Unique Operating Model
VietHope is youth-based and volunteer-driven. Although VietHope has one salaried Director in Vietnam, almost all of the direct work with students and operating programs is done by volunteers. That’s right. Whether it’s finding and reading 300 scholarship applications, visiting students’ homes, or teaching students communications skills – it’s done by volunteers!
- It’s part of our DNA – VietHope was founded by a group of university students in Boston while at school in 2002. They met at gatherings about Vietnam, became good friends, and created a side project to make a difference for those living in Vietnam. Thus, VietHope was built on youthful energy and this will always be part of our DNA.
- Doing is learning for youth – Particularly in Vietnam, young people need more opportunities to develop soft skills through real-life experience. VietHope strongly believes that by giving young people opportunity to lead, we help them take part in changing their own community. In fact, many of our volunteers in Vietnam are former VietHope scholarship recipients!
- It builds community – At heart, each VietHoper believes we can do good in the world. This value gives us hope and optimism. By joining VietHope, we have found friends from all walks of life who share our optimism across geography, age, ethnicity and creed. The can-do spirit we share when doing and growing together brings joy to our lives!
Who Are VietHope Volunteers?
- VietHope runs on the work of about 25 volunteer staff members
- Members are primarily young professionals and university students, in both the U.S. and Vietnam
- In the U.S., members are spread across San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and New York City
- In Vietnam, members are primarily in Saigon, the Mekong Delta, Hue and Hanoi
How Do We Work?
- With members around the world, VietHope is based on a virtual organization model
- VietHope staff communicate frequently via email, phone conferences, and online collaboration tools
- Once a year, staff gather in person for the Annual Retreat (one in the U.S. and one in Vietnam)