Posted: 12/9/2013 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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 We are proud to announce that East Villagers intern Allison, along with her family, recently made a donation to Convoy of Hope. Convoy of Hope is currently working on the Haiyan relief effort in the Philippines. TFISH helped Allison perform background research on Convoy of Hope and tracked her donation to make sure it was used at its 100% value. You can view the TFISH approved status of her donation below:

Status: Successfully sent to Convoy of Hope who is on the ground right now in the Philippines. Food and relief supply distribution is underway. Your support is vital to our operations.

Confirmed Receipt Date: 12/9/13 by Convoy of Hope

Percentage Received: 100%

Impact: In addition to locally purchased food, water filtration units and other disaster relief supplies, Convoy of Hope have distributed 566,182 meals to families reeling from Typhoon Haiyan.

Click here to read on the ground updates.

Here is picture proof that 100% of your gift has been sent:

Posted: 11/17/2013 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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World Food Programme 
The UN's hunger-fighting organization has allocated an immediate $2 million for Haiyan relief, with a greater appeal pending as needs become apparent. The UN organization is sending 40 metric tons of fortified biscuits in the immediate aftermath, as well as working with the government to restore emergency telecommunications in the area. Americans can text the word AID to 27722 to donate $10 or give online. Learn more here.

Red Cross
The humanitarian and disaster relief organization has sent emergency responders and volunteers to provide meals and relief items. Already, thousands of hot meals have been provided to survivors. Red Cross volunteers and staff also helped deliver preliminary emergency warnings and safety tips. Give by donating online or mailing a check to your local American Red Cross chapter. Learn more here.

The Philippine Red Cross has mobilized its 100 local outposts to help with relief efforts. Learn more here.

The emergency response and global health organization is sending medical aid for 20,000 survivors, including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. AmeriCares is also giving funds to local organizations to purchase supplies. Learn more here.

World Vision 
The Christian humanitarian organization that specifically supports families living in poverty is providing food, water and hygiene kits at the evacuation centers. World Vision was also still actively responding to last month's earthquake in Bohol, which fortunately was not struck by the eye of the storm. Learn more here.

ShelterBox, an emergency relief organization, provides families with a survival kit that includes a tent and other essential items while they are displaced or homeless. Learn more here.

Anticipating that children will likely be among the worst affected by the typhoon, UNICEF is working on getting essential medicines, nutrition supplies, safe water and hygiene supplies to children and families in the area. Learn more here.

Salvation Army
The Christian hunger and poverty-fighting organization is allocating 100 percent of all disaster donations for relief efforts "to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors." Text TYPHOON to 80888 to Donate $10 or give online.Learn more here.

Save The Children
The organization, which prioritizes kids' needs, has sent relief kits for children and families, including household cleaning items, temporary school tents and learning materials. Learn more here.

Doctors Without Borders
The international medical humanitarian organization is sending 200 tons of medical and relief items, including vaccines, tents and hygiene kits. Learn more here.

Operation USA 
The Los Angeles-based nonprofit is sending much-needed water purification supplies to victims and seeking corporate partners to help with delivery. Donate $10 by texting AID to 50555 or give online. Learn more here.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 
The humanitarian assistance organization, which fights global poverty in 70 different countries, is sending disaster and relief development experts to aid in recovery. The organization is also empowering local partners in their efforts.Learn more here.

The Lutheran World Relief 
LWR, which fights poverty by improving global health and ensuring basic human rights are met, is working with local partners to provide water, shelter, financial resources and recovery efforts. LWR is appealing for $2.5 million for its typhoon relief fund. Learn more here.

Catholic Relief Services 
CRS will provide shelter, water, toilets and more. The charitable arm aims to provide temporary housing for 32,000 families in three areas. Learn more here.

Team Rubicon 
The nonprofit, which galvanizes first responders and veterans to help in times of crises, has sent a group of specialists to aid in search-and rescue, medical triage and medical relief. A second team will be deployed Nov. 12 to create a supply chain for field work. Learn more here.

International Medical Corps 
The emergency response team is providing infection control, clean water and food to families in the hardest hit areas. Learn more here.

The International Rescue Committee 
The organization, which specializes in humanitarian crises, is sending a relief team to help provide water and sanitation systems. Learn more here.

