“I have become more culturally sensitive and more open-minded when working with communities. I know to appreciate what I have and how to work more effectively in a team”, says Ly when she describes her most prominent #myFKeffect.

Ly has met some challenges during her exchange. When visiting projects in remote parts of Nepal she witnessed how people struggle to meet basic needs. Many people stress to provide food, shelter and medicine for their families. This is something most people take for granted, Ly says. She believes that to end poverty, education and women empowerment is the key.

During her exchange, she has learned several beneficial skills she can use in the future. Except from enhancing her skills on writing research proposals, collecting data and writing reports, she has learned how determinants of health factors impacts people’s lives. She wants to use this knowledge when she goes back to Vietnam to design and implement effective health programmes.

The project aims to improve the maternal health of poor rural women in Nepal and Vietnam. They are also striving to improve reproductive health for female factory workers, prevent HIV transmission among men having sex with men and provide support to people living with HIV. In a country like Nepal, where about 25% of the population still live in extreme poverty and the caste system is highly present, women empowerment is limited. Therefore, this project is not only exiting, but vitally important to achieve development.

Ly’s advice to young people who want to go on exchange, is not to be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone! She also emphasizes the importance of staying positive, have a non-judgmental attitude and to be genuine in all your pursuits. “If you have a passion, try your best to pursue it. No matter how hard your situation might be, you either achieve your goal or learn something from it".