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Educate a child

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 158 classrooms and funded over 14,000 scholarships for children in remote areas of Vietnam. To date, 400 of their scholarship students have graduated from college.

How we help

Mona Foundation directly works with SunFlower Mission,a non profit with extensive experience, and strong presence in Vietnam, to provide access to K-12 education for thousands of marginalized students in remote villages of Vietnam.  By building schools, and providing scholarships,14,000 K-12 students have so far been supported, 400 of whom have also received scholarships and completed their college education.

To ensure that K-12 scholarships are received and directly benefit the students,the SunFlower mission staff in Vietnam travel to each school located in very remote areas, often enduring incredible hardship in order to minimize expenses and maximize the dollars, to personally deliver the scholarships to the students.

Building classrooms in remote rural areas of Vietnam

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.

Increasing school capacity

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.

How my life changed: Story of a US youth who helped build schools

One of our student from the US side was strongly encouraged by his parents to go on a workcamp when he was in 6th grade.  The experience was so transforming that after his first trip he volunteered to go 5 more times.   He now has graduated and is attending college at Texas A&M, and recently represented all 50 Youth groups who attended the 15th anniversary gala to speak about his experience with SM and how it has changed his life not only as a leader but also as a human being. 

"After years of involvement with SunFlower Mission,  I am quite pleasantly surprised with what I had discovered. This organization at its base is a family.  It has taught me humility, compassion, and most importantly true happiness.  It is true when someone says 'happiness is meant to be shared,' because being part of SunFlower Mission and what it stands for has taught me that when you make someone else happy, you will be happy too!”.

How our lives have changed: Stories of scholarship recipients

These stories are told by someone who reguarly visits the schools and the students we support in Vietnam:

  • I met one that has attended one of SunFlower (SM) schools since 2nd grade and now 1 semester away from graduating college.    She shared how education has completely altered the trajectory of her life and her desire to graduate and give back
  • A scholarship recipient spoke words of gratitude at the SM Engineering & Technology scholarship recipients and shared how SM has impacted him: confidence, knowledge, inspiration. He was so shy and scared but over the years, he grew with the nurturing and love we provided in addition to funds.   He entered into a public speaking contest in Singapore and won first prize. No Vietnamese has ever won this prize.  He felt so much pride and gained so much confidence.    
  • A former scholarship recipient graduating in 2016 was employed by Intel.  She was just named Intel employee of the year (among 17 out of 1000 employees)!   She of course is now part of SM’s leadership team in Vietnam.

2018 Achievements

520 students from remote villages were given the opportunity to attend middle school for one year.

Provided scholarships to 29 students to attend college.

Renovated 3 dilapidated classrooms.

Support the building of 9 new classrooms and renovate 3 existing ones in 3 different sites, $90,000.

Change 22 lives!

Give $50 a month to provide scholarships and school supplies to 22 students

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