Action Against Hunger
The international poverty-fighting nonprofit, which provides sustainable global food and water solutions, is distributing drinking water, buckets, soap and chlorine tablets. It's also providing sanitation equipment to help prevent waterborne diseases. Learn more here.


Posted: 9/17/2013 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers
Inline image 1



Weekly journal topics are Open Topic, but we will email you suggested topics if you don't know what to write about:


What holds you down when you try to do good? What do you think keeps most people from participating in volunteerism and giving of their time or money? 


Weekly journals are due on Thursday 5pm or Friday (extended deadline for people who have exams at 10pm)


Posted: 8/4/2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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See how the Little Red Scarf Project changed lives this month!

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Angel of the Month: Fangdi

Fangdi is a quiet 15-year old girl from the remote mountainous area of southern Gansu. At 6 months old, she was first admitted to the hospital for pneumonia and diagnosed with congenital heart disease. Unfortunately, her family mistook CHD for a condition that would come and go like her pneumonia; they had no intention of treating her. Over a decade later, as Fangdi’s conditions like constant shortness of breath, weakness and bluing worsened, her family finally understood the severity of the disease and started borrowing funds for her surgery. However, as Fandi’s father is the large family of 7’s only source of income, their ability to repay debt was questioned. It seemed hopeless that they’d ever come up with enough money for treatment.
Fangdi’s doctor introduced her family to Little Red Scarf in mid-July. They were thrilled to join the program and Fangdi was admitted into a LRS partner hospital by July 20th. She now waits for her surgery to be scheduled.
We feel very privileged to help solve a life-threatening issue that stretched for 15 years. We are also glad we caught Fangdi while the window of opportunity for curative surgery is still open. “Racing against time” is not just a slogan, but a reality for Fangdi. Thank you for taking part in supporting children like Fangdi with us. We wish Fangdi and her family the best, and hope to bring you good news soon. Background information: Fangdi, female, 15yrs old, Tetralogy of Fallot, First contact with LRS on July 19th, 2011. Project Page 

Little Red Scarf on Campus
Our Little Red Scarf volunteer team recently placed a publicity booth at Lanzhou Northwest Normal University to encourage students going back to their home towns and villages to help find sick children that need the support of Little Red Scarf. We made a big map and asked all interested students to mark their destinations using sticky notes with their contact info. What an encouragement to see the map of Gansu slowly being covered with notes, the passion the students showed, and the possibility of finding and saving more children! When we mentioned of a thank-you package for students who found a child, the most common response was “ That’s not necessary; the chance to save a life is rewarding enough!” See event photos herehere and here.

News and Updates
  • Shoe Box Project - Thank you to the children and families from Calgary Chinese School, Calgary, Canada, who participated in the Shoe Box Project to give a box full of gifts from one child to another. We welcome all schools or student organizations to build cross-cultural friendships by sharing love with LRS children in Western China.
  • Farewell: Ms Liu, a beloved member of our on-site staff at Lanzhou Military General Hospital, recently left our team for family reasons. The dedication and love Ms Liu showed children and families over the past 1.5 years won her the nickname ”Mother Liu” among patients. Her work was deeply appreciated and we wish her all the best in this next season.
  • Operation Smile Lanzhou Partnership – This month we partnered with Operation Smile in their Lanzhou mission trip to treat children with cleft palates and lips in the Northwest region. The team visited Lanzhou for 1 week, and our staff had the chance to assist them in post-operation care for the children. We look forward to other partnering opportunities in the near future.
  • Good Samaritans Medical Dental Ministry (GSMDM) Partnership – In mid-July, Little Red Scarf had an opportunity to partner with GSMDM on their two-week medical mission trip to Hue, Vietnam. Due to local conditions, many last-minute changes were made to our operations there, but we were thankful for the chance to support Vietnamese children with congenital heart disease. 
Waiting List Confirmation and Tracking

Children in Waiting: 21
Hospitalized: 21
Discharged: 22
In hospital now: 14
Surgeries Done in 2011: 132
Total Surgeries : 533    
(updated: July 25)   
Goal for End of 2011 : 800 
Goal Completion 66.6%


A very special thanks to our donors this month:

Anonymous Donation $50.00
Total funds raised :$35,900.00 
Hear the LRS children say thank you!

