How Faith Transformed His Life and Impacted the Lives of Others!
We all have our own stories, from the struggles we face to the moments of joy and triumph we experience. Yet, there are some individuals who, through their words and actions, leave a legacy that transcends their lifetime and continues to inspire people for generations to come. From the greatest leaders to the humblest of us all, each person has a story, a journey, and an impact.
Meet Thanh Campbell, a Vietnamese orphan who has built a following by sharing his prodigious story. Having grown up without knowing his birth family and enduring a myriad of personal hardships and obstacles, Thanh has devoted his life to helping those less fortunate. He began his journey as a public speaker, sharing his own stories and experiences. His impact was so great that people encouraged him to write his memoir, which he did and is titled Orphan 32. Through his stimulating story, he has touched the lives of many and continues to spread hope and resilience to those around him.
Belief, Faith, and Hope are often perceived as something conceptual and hard to quantify, yet they are some of the most influential aspects of a person. It can be the distinction between persisting and surrendering, between success and failure, and between pleasure and misery. It is a source of strength, courage, and resoluteness that can assist us in overcoming any difficulty in life.
On and off stage, Thanh always shares a feeling of optimism, even though historically, he experienced a sense of insignificance being undervalued. He lacked confidence in himself, so much so that he had a severe apprehension about speaking in front of others, particularly in front of his friends, as he believed that they could detect his anxieties. He is now a professional speaker who tours and speaks to large crowds for a living. His message connects with many who also share this disabling phobia.
Thanh has consistently encountered difficulty in his effort to find a sense of belonging. He has felt like the odd one out in the various locations he has lived, being the proverbial ‘square peg in a round hole.’ He is cognizant of the affection his friends and family have for him, yet he is always uncertain of his place and purpose in the World.
His battle was compounded by a deep-seated sense of worthlessness and insignificance. This was especially evident in his fear of public speaking. Many other people can relate to this. As it had a profound effect on his life, he didn’t believe he had anything worthwhile to offer and was scared that if he stood up and spoke in front of a group, especially his peers, people would be able to see through him. He was terrified of what people would think of him if they saw the real him; even he was unsure of who that person was.
When one of his mentors spoke words of truth into his life, a drastic change occurred inside of him. He moved from fearful to fantastic when it came to public speaking. His fear of speaking in public vanished, and he welcomed the platform. It is not merely about facing and overcoming fears, nor is it about avoiding them completely; it is about a shift in perception of the obstacle one fears.
“When stressed, our thoughts will cause our bodies to go into a fight or flight response, whether it’s real harm or perceived harm. It’s about radically and genuinely changing our perception of the obstacle we are facing from a posture of fear to an attitude of education. We fear that which we do not know, but we gain wisdom, experience, and strength from studying it which we do not know.”
Overcoming his fear and anxiety, he was able to channel them into something pragmatic, enabling him to realize his professional ambitions. Currently, he serves as the Canadian Director for Partners Worldwide Canada, and his tenacity and dedication have paid off, achieving the level of success he once only dreamed of. His story serves as a reminder of how to conquer challenges, overcome obstacles and attain success. Today, he stands as a testament to what can be achieved when faced with adversity and choose to cling to faith and hope.
Witnessing a Remarkable Journey
From a young age, Thanh was enchanted by the business world, taking inspiration from Alex P. Keaton from the iconic tv show Family Ties; he too would be seen carrying his father’s old briefcase, dreaming of making it big in business. He understood the power of money and the influence it had on the world, as well as the opportunities it offered. Thanh was captivated by movies like Pursuit of Happiness, as well as TV series such as Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, and was constantly reading about successful business leaders. He was aware that business could bring about remarkable outcomes for normal people.
Since then, he has wholeheartedly adopted the Givers-Gain principle, which is based on the idea that when good people are entrusted with money, they will use it positively to help others. His upbringing in a pastor’s family instilled in him the value of giving to those in need, inspiring him to find ways he can help people in his own life. Being an orphan from Vietnam, he is aware of the poverty in his homeland and works to provide aid to those who are still struggling around the world. Thus, he is a testament to the truth of the givers-gain principle: when those with resources use them to help those without, everyone wins.
Inspiration Behind Orphan 32
Having been employed by various charitable organizations and inspired by his journey through poverty, he would often share his story with others to provide a context for his desire to work in the charitable sector. His story of resilience, determination, and courage resonated so deeply that many encouraged him to write his memoir. With this tool, he could share his story with a wider audience, offering hope and inspiration to those people who find themselves in similar situations.
After taking their advice, he self-published Orphan 32 in 2013 and has since sold over 7000 copies. His success has since been followed by the publication of a children’s book, Lost and Found: Orphan 32 Goes Home. His books are available on Orphan32.com and as an ebook on Amazon.
Thanh’s Mission of Hope
With the opportunity to speak to audiences around the world—on stage, in the media and global press, on podcasts, at Zoom conferences, and in school assemblies across Canada—Thanh has had the chance to share his story and inspire to well over a million people. His favorite speaking opportunity has been to orphans in Peru and Haiti, as he has a special connection with those who have gone through similar experiences.
While sharing his story, he always conveys a message of hope and resilience; this has been overwhelmingly well-received by audiences and can be summed up in one word: Hope.
