietnam. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of the UK Prudential Balanced Fund in Vietnam. In addition, he holds the position of Country Chairman of the Chief Executives Organization (CEO).


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