Haimei: Diagnosed at 1 yr old; dropped out of school by 7. Did not receive treatment until 17, after LRS sponsorship. See herproject page.

Xinyue: 7 months old, with 4 heart failure crises within three months of CHD diagnosis. Prolonged hospitalization post-op. Parents are young and extremely poor. Given LRS special sponsorship. See herproject page

Leilei: Last month’s focus story. Thank you to those who showed concern for him. See his project page.

Copyright © 2011 Chao Foundation, All rights reserved. For more information:




Posted: 5/17/2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

Thank you for participating in the East Villagers Service Scholar Essay Contest! We really enjoyed reading every one of your essays and viewing each of your art pieces and videos. We were truly inspired by your enthusiasm and passion for service. Your commitment to serving the community and making the world a better place is very commendable. We thank the Ping & Amy Chao Family Foundation for their generous support and sponsorship. Winners from Northern California will be invited to read their essays at the annual Service Scholar Award Celebration hosted by the Ping & Amy Chao Family Foundation.

It is our great pleasure to announce our 2010 Winners:

High School Service Scholars

First Place ($500): Kuan-Chung Huang (Walnut, CA)

Second Place ($350): Daniel Hoilett (Charlotte, NC)

Third Place ($150): Caitlin Snaring (Redmond, WA)

Middle School Service Scholars

First Place ($300): Richard Black (Blythewood, SC)

Second Place ($200): Anthony Zunino (Los Altos Hill, CA)

Third Place ($75): William Zhou (Palo Alto, CA)

Artwork Category Winners

First Place ($300): Susan Chang (Fremont, CA)

Second Place ($200): Austin LoCicero (Damascus, PA)

Third Place ($75): Melissa Massimore (Hubbard, OH)


Posted: 4/25/2011 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

Interested in service?
Want to learn more about health, environment and education?
Passionate about social change?
East Villagers will be hosting a Service Conference on May 14th from 10am to 4pm at Stanford University History Corner.

Please register at!  

The East Villagers Service Conference will be held at Stanford University on Saturday, May 14, 2011 from 10:00AM until 4:00PM PST. The Service Conference aims to engage youth in an interactive and personal way to promote service globally and in their communities. Speakers who have had compelling stories for service will motivate youth to serve in any way they can, using any abilities they have. It will also be a forum for various non-profit organizations to inform people around the world via the live-streamed web portion of our conference about various global concerns and service opportunities. The conference will end with an exciting one hour music concert by the TakeNoGlory Band. The EV Conference is sponsored by the Chao Foundation.
East Villagers is the only online community and news wire dedicated to non-profit organizations, their projects, and volunteers’ life-changing stories. For more information, please visit

Posted: 3/11/2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

This is the second year the East Villagers Non-Profit Community is offering a chance for young service scholars within the local community to express their passion for community service through essay writing and art.  Our goal is to promote a spirit of volunteerism among the younger generation around the world.  Winners from Northern California will be invited to read their essays at the annual Service Scholar Award Celebration hosted by the Ping & Amy Chao Family Foundation.  Students must complete 5 hours of community service and fill out the Service Requirement Form to provide proof.  All students enrolled in schools Kindergarten through High School in the United States and Canada are eligible to apply.

