“Be the CATALYST for hope.”
Born in Saigon in 1970, Caroline Nguyen Ticarro-Parker first opened her eyes to a war-torn country. Just following the fall of Saigon in 1975, Caroline and her family immigrated to the U.S. Caroline spent her elementary and secondary years learning multiple languages and traveling broadly – some things at which she realizes girls in Vietnam don’t get the chance. Twenty-three years after that first long trip at five, Caroline and her husband, Scott returned to her homeland to adopt strong, smart, twin daughters from the village of Vinh Long.
During the adoption journey they visited some of the poorest rural provinces in southern Vietnam. As Caroline and Scott met other children at the Vinh Long orphanage the desire to help them all was palpable. Caroline talks of wanting to adopt *every* child. The couple took their two daughters home, but this desire to help, to rescue, to protect, to guide, nourish and support all the children in Vietnam resulted in the founding of the Catalyst Foundation in 1999.
Since that time, Caroline has built Catalyst Foundation to help not only children but whole communities expanding her dream from those initial babies to families living in extreme poverty and children at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, living near the Cambodian border. Caroline travels to Vietnam several times a year to visit programs and provide encouragement for her staff.
Catalyst provides hope for Vietnamese children through scholarships, aid in the form of medicine and medical supplies, support programs for schools, and a variety of other humanitarian projects. The pressure and danger from the traffickers is relentless. Many girls from the community have been abducted or sold by their parents and one drowned trying to escape. Knowing that the process can be slow and challenging, Caroline has led her team to work with local officials, community leaders and volunteers to truly be the catalyst for change and break the cycle of poverty.
With the knowledge that small efforts amass to make a vast difference Caroline constantly looks for new ways to share her passion with others around the world and bring optimism and promise to the children of Vietnam. She wants you to believe as she does, “No child is disposable…every child deserves a chance.”