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Sunflower Mission - Viet Nam - this summer
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#1 Posted : Monday, March 6, 2006 4:00:00 PM(UTC)
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From: Elena Tran < elena.tran@gmail.com>
Date: Mar 6, 2006 9:45 AM
Subject: Join Sunflower Mission in Vietnam this summer - please RSVP by March 17th
To: Sunflower Mission < 1Edu@yahoogroups.com>

Greetings, everyone!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and a wonderful week ahead...

Do you have plans to visit Vietnam this year?
Do you know of young people..... our next generation of leaders (ages 18 and up) that you would like to experience Vietnam?

In either or both cases above, please plan to join Sunflower Mission in Vietnam this summer!

YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUESTED. Please let Elena know by March 17th if you are interested in joining us.

Tentative itinerary as follows:
US - Vietnam (Saigon) - Rural Vietnam (Dong Thap or An Giang) - Saigon - HaNoi - Saigon - US

Option 1: Depart Vietnam between May 20 - May 26
Option 2: Depart Vietnam around June 15

Our trip to Vietnam is of 2 weeks in duration. Some members of the trip may opt to stay in Vietnam longer on their own.

The first week (about 4 days) is spent at the local village where Sunflower Mission has funded the construction of classrooms. The team will work with the local villagers, local students, teachers, and school officials to finish the construction of these classrooms by performing light manual labor. It's good exercise in the countryside of Vietnam and an opportunity to experience life of the student or citizen living in rural Vietnam. This portion is referred to as the workcamp and cultural exchange. We will be accompanied by Sunflower Mission volunteers in Vietnam as well as college student volunteers that wish to practice their English by spending a few days with us.

After the completion ceremony at the school, we will return to Saigon. Those that opt to visit relatives or do their own sight-seeing will say good-bye to the group (your costs / expenses will be lower than the $2000 estimated below).

For those that choose to stay together for the 2nd half, we will have about 2 free days in Saigon to shop, eat, tour, visit friends and relatives.

During the 2nd week, the group will take a 4-day tour of HaNoi then return to the US.

Estimated cost for the 2 weeks is around $2000 (could be less), including roundtrip airfare (to-from US/VN and to-from Saigon/HaNoi), transportation in Vietnam, and hotel accomodations.

***IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, PLEASE let Elena know the following:
1. If you have preference on the date of the trip (Option 1 or Option 2 above)
2. If your preferred timeframe is not selected, are you still available to join the trip?

I look forward to travelling with you!

The below is additional detailed information for those that may be interested...

Vietnam is at a critical crossroads in its economic and social history. As the country industrializes and becomes part of a growing world economy, the skill sets of its human resources are critical to the future prosperity and happiness of the people. Education is now the single most critical factor to securing a stable future for Vietnam. Higher education will become more critical in Vietnam's move towards industrialization. However, there will be a much higher economic demand for people with a thorough primary education. Also, higher education cannot thrive without a robust primary educational system. For these reasons, improving primary education in Vietnam is the key to benefiting higher education.

Sunflower Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission and goals are to improve the lives of the people in Vietnam mainly through educational assistance programs or, more specifically, by building schools and providing scholarships to disadvantaged rural children. We believe education is one of the critical elements to improving the future in Vietnam.

We also realize that promoting community development both in the United States and abroad though educational work camps could be of great benefits to the participants. The work camp will provide invaluable education with the focus on peace, reconciliation, cooperation, leadership, and cultural understanding. This is a way to facilitate togetherness and solidarity among the people of the world. The work camp participants will assist the local community in the renovation and building a local primary school. SM believes that the work camp experience will allow the participants to discover a bit more about themselves and develop their own values and opinions through participation and interaction with young people from different cultures, countries and backgrounds. SM strives to contribute to these goals by giving young people responsibility and the chance to lead projects in the areas of volunteering and education.

This work camp is combined with a construction project where Sunflower Mission is also funding to provide classroom facilities to needy remote areas in Vietnam.

The work camp is an opportunity for participants to work with their Vietnamese peers on the final stages of construction, including the painting of the structure and the building and finishing of the classroom furniture. The interaction that takes place while working side-by-side during the exchange creates understanding between the participants and their nations' intertwined histories.

Personal benefits:

· Experience

· Empowerment

· Interpersonal skills development: communication, conflict resolution, leadership, and cooperation

· Confidence and Self esteem

· Purpose in life

· Cultural exchange

· Education

Elena Tran
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