Choose one of the following prompts to write an essay:
Prompt 1: Please share a volunteer experience and its impact on your life.
Prompt 2: Why is community service important in your life?
Prompt 3: Share about an experience when someone helped you and how it impacted your life.
Artwork Category: Fine Art, Digital Art, Photography, or Video
This should be an inspirational artwork on why more students should do community service or captures the inspirational moment of someone lending a hand without asking for something in return. Videos: Check the contest entry form, scroll over the Youtube video submission blank to read more instructions.
Community Service Requirement: All applicants must complete 5 hours of community service and show proof of service to quality for the contest. Click here to download, fill out, and scan the Community Service Requirement Form.
Contest Deadline: Monday, May 2, 2011, 5:00pm P.S.T.
High School (1000 – 1500 words)
Middle School (500 – 750 words)
KG – Grade 5 (300-500 words)
Artwork – Upload on Youtube Video (3-5 min), Artwork (Upload Scan of Fine Art), Upload Digital Art, Photography (Set of 3 Photos, Upload Below); Please also mail in all paper versions of fine art max 11×16, video dvd/cd, and photography 8×10. Address: 800 High St. Suite #408, Palo Alto, CA 94301
*Naming all DOC, PDF, JPG, PNG (ie. LastName_FirstName.doc)
High School (9-12th Grade)
1st Place $500, 2nd Place $350, 3rd Place $150
Middle School (6-8th Grade)
1st Place $300, 2nd Place $200, 3rd Place $75
Elementary School (KG – 5th Grade)
1st Place $100, 2nd Place $75, 3rd Place $50
Art Category (KG – 12th Grade)
1st Place $300, 2nd Place $200, 3rd Place $75
*You may do two submissions.
Submission Instructions
1. Essay entries must be posted as a blog entry on  Click the sign up button at the top to register. Invite Code: YYmHnh8i
2. Fill out this Contest Entry Online Form. Service Requirement Form should be signed and scanned (pdf or jpg) and uploaded in the entry form online.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is this open to only Northern California students? No, this is open to all students enrolled in K-12 throughout the United States and Canada.
2. How do I post a blog entry? Click Create a Blog Entry at the top.
3. Why are there funny codes on my blog entry? First paste your word document into notepad, and then paste it into the blog editor to clear word formatting.
4. I am confused about the instructions, what am I supposed to do? Everything is online, Two simple steps: a) Fill out the Contest Entry Form below. b) Post your essay or artwork as a blog entry on the EV Community
Please email or call (650) 924-1104 if you have any questions. Email preferred.
This Contest is Sponsored by the Ping & Amy Chao Family Foundation to Promote a Spirit of Volunteerism Among the Younger Generation.
Fill out the online contest entry form today:


Posted: 3/11/2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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(Reuters) - Japan confronted devastation along its northeastern coast on Saturday, with fires raging and parts of some cities under water after a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed at least 1,000 people.


Daybreak was expected to reveal the full extent of the death and damage from Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the 10-meter high tsunami it sent surging into cities and villages, sweeping away everything in its path.


[Via] The American Red Cross and Salvation Army have announced ways to donate to the relief cause by texting.

Donors can text “Japan” to 80888 to donate $10 to Salvation Army efforts.  They can visit for terms and conditions and should respond “Yes” to a “Thank you” message they receive.

Donors can text “Redcross” to 90999 to donate the same amount to that organization.

Donations can always be made online to or

The following are just a few other charity groups in the mix for Japan relief donations. They also meet the BBB’s charity accountability standards:

* Oxfam America -

* World Vision -

* Catholic Relief Services -

[Via Vancouver Sun] How to donate to help victims of the devastating tsunami:



Red Cross:


Canadians wishing to help support relief efforts underway in Japan are encouraged to contribute by donating online, calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Red Cross office.


Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.


As of today, Canadians can donate to the Society via text messaging. Donors interested in this option must simply text REDCROSS to 30333 and a one-time donation of $5 for the Haiti Earthquake fund will be added to their mobile phone bill. The charge will be posted once the donor responds to a confirmation text. Text messaging donations are available in $5 increments*.


*Standard messaging rates and additional fees may apply to donation texts. All charges are billed by and payable to the mobile service provider. The service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of the Canadian Red Cross by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at Donors can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to 30333.


Global giving


You can donate to relief efforts in Japan by visiting their website.




Visit the Oxfam website to donate to tsunami victims.




CARE offices in Asia are on high alert and have ensured that staff are informed of the tsunami warnings and other related developments. In the Philippines, CARE’s partner organization has assisted five villages on the coast to evacuate inhabitants.


CARE’s emergency staff is currently standing by and will continue to be ready to assist should the tsunami hit the coasts of developing nations such as Indonesia or Papua New Guinea.


Visit the website to donate.

Read more:


Posted: 1/30/2011 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: General Blog

 It's been one week since I've been back to Beijing.  The biggest difference is that my brother is not here this time with me.  I've come to realize how much his presence made a difference while helping transitioning the first 6 months here.  The beijing weather is warmer than I expected but nevertheless very cold (ranges -2 to 0 degrees celsius).  I was expecting snow like the past few winters I've been here.

