We caught up with Thai-Anh Hoang, one of the founding members of OrFA last week! Here’s what she had to say about why she decided to help start OrFA and what the journey has been like so far…
OrFA: Why did you decide to start OrFA with Chau?
Thai-Anh: So Chau and I have always been volunteering with children’s efforts (reading to kids, etc.) OrFA was [Chau]’s passion project and I came onboard because I felt there was a true need in this area in the world. It all came together when we went back [to Vietnam] and heard the plight from the orphanages. Also it’s a challenge for me professionally. I just love the idea of starting something from scratch and proving to myself that we can do it – run a company the way we feel it should be.
OrFA: What is the most difficult part of the process so far?
TA: Coming from an operation standpoint it’s really difficult…the political and local environment has been really difficult. For example the local laws are constantly changing. I’m not surprised to wake up to a call from our volunteer in Vietnam that there’s a new change in legislation
OrFA: So how do you deal with that?
TA: We’re very lucky to have staff in Vietnam who is able to navigate the channels to help us execute our plans
OrFA: Looking back, what would you do differently?
TA: I think what I’d do differently is definitely do a little more research on the political environment more quickly. I think that was a little bit of a trial and error process for us in the beginning. But overall I honestly we wouldn’t have done anything differently. Our volunteers locally have done a great job of representing our organization. The fact that we are where we are now is a testament to our staff in Vietnam.
OrFA: So then, what has been the most exciting aspect of the journey so far?
TA: I definitely think it’s exiting for us that so many people have come together and are really passionate about this cause. So for me, when I was listening to the video clip that our market strategist put together, I was so touched and it motivated me quite a lot. I didn’t realize so many people are so passionate…It’s so amazing that our generation wants to do more and give back.
OrFA: Anything you want to say to our readers?
TA: I want to wish everyone a happy holiday and a give special thanks to all of our volunteers who help OrFA grow at such a rapid pace. It’s all for thanks to our volunteers and, for this, my sister and I feel so blessed to have such a great team on-board!