“No matter the situation, there is always hope that something better is coming and relief from your pain is possible.”
His ultimate goal is to provide hope to those in seemingly hopeless situations and to be a beacon of light, showing people the way to a better future. Ultimately, he wants to impart the courage and belief that, no matter how difficult life can be, things can always get better.
Humbled and Inspired
After coming off the stage and seeing the crowd eagerly waiting to meet him, often it is to share their life stories with him; he can’t help but feel humbled by the courage and resilience of many of these fellow storytellers. These unsung heroes, in turn, inspire him with their determination to not only survive difficult circumstances but also strive for a better life for their families. He often encourages them that they, too, have stories that could truly serve as a source of inspiration and that, potentially, they have a story worthy of being written in a book.
He has also had experiences where “tough guys” will come up after one of his presentations weeping, sharing how his story changed their lives for the better and their will to live. He also loves when people have heard his story a few times, and they share that they never tire of hearing his story and they learn something new every time they hear him.
Transforming Poverty with Partnerships
Partners Worldwide began as Partners for Christian Development in Kenya, recognizing that teaching a man to fish isn’t enough to eradicate poverty- they must have access to the market to sell their fish so they don’t have to eat fish for a lifetime. To help reduce poverty, the solution was to create partnerships between Micro and SMEs in developing regions with business professionals, owners, and experts in North America. The idea was to have these mentors enable access to top-tier business training and mentorship as well as new customers and clients.
This organization is distinctive in that it seeks the business acumen of business professionals who are willing to provide their Time, Talent, and Treasure to help fellow entrepreneurs. Recognizing that their business knowledge and insights are just as valuable as monetary contributions, their aim is not to lift one individual or family out of poverty but to elevate an entire community to a higher quality of life.
Achieving Sustainability and Growth
As they help businesses become more sustainable within their cultural context, they also give them the capacity to grow and develop. Through specialized training and mentorship, business owners learn not only how to keep their doors open but also how to expand their business so that they can hire more people to meet the demands of their customers. Being provided these tools, businesses are becoming more sustainable, resilient, and profitable. As the saying goes, a rising tide floats all boats – the success of a few businesses can increase the quality of life for the whole community. This is how community development should be done, not with handouts but by offering a hand-up.
Bridging the Gap for Business Affiliates
The recent pandemic has had a devastating impact on small businesses all over the world, and it has been especially hard on the mentors of these businesses—Business Affiliates (BA)—who can no longer travel to visit their partners in the mission field. Thankfully, technology has kept them connected, even when they can’t be together in person. With the help of video conferencing, online collaboration tools, and other digital solutions, business affiliates have been able to stay connected with their partners and continue to offer them the support they need. Thankfully, trips to visit their international mentees have resumed this year.
Finding additional female business mentors in North America is an ongoing goal for their partners, as the majority of the entrepreneurs they serve are women. They are seeking to create more connections between North American Business Women and Partners Worldwide to provide opportunities for mentorship and exchange between female counterparts in developing countries.
Empowering Local Businesses to Reduce Poverty
Partners Worldwide ensures that their Local Community Institutions (LCIs) with whom they partner are aligned with their mission to reduce poverty through business while also sharing their Christian values and goals. To ensure the success of the projects they fund, they have created a comprehensive training course for LCIs who rigorously evaluate business proposals on a daily basis.
Partners Worldwide is also creating space in its funding model for tech companies that are more progressive and committed to aiding and assisting the business community in rural and impoverished regions. Technology is helping to bridge the distance between those who live in rural and other remote areas that lack access to banking services.
Unveils Plan to Ignite 1 million
Partners Worldwide has set a goal for the year 2030 with their ‘Vista 2030’ vision: To ignite One Million Lights (Entrepreneurs) which will provide employment to 3 million people and help reduce poverty for 15 million people Worldwide.
To achieve their goal of fully alleviating poverty in impoverished regions, they need to expand their reach and gain access to more qualified entrepreneurs in those poverty-stricken regions. They want to empower these individuals to grow their businesses and create positive change in their communities. By providing them with access to resources and support, they can help break the cycle of poverty and help communities thrive.
Thanh’s role as a Canadian Director is to expand the network of Business Affiliates and donors who will support their efforts at eradicating poverty. He is also tasked with the job of increasing name recognition for Partners Worldwide in the Canadian Charitable landscape. He will be harnessing the power of influence of his existing supporters to help more LCIs (Local Community Institutions) find the Business Affiliate Teams they need and to have to mentor them towards success. We know that under Thanh’s leadership, Canada can become a model of success for other markets.
Amongst his many certificates of appreciation from Rotary Groups, Probus Clubs, and The UN, and along with his plethora of letters of recommendation from Political Officials, School Boards, he is especially proud and delighted to receive two specific awards. In 2018, he was honored with the second granting of “The Guys Who Get It” Award from Illuminessence Women’s Magazine. His efforts to bring pride back to the city of Hamilton by highlighting the hard work of those Female Entrepreneurs striving to make their hometown a better place to live and do business had been duly recognized. Moreover, he is humbled and honored to have also been bestowed with the Paul Harris Fellow Award by the Rotary Club, a recognition known throughout the world, of which he fully grasps the significance of wearing the pin.