Our Transparent Fish Non-Profit Laboratory has moved to a new location at the Maples International Center.  After much office hunting, we've found the perfect place.  My first week of work involved furnishing the entire office and settle the staff back into the more important items.  The most tiring part of buying furniture and appliances is bargaining and finding the cheapest prices for everything to make sure we are using our resources wisely.  Our foundation is also preparing the Little Red Scarf donation package and for potential donors.

Our interns have started their vacation before I came back and have returned to their hometowns.  The train and airplanes are completely full for the next few days because everyone is returning home for Chinese New Years.  My friend said that a train that usually fits 150 now has over 300 people on it.  Imagine everyone without beds or seats and standing for 24 hours next to each other, rushing to come home and celebrate the biggest holiday in China.

My friends have been wonderful in helping transition back in.  We made noodles from scratch the other day and I made the tomato/egg sauce.  We had a really good and deep catch up time after not seeing some for 5 months.  They're also helping me look for a suitable roommate.

I'm going to Hong Kong for Chinese New Years! I hope to see the amazing fireworks everyone has been talking about.  I miss my family dearly and hope they will enjoy Vietnamese New Years.

Hopefully I'll see this in Hong Kong this year...

Posted: 7/10/2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers



What is it? The EV Service Scholar Internship Program is a one year online interactive program focused on helping young service scholars develop an in-depth knowledge of global issues, social injustices, and solutions.

What can interns gain from the program? Interns can earn community service hours, gain an in-depth knowledge about non-profit work globally, develop life-long writing skills, and receive a $1000 scholarship at the conclusion of the program to donate to a cause of their choice or to use the scholarship to attend a humanitarian project with an NGO to gain first-hand experience. 

What will interns do? Interns will join the EV Non-Profit Editorial Team and write blog articles on topic of your interest weekly (3 per week during the summer and 1 per week during the school year). You will also work on our NGO Database and Social Marketing. 

What is the job description and requirements? This program is online and at the comfort of your room. Summer: 10 hours per week. School Year: 5 hours per week. We have weekly Intern Meetings for 1 hour. 

The application deadline is Saturday, July 31, 2010, 11:59 pm PST.


Online Application:


Posted: 3/3/2010 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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 Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We woke up and quickly moved to the hotel closer to BNU.  Around 10am, we had breakfast at the hotel and then took the "black" little car (黑车) over to BNU Social Development and Public Policy Department.  We finally meet Lifu again and Zhao Xiao Ping.  Lifu discussed more his excitement for the 赵修平公益大楼 building plans.  Zhao Xiao Ping took us to the area they are planning to tear down to build the building on campus.  He then took us to our temporary office for the Web 2.0 Laboratory.  They have purchased the projector screen and copy machine.  The temporary office belongs to a professor who has gone overseas for one year.  After the tour, we returned to the meeting room and had a 3 hour meeting listening to the hopes and dreams of the students of the BNU Social Development and Public Policy Department.  They are all very excited for this opportunity.  After the meeting, we had dinner with Lifu and Tao Laoshi along with two of their star students.

Xiao Fan and I quickly took the bus and train to the place to order banners for the Lanzhou office.  It came out $14 (USD) for 3 banners. How cheap!

We then met my friend Steve who's working on Daybreak:Asia and it's great seeing him after 3 years.  Quick time of catching up and I met his friend who's working for the US Embassy and Congress.

Time quickly caught up with me and I was as tired as ever so I saved my blog for this morning to catch you up with the adventures.

Today will be a full day of training preparation at the hotel. We hope to have it completed today and sent to Bai Liehu, Cao Rui, and Mr. Chao.  I'm very excited for the opportunity to raise points/funds with our new team of volunteers in a few days! 


The clean and best hotel (in my opinion) - Home Inn!

Location they plan to have the Chao Philanthropy building

This is the small hill that they plane to turn into a garden surrounding the philanthropy building.  Zhao Xiao Ping told us that couples usually visit this hill during the summer.

Zhao Xiao Ping explaining the current building (teacher's offices) and location.

My attempt to capture an aerial view of the location wishing I was higher up. =)  They plan to have the Web 2.0 Laboratory on the Underground floor and office on the 4th floor.

Old man doing Tai Chi outside the location. 

This is our temporary Web 2.0 Laboratory Office.

Here is the location we will have our temporary office which we will need to reorganize to fit four tables and computers in here for work.

