The idea for the LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) was the child of two very different life experiences: my own, and my mother’s.
In the 1930s, my mother Loan (Lo-Anh) didn’t attend school because of the fact that she was a girl. Inquisitive and determined, in search of freedom and happiness, she risked her life for an education. In 1955, she left her war-torn country. In France, her new home, she was subject to discrimination and hostility because of the color of her skin. Despite living in abject poverty, she raised her five children, always emphasizing that education was a great privilege.
As Loan’s last child, I have strong memories of these times. We had no beds, and I remember how hard and cold the bedroom floor felt. How cold-hearted other people were towards us because we couldn’t keep up materially. And how difficult it was to maintain what little dignity remained for us and battle the loneliness that had settled into our hearts.