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July 2014 Newsletter
Happy Summer from VietHope!

Dear friends of VietHope,

Summertime means it's  hot and happening!  And that is how it's been for us at VietHope too.  We're excited to share some fun moments and new developments with you!

The VietHope team in Vietnam just wrapped up our 6th (wow, can't believe it's already the 6th one!) annual Youth Development Summit.  The team is exhausted but inspired and extremely happy.  Somehow, they also managed to pull together an alumni networking event in Saigon.

Not to be outdone, the U.S. volunteers were no less busy.  They built a new website face, issued the 2013 Annual Report, and continued collaborating with some great investors.  We hope you enjoy the newsletter, and look for more great stuff from this team in the next few months!

The VietHope Team

New VietHope Website and Address
New VietHope website with more opportunities for you to learn about VietHope!
Over the past few months, VietHope's dedicated and talented volunteers have unveiled a new website!  Check out the website for information and opportunities for you to learn about VietHope.  

In addition, VietHope is changing our mailing address in Boston.  You can now send us snail mail to: VietHope, P.O. Box 170649, 
133 Clarendon St., Boston, MA 02117, U.S.A.  Just a note - Our old address will no longer be active as of August 1, so please don't send us mail there!
The bright faces of the Summit 2014 participants  - 27 University Scholarship Recipients and 20 young volunteers
Phew!  The VietHope team in Vietnam just ran a sprint marathon!  Yes, a sprint marathon.  That is what our annual Summit can feel like, 7 days of exhilirating activity (in the muggy heat of southern Vietnam, no less!).  In between 12 hour days of learning and practicing Communications, Teamwork, Project Management, and Community Service--the VietHope staff managed to send us a few photos.  But besides being fun, Summit is also a deeply meaningful experience.  Stay tuned for our next newsletter for updates on how much our students grew based on our pre- and post- surveys! 

VietHope Alumni, Network!

VietHope's first ever Alumni Networking Event
Do you ever wonder about how the power of "networking" could be used to help the poor (and not just the technologically and socially savvy among us)?  Well, we did too!

As an effort to reconnect with scholarship recipients and empower them to broaden their networks, VietHope hosted an inaugural Alumni Networking Event in Saigon on July 26th, 2014. Our goal for this initiative is to connect our current scholars to young and established professionals to broaden and strengthen their professional networks.  Let's see what networking can do for the disadvantaged!

Braving a rainy Saigon afternoon, approximately 20 VietHope alumni came to the event.  They were able to reconnect, meet professional guests, and rumor is - somebody even got a job offer!  VietHope will be studying the results of this pilot effort to improve our next iteration.

VietHope Investor Thuy Fujimoto - Fearless and Inspired

Ms. Fujimoto (wearing green khaki shirt) interacting with VietHope Merit students

VietHope supporters come from all corners of the world, including the beautiful island of Hawaii (Aloha e komo mai!).  Thuy Fujimoto of Hawaii has been a VietHope supporter since 2010.  Recently, we caught up with Ms. Fujimoto to learn more about what drives this amazing lady to do good for youth in Vietnam.

Ms. Fujimoto's involvement in community service and contribution has spanned 15 years.  Ms. Fujimoto is the co-founder and President of the Board of the non-profit Kohala Institute in Hawaii (previously known as New Moon Foundation).  

Ms. Fujimoto was born in Vietnam and from an early age, was able to attend schools in the U.S. on awarded scholarships.  She earned her BA in Economics at Smith College and an MBA from the University of Hawaii.  Now retired from an impressive career in business, Ms. Fujimoto is devoted to raising money for the GRACE scholarship program with VietHope.  This program sponsors 100 VietHope Merit scholarships each year, and instills within recipients the core values of Gratitude, Respect, Accountability, Courage, and Engagement (GRACE) in driving leadership and action.

Ms. Fujimoto's inspiration for her charitable work formed while she was just 9 year old.  In 1963, she watched the monk Thích Quảng Đức self-immolate for his people and his conviction.  Even though she was just a child at that time, Ms. Fujimoto vividly recalls not being afraid but rather being so moved by the monk's courage and sacrifice.  This fearlessness drives Ms. Fujimoto to this day. And as the product of scholarships herself, she strives to endow the grace bestowed upon her onto others.

Since 2010, Ms. Fujimoto and the Kohala Institute have partnered with VietHope to invest over $60,000 USD to help financially disadvantaged Vietnamese youths receive an education and grow into engaged, contributing members of their communities.  VietHope salutes you, Ms. Fujimoto!

2013 Annual Report
One of VietHope's strategic goals for 2014 is to strengthen our communications with our supporters and our community.  As such, we have released our first ever annual report, for the year 2013.  In this report, you will find a summary of VietHope’s accomplishments in 2013.  You can also read and download a PDF copy of the annual report on VietHope's website.
2013 Annual Report

Dear VietHope Donors and Supporters,

On behalf of the entire VietHope organization, we would like to sincerely thank you for your generous donation and support this past year. Your gift has empowered driven, talented, and disadvantaged students in Vietnam to further their education and to ultimately catalyze Vietnam's socioeconomic development for many years to come.  In this letter, we want to give you a summary of VietHope’s accomplishments 2013.  These accomplishments ultimately belong to you as well, our partners in the hope for prosperity in Vietnam.

Where Did My Donation Go?
Since its inception in 2002, VietHope has invested $500,000 in 3,000 students ranging from middle school to college.  In 2013, our talented volunteers raised over $53,000 in donations to support VietHope’s work throughout Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and the Mekong Delta.  The charts below show the distribution of those funds to various programs and programming expenses: 

In short, we invested your money in 265 unique students from 6th grade to university level who are financially disadvantaged but have very high potential.

What Else Did VietHope Accomplish in 2013?
Outside of serving our students, the VietHope staff strengthened our internal and external operations in 2013. We launched an internship program to host 8 interns last summer, and recruited 6 new young professionals to join our volunteer staff. Our team also revamped the VietHope website and built a virtual office with Podio, a tech company that offered their work collaboration platform for VietHope, pro bono. Finally, we partnered with the University of Toronto and UNICEF to help them conduct a study on the readiness of Vietnam’s education system to serve students with disabilities. These milestones position VietHope with the capacity and insight to increase the positive impact of your investment on students in Vietnam.

What Are VietHope’s Future Plans?
In 2014, VietHope will leverage our accomplished staff of 35 to:
  • Invest in Vietnam’s youth, giving 150 Merit scholarships, 100 USP scholarships and providing for 30 YDP participants.
  • Improve engagement with funding partners like the GRACE Education Fund, CESR, and individual donors like yourselves.
  • Monitor and improve our four existing scholarship and youth development programs.
  • Continue building our talent pipeline to leverage the best volunteers to run VietHope and make our donors proud.
These priorities are designed to help us scale up to reach more students, while maintaining our credibility with our donors and partners.

Thank you again for your generous investment in VietHope’s students. Donors like yourselves enable and empower each and every one of us on staff to continue our work, full-speed ahead. 


The VietHope Executive Committee
Quang Tran, President
Quang Duong, Vice President
Vi Nguyen, Vice President

Get Involved!

Like what we do?  VietHope’s unique volunteer-led model means that we are always looking for new members, funds, and staff volunteers to maximize our impact on youths in Vietnam. We believe big change starts with a small group of people.  We are a volunteer corps of 40 young professionals working in diverse fields from business, to education, to healthcare and technology. In order to run our programs successfully, we lean on the united talents, energy, and dedication of ordinary people as members, donors, and volunteers. Visit our website to find out how you can join as a VietHoper! 
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