Tao Laoshi begins the strategic planning meeting with BNU philanthropy center students.

It's good to meet similar faces from last trip and hear their hopes and dreams for themselves and the center's future.

More friendly faces sharing past experiences and their goals for the future.

These ladies hope to focus on the scholar aspect of philanthropy while the rest of the team would like to build more practical experience and not just theory.

Meet 胖胖 (Fat Fat).  Ever seen a beagle this fat? Until the next photostory! Thanks for following our Gansu adventure to share these life-changing stories of children with congenital heart disease.

Posted: 3/3/2010 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 274 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: General Blog

 Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mr. Chao and Amy kindly drove me to the airport. All flights were on time.  I spent most of my time on the plane resting.  Traveling buddies are always nice but I am getting used to traveling alone.  Through cheap plane ticket finds, I've found out that Delta Airlines is very stellar.  Their flight crew was very in tune with the passengers, one glance and they knew what you needed.  I wrote some good reviews for them.  I usually go with Air China but I forgot what I'm missing out on (in-flight entertainment).  I rotated my experience with times of rest, food, reading, work preparation, boredom (which was replaced with movies, classical music, pop songs, and Glee songs!).  Who would have known that you would find movies on the plane you really wanted to see in theaters when none of your friends were interested in seeing them with you? I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide selection - the two that mostly stood out was Paranormal Activity and Precious.  I didn't want to movie binge and just feel tired as I've done on past trips when I had this option to stack 6 movies to kill time on the plane a few years ago.  Delta had UP! Glee (the entire soundtrack)! Beethoven & Yoyoma!  I saw two intense movies - Precious and Paranormal Activity.  Precious reminded me of the reality of life, the harshness, dreams, and core of a human's soul which keeps fighting (beautiful).  Paranormal Activity - interspersed with me one hand holding tightly onto the remote control to bring the volume up and down on specific scary scenes and the other hand holding my hoodie to cover my face to only show the non-scary regions of the already small screen.  

I always love airplane trips because they are always full of anticipation before a huge adventure and yet ironically I'm usually stuck in one place for a few hours doing hardly anything.  Thoughts linger from one plan to the next.  The experience on the plane is hard to forget.  They are filled with times of self-reflection: where am I going? for what purpose am I going? how are the people that I've left behind at home? remaining items to finished before the long journey? what good can come out of this trip? what are my goals and what do I want to learn from the trip?  leveling my head...the long wait was over...I walked up to customs, waited anxiously hoping my luggage had not been misplaced on some other trip, and finally, I walked outside.  I saw Xiao Fan! I was very happy to see someone come meet me.  She took me down one floor to the airplane express! Excited as ever to ride fast train. I've always wanted to take the airport express but I've never had a chance.  It's so cheap and convenient.  We then came to the hotel, discussed briefly our schedule, and we discussed our thoughts on the upcoming training trip in Gansu.  We then talked more about life and it was wonderful hearing Xiao Fan's story.  I'm quite happy to partner with her on this trip and she's been such a great company and friend and it's only been day 2.

Posted: 1/8/2010 - 3 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 339 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]


      Henry - He might look like just any other kid in the loud bunch of 30 migrant children in Shanghai.  He did not attempt to get our attention.  He followed what we told him to do.  Over time, these characteristics helped me see more and more each day why he was so special.  When we asked him to draw what he wanted to be when he grew up, many kids were ashamed or did not have any ideas.  They did not want to draw anything out of the norm in fear of being doubted or laughed at.  Many girls copied each other and drew a nurse or singer.  The boys drew policemen.  While Henry turned in his paper, I took a close look at it: "When I grow up, I want to be a doctor."  A quiet boy with big ambitions, he was.  

      The last day was when these kids touched me tremendously, and Henry helped me to see more the capacity of these children to receive and give love.  During lunch, the kids quickly shoved food down their mouth so they can quickly go outside to play and run around.  The last lunch, I was eating slowly and turned around, Henry was already finished with lunch.  Confused I asked him, are you full? Aren't you going outside to play?  He shyly replied, "This is your last day...I want to say here with you guys."  I folded origami with him and the kids in the classroom.  It turned out that the boys saved their snack change to pitch in and buy me a beautiful set of inked pens.  Henry started to lead his friends in our group to listen more to me and my co-teacher.  I am very proud of Henry and I will never forget the migrant kids in Shanghai.

