Reflections on 2014 – Moving Ahead
Dear Friends of the Vietnam Children’s Fund:
The close of the year always seems to be a time of reflection for me. The first thing I think of is the gratitude we feel for the support we have from those who care about our work – building clean modern schools for children who live in some of the most deprived regions of Vietnam.
Last year, due to many factors including difficulties in fundraising in a tough economy, we decided it was time to wind down. We had built 48 schools and hoped to close the book with 50. Thanks to the generosity of many people, we now have the funds to reach not 50 but 51!!! In addition we were able to do a very special project – the renovation of our first school in Dong Ha which stands in memory of VCF founder and friend the late Lew Puller.
We have finished the renovation of Lew’s school, thanks to the generosity of Mr. H.F. Lenfest of Pennsylvania.
Last spring President Truong Tan Sang conferred the Friendship Medal on Sam in recognition of the important contributions he has made for the past two decades in his work with VCF. This Medal is the highest honor accorded by the Government of Vietnam to non-citizens.
In June an elaborate new playground was installed at the award winning school in Thai Binh, a generous gift from Mr. Binh Tran of Washington, DC.
We are working now on the new school in Quang Nam, sponsored by FedEX which will be number 50! And a school in Ha Giang, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Pat Lomma, our 51st!
The work license issued to us by the Vietnamese government will remain in effect for another 4 years. We don’t know where the next few years will take us but we will keep the organization operating on a bare bones administrative budget as long as we can.
We remain deeply grateful to all those who have supported our work over the years. Your gifts, large and small, have made it possible to change the lives of more than 100,000 children. Many have gone on to secondary education and beyond. There are no words to express our appreciation. If you are moved to give VCF a gift our mailing address remains PO Box 150, Unionville, VA.
Wishing you and yours the very Best of the Holiday season and beyond.
The purpose of the Vietnam Children's Fund is to remember the families and children lost in Vietnam's many long wars. The goal of the Fund is to close the past and look to the future by building schools."The project is an inspiring example of how people of goodwill can turn violence and tragedy into a cause for hope."
For pennies a day, many students over many years have the opportunity to learn and grow in a clean, safe environment. It is extraordinary that the fate of an entire generation within a community —indeed within the entire nation— can be changed at such a modest cost.
Contact us for more information and to learn how you can help rebuild Vietnam one school at a time.
Don't Miss this Two-Minute Clip from Talk Vietnam Interview with VCF In-Country Director Sam Russell
VTV4 Spotlights Yen Bai, VCF School
Vietnam’s television station VTF4 ran a feature story in March 2012 spotlighting the latest Vietnam Children’s Fund school. Located in the remote, mountainous province of Yen Bai in northern Vietnam, the new two-story school has eight classrooms and will serve three hundred students.
One young student was quoted as saying:
“I’m overjoyed today and would like to thank everyone for assisting us to have this brand-new school. I promise that I will try my best to study so that I could live up to the expectations of my parents and teachers. I hope someday I can become a teacher and I'd teach the children right in this school.”
Construction of the school was funded by a generous gift from FedEx, one of VCF’s oldest and best corporate partners. Watch the full video below. It begins at the 0:33 mark.