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Lifestart Foundation

The Lifestart Foundation is a not-for-profit grassroots charity that has been helping underprivileged Vietnamese people as well as their families towards becoming self-sufficient.

The Lifestart Foundation is a not-for-profit grassroots charity that has been helping underprivileged Vietnamese people as well as their families towards becoming self-sufficient. Founded by Australian Karen Leonard in 2000 and supported by a dedicated volunteers team, the Foundation employs a holistic approach in terms of assisting those in need via proven working initiatives and programs which have been designed to produce a generational change.

The team is working to generate sustainable and continuing income flows for the disadvantaged through vocational training and education schemes. People with complicated disabilities are accorded improved chances through the Lifestart Foundation Free Disability Community Centre and the Lifestart Foundation Workshop. Aid also comes in the shape of transportation, safe accommodation, dental support and medical support and treatment.

As a legally registered charity in both Vietnam and Australia, the Lifestart Foundation assures that all the donations that are received go towards the financing of humanitarian projects in Vietnam.

Lifestart Foundation Education

The Lifestart Foundation is convinced that each child ought to get the chance of completing their education and has for over 10 years has been doing this actively in Hoi An and the surrounding areas. Scholarships are obtainable to children at risk of being unable to carry on with their education due to financial difficulties. The scholarships comprise school fees provision of, additional classes, stationery, books, and school uniforms as well as transport whenever required.

The scholarships fund the education for children from Year seven to Year 12. Additional sponsorship is hunted by Lifestart Foundation at the completion of Year 12 to attend university.

Assisting People with Disabilities

The Lifestart Foundation Free Disability Community Centre offers persons having disabilities in central Vietnam with fresh and enhanced opportunities. The Disability Centre is working directly with adults who have complex disabilities due to issues like war injuries, accidents, polio, and cerebral palsy. The Free Disability Community Centre provides professional and expert 1-on-1 evaluations and based on the patient's special needs they will get a monitored rehabilitation exercise plan, nutrition information, posture advice and particulars of services that are locally based. On top of that, a local hospital referral for prosthetics or surgery is given for those who need expert medical treatment.

Lifestart Foundation Workshop

The Lifestart Foundation Workshop has been designed for offering an outlet for the design of crafts and fine arts. The workshop success has empowered members to bring in an income that is sustainable and acquire a sense of financial autonomy. The workshop was set up to offer chances for those living in challenging situations, especially adults having disabilities. Initiatives like capacity building and training, together with a community network that is supportive, will ensure both self-sufficiency and transformative change.

Generating Self-sufficiency

The Lifestart Foundation is continuing to expand projects which will empower the charity to attain self-sufficiency. These projects include the Lifestart Foundation Workshop tours, producing and selling of Longlife Natural Body Products, and the Stitch-In-Time partnership between Spotlight Australasia and the Lifestart Foundation.

Lifestart Foundation Achievements


Over 100 sponsorships have so far been granted to families within the Support-A-Family plan. These financial sponsorships assist extremely poor families in establishing and start Micro-businesses.

On top of that, the Foundation has:

  • Installed pumps and wells for families lacking water.
  • Connected electricity for those families without electricity.
  • Concreted many dirt house floors.
  • Installed iron roofs in efforts to make the houses water-proof.
  • Bought food and blankets for scores of hungry and cold.
  • Supplied bicycles to facilitate transportation to school and work.
  • 7 houses have been constructed for families who were without shelter or were squatting.
  • 24 boats built which are now providing an income source, a way of providing family food and a place for living whenever the river floods every year.


  • More than 75 Lifestart Foundation Educational Scholarships have so far been given to children who are disadvantaged.
  • Between 2006 and 2014, the Lifestart Foundation Free School has catered to disadvantaged, very poor, illiterate, abused and neglected kids between ages 8 and 20 years who were unable to continue their education in main stream schooling. Majority of those children have now been able to graduate to secondary education while others have been employed.
  • Credit to the continued support received from the ESL volunteers, Lifestart Foundation has been able to give English lessons to lots of Vietnamese of varied ages so as to improve their prospects of employment.
  • Lifestart Foundation in 2010 started a Secondary Year Educational Scholarship plan to award extremely disadvantaged and especially bright children who are constrained financially the opportunity of completing their secondary education.


  • Under the Orphan-Assist program, carried out the renovation of the Dien Ban Orphanage.
  • Supplied orphans with warm coats, school uniforms, school books and school supplies.


  • More than 45 at-risk young persons have received mentorship and subsequently sponsored into traineeships within the Lifestart Foundation Jobstart program.
  • Bicycles have been supplied to young people allowing them to be attending training and school


  • Funding medical care for tuberculosis sufferers.
  • Funding neurosurgery for a victim of a motorbike accident.
  • Funded a child's orthopedic surgical procedure for webbed feet.
  • Funding treatment of liver and kidney disease.
  • Funded treatment for a range of skin disease and serious illnesses.
  • Funding disabled person's orthopedic aids.
  • Aided lots of individuals having disabilities to boost their living standards.
  • Providing glasses for persons having vision problems.
  • Funding medical insurance.
  • Funding palliative care.

Helping those with Disabilities

  • Lifestart Foundation has assisted a lot of people having disabilities to establish small businesses aimed at creating self-sufficiency.
  • Began in 2007, the Lifestart Foundation Workshop achieves transformative positive change through empowering members to take home a sustainable family income and achieve a sense of economic independence through the expansion of crafts and fine arts.

Donation Options:

  • You can download a donation form to send Australian only money order or with a cheque that has been marked payable to 'Lifestart Foundation Inc'
  • Alternatively, you could contact any of Lifestart Foundation's Vietnamese or Australian banks for details.

Additional Ways of Giving:

  • Fundraising
  • Gift Certificates
  • Pledging your birthday
  • Workplace Giving
  • Bequests and Wills
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