Vu Thanh Thuy’s family and fellow boat persons were rescued by a UN ship after weeks of repeated assaults by pirates in the Gulf of Thailand.

Ever since, she was inspired to empower other Vietnamese refugees by returning to the South China Sea.

Vu Thanh Thuy and her husband Duong Phuc, who also was a boat person, worked actively with Boat People S.O.S. to organize mercy missions that rescued over 3,000 boat persons.

Vu Thanh Thuy and Duong Phuc have become internationally recognized and have won many awards for their accomplishments as journalists, activists, and leaders. Vu Thanh Thuy’s life story and activism have been featured in national media such as Time, USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, and CNN.

In 2011, Vu Thanh Thuy, along with 19 other founders of BPSOS, were awarded with the Community Legacy Award for their outstanding services and contributions toward the organization's mission at the 30 year anniversary gala dinner in Washington, D.C. Without Thuy's personal sacrifice, solid determination, long term dedication and commitment, the organization would not be where it is today.