About the project
After witnessing the conditions of the educational facilities (or lack thereof), experiencing the cycle of poverty and hopelessness that the children of rural Vietnam face, and acknowledging the fact that without help, thousands of children will fall into lives of crime, abuse, and human trafficking, the founders of Sunflower Mission felt they had to take substantial action. Sunflower Mission was formed for the sole purpose of providing opportunities for these children. By providing the means to a basic education, the doors are open for them to have a dignified and productive future.
Since its founding in 2002, Sunflower Mission with Mona's help has built 144 classrooms and funded over 14,000 scholarships for children in remote areas of Vietnam. To date, 381 of their scholarship students have graduated from college.
By hosting annual Summer Work Camps which allow international volunteers to visit the schools they support, Sunflower Mission provides the opportunity for their students and people from around the world to make a difference, practice leadership skills, and develop a global perspective that will mold them into the leaders of tomorrow. Visitors paint classrooms, hand out gifts of school supplies and interact with the local kids in activities like LEGO robotics workshops.
How we help
Among the scholarships that Sunflower Mission provides at the college level is the “Engineering and Technology Scholarship.” It’s considered one of the most prestigious scholarships given by any organization operating in Vietnam.
In 2015, some of the students who had received Sunflower’s Engineering and Technology Scholarships were on the team that won Texas Instrument’s national engineering design competition. Texas Instruments has been running this competition for five years. In 2015, 149 teams of nearly 500 top notch engineers competed at the three regional levels. The top three teams from each of three regions (9 teams out of 149) went on to compete at the national level. To win the grand prize at the national competition is a great honor and a testimony of the students’ capabilities. To see kids from remote rural areas come so far because they had a chance at education is a confirmation of the ability of children from even the poorest areas to transcend their situation and to excel.
Sunflower Mission efficiently builds new classroom in rural areas at the cost of approximately $8,500 per classroom. They also build and maintain relationships with in-country contractors who do the building, and teachers, administrators and the local community who carry on the educational activities there. Because of Sunflower’s familiarity with the country and their hands-on involvement, they have ensured quality construction and completed every project they’ve started on time and within budget. Local communities are also involved through such efforts as providing furniture and fencing or helping with the maintenance of the schools. Well-maintained schools promote learning, encourage attendance and instill pride in the community. And with education, rural children have an opportunity to develop their skills and look forward to a better future.
The Vietnamese government is moving towards requiring students to attending full day classes (vs .half day classes in the morning and half day in the afternoon). In the past, Sunflower Mission typically built schools with 2-4 classrooms which could each accommodate two grades per day. Now, however, each classroom built can only be used for one grade during the day. As a result, Sunflower needs to build each new school with more classrooms. In the next decade, they will shift toward building 4-6 classroom schools and eventually 6-8 classroom schools.
Built 5 new classrooms and renovated 45 others.
With support from Mona provided 1707 K-12 scholarships, 844 elementary, 626 junior high and 237 high school.
Sponsored 78 College students across many fields of study. Sponsored 59 College students in STEM field (Engineering & Technology) scholarships.
Celebrated 34 students College students graduate, (6 SAS and 26 E &T).
2017 project goals
Continue work on maintenance of previously built schools which is currently 50% complete.
Continue to provide K-12 scholarships, $20,000.
Provide funds for maintainence of the 45 schools already built, $50,000.