Dear VietHope’s friends,
Happy holidays! 2015 has been a fantastic year for the VietHope family in several areas: modernizing our infrastructure (1st quarter), piloting new programs (2nd quarter), and partnering with a record number of non-profit organizations and foundations (3rd quarter). In this (4th) quarter’s President’s letter, I am thrilled to share with you news about our existing scholarship programs (Merit and University Scholarship Program), a new program pilot (Youth Development Program Expansion), and our successful fundraising campaigns.
University Scholarship Program (USP) and Merit Program.
Out of 240 applicants from 6 universities in South and Central Vietnam (Saigon, Can Tho and Hue), we have selected 80 freshman students to receive 200 dollars each to pay for their college tuition. We are also proud to increase the number of scholarships sponsors by donors in Vietnam to 8, 2 of which are directly from past USP recipients who have graduated and started working. With encouraging fundraising results and increasing interests in USP, we are looking into increasing our presence in Central Vietnam in 2016 and will provide more updates in early 2016.
In October 2015, we awarded 160 (renewable) Merit scholarships of 120 dollars each to middle and high school students in Can Gio (Saigon), Hue, and Soc Son (Hanoi). 6 of these scholarships are funded by donors in Vietnam. This year we received 169 applications for renewal and 46 new scholarship applications. After several rounds of reviews and interviews, we decided to give out 101 scholarships in Saigon, 50 in Hue and 9 in Hanoi.
Youth Development Program Expansion
Back In March 2015, we started developing an expansion of the successful Youth Development Program (YDP) so that all VietHope alumni students can participate in YDP-theme learning activities throughout the year. In late November 2015, we hosted our inaugural YDP-expansion seminar with the theme “Life Management,” featuring Mr. Gian Tu Trung, a renowned education expert in Vietnam and founder of the Pace Institute. The seminar was hugely successful: more than 150 students, volunteers from VietHope attended to listen to and discuss lessons and stories about success, leadership, life choices, and happiness. We are now planning to host 4 seminars a year with the second one scheduled for March 2016, and are piloting more community, volunteer and learning activities in early 2016.
We have been working hard to broaden our VietHope community. In Q4 2015 we have started new creative fundraising efforts that brought our name to a larger and more diverse audience. Our fundraising team has spoken to more than 50 new donors and supporters this quarter alone. In October 2015, we started fundraising on One Today platforms (onetoday.google.com) that targets a large segment of Google users to make small donations. VietHopers who work at Google enrolled our organization in Google’s Giving Week, December 2015, during which employees’ donations are tripled with matched money before donated to VietHope. As you may already know, we also hosted our annual appreciation dinner in Nov 2015 and carried out our annual Winter fundraising campaign two weeks ago. All of these old and new efforts have brought in more than 35,000 dollars in Q4, pushing us comfortably above our fundraising target. These fundraising results are extremely encouraging to all of us in VietHope, and we cannot wait to do more amazing things to support more students in Vietnam in deeper and longer-lasting ways! We are greatly appreciative of your trust, and we hope that you will be as excited as we are about the year 2016 ahead with promising new programs, collaborations, and initiatives.
Thank you for such an amazing year! Happy new year and see you again in 2016!