Why We Exist
"Vietnam is emerging from decades of colonialism, war, and an impoverishing command economy. Today it is attempting to change to a market economy and has established trading with the U.S. The future is promising but there are grave problems.
To become part of the global economy and take advantage of the information revolution, Vietnam will require a highly educated workforce. But getting an education is not easy. Because of extreme poverty, children often must work before and after school to help support their family by selling lottery tickets, shining shoes, working in factories, and offering other goods and (often unmentionable) services.
Children who actually do attend often walk miles on dirt roads to a structure in desperate need of repair. These structures--some of which have collapsed causing fatalities--often have no foundations, windows, electricity, or ventilation.
Another disincentive is that the school system is not free and, even at the cost of just a few cents a day, is out of reach for some students. But even if students do graduate, there are not enough seats in the universities to accept them. There are 1.4 million applicants for 168,000 places at local universities.
Sunflower Mission is constructing new school buildings in targeted remote areas. We are also building and maintaining relationships with the respective school administrations, tracking the number of students in our new buildings, and targeting high performance students for possible scholarships in higher education.
We are changing conditions in Vietnam through support of education!"