When Christina Noble first went to Vietnam and visited Ho Chi Minh City in 1989, she was shocked by the magnitude of the poverty. Children and women were living on the streets, suffering hunger and disease. 'But, as I found out later, what I did see was only the tip of the iceberg,' said Ms Noble, founder of the Christina Noble Children's Foundation, who was in Hong Kong last month to give speeches at four international schools to rally support for her fund-raising campaign. Ever since she started the foundation, Ms Noble has spent more than six months every year travelling around the world to give speeches or meet officials, raise funds and gather support. 'Even more than 20 years after the devastating war the country was still embargoed and isolated, and the rest of the world was largely indifferent to the suffering of its people. It seems an entire generation of Vietnamese children has been growing up on the streets never having known what it feels like to be cared for, never having known the warmth of having a family,' she said. For more than a decade the foundation has managed to motivate people in Vietnam and around the world to help her fight for children's rights in Asia. Through donations and continued efforts the foundation has provided support, health care, education, and financial aid to street children in Vietnam. The foundation has expanded to Mongolia, building a similar network of accommodation, education and health care facilities in the capital Ulaanbaatar. So far more than 147,000 children have benefited. During her visit, Ms Noble spoke at the Kennedy School, Peak School, King George V School and Hong Kong International School. A fund-raising dinner was also held at Conrad International Hotel. Ms Noble's organisation has already forged working relations with schools in the territory. Island School students have been to Ho Chi Minh City every October for the past four years, taking food and medical supplies. Students from Hong Kong International School went in February to visit schools and hospitals. 'Some schools in Hong Kong have already travelled to Vietnam and Mongolia on relief and friendship exchange pro grammes. They spent up to 10 days working, exchanging ideas with the homeless and disadvantaged children and students being cared for by our organisation in the two countries,' she said. 'In addition, some of these schools are deciding to sponsor individual children who are particularly in need. They are now trying to formulate their own fund-raising efforts to provide a better life for their sponsor child.'