Posted: 1/8/2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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 Here is a map of Gansu Province (Northwest China), one of the poorest rural regions in China.  To give you a better understanding, we are trying to provide surgery for all 6000 children suffering from congenital heart disease in Gansu Province.

Posted: 1/8/2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Many updates and exciting programs are underway.  I will be working hard this week to setup our major campaigns.  By request of our volunteers, they would like to start the EV China Points Challenge campaign as soon as possible.

I've also received requests from Sino Canada Culture Association to have the programs for the Little Red Scarf up on EV as soon as possible so they can involve their chinese schools in pen pal and christmas cards project.

A few surprise contests for high school students will start soon as well!

Stay Tuned!

Happy New Years from the Chao Foundation

Posted: 1/5/2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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My new years resolution for 2010 is to live out love 365 days by doing one act of kindness for every day of the year. I'm realizing that its one thing to talk about love, its a whole other thing to live it. I must practice what I preach, not just talk about it, but be about it. Hopefully, I can achieve this goal with your support, prayers and help. I'll do my best and let God do the rest. 

Each day I will post on my blog an act of love that I did for the day. It could be anything, I won't know till I see what each day of opportunities brings before me. So for 6 days each week (Monday-Saturday) I will post a text blog on how I put love into action. Each Sunday, I will post a video blog of a random act of kindness I did for the day. 

Stay tuned... I hope that my little acts of love will inspire others to put their love into action also. Let's spread the love this year to as many people as possible. Love all we can, to as many people as we can, whenever we can, because to live is to love. 




Posted: 1/4/2010 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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An invitation and a challenge

To:          All Christian health professionals, students and others -

who have the hearts to serve in a short term medical mission in China

By:          American Medical and Dental Services (AMDS)

Date:     June 28 through July 4, 2010

Place:    Yunnan, China


AMDS – founded in 2005 as a non-profit (501c3) organization with the vision to call Christian health professionals, students and others to provide medical service to the poor, locally and abroad, especially those in rural China.

Services - AMDS has organized numerous free clinics and health fairs in northern and southern California since early 2006.  AMDS has also formed short term medical mission teams to Yunnan, China during the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Our Philosophy – the vision of AMDS is to serve and share the love of God, based on our Christian faith.  Non-Christians are also welcome to join us with the understanding that this is our philosophy.

Mission experiences – During each of the summer short term mission trips, AMDS served more than two thousand patients in the farming communities in Yunnan, China.  Our team physicians and professionals were invited by the local governmental and health officials with full temporary license to practice.  Our professionals also had the opportunity to interact with local physicians and health personnel.  Our team doctors further served as mentors of US medical students on our team.  Many of our team members have returned for repeat trips because they were deeply blessed by the mission work.

Events for 2010 – AMDS has been invited by the governmental and health officials in Yunnan, China to bring another short term mission team in the summer of 2010.   A number of free clinics are also planned to be held in local churches and community centers in northern and southern California.


The invitation:

        AMDS extends a sincere invitation to all who have the hearts to serve the less privileged in Yunnan, China.   We are sure that you will be as richly blessed as those who have served with us before.  You will be serving two days in a church in the city of Dali and five days in XiangYun County.  There may be an options to join and lead smaller teams of 5 or 6 students to visit smaller villages afterwards.    You will also have an opportunity to visit some of the beautiful landscape and sceneries in Yunnan.  The team will be staying in clean hotels with adequate amenities.

The Challenge:

`I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


      Come work with our professionals for the experience of a life-time.


Come, Join us!      


For more information –

Please contact:

Dr. Joel Doughten


Posted: 1/2/2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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We're going home.  This is our last day Beijing, and it is snowing heavily! It looks so beautiful from our hotel window.  Flakes are falling and are hearts are singing! Thank you G for the gift! 

Posted: 1/1/2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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The Great Wall was beautiful.  Peter loved it!  

And I had a birthday party - I didn't know what to expect but Lifu and Xiaoyan planned it for me and it turned out to be so much fun.  So much food and traditional Chinese birthday noodles and many food I have never seen before.  They also got me a wonderful cake and a birthday hat that I wore the entire time.

Afterwards, we were so tired from a whole day of touring and just crashed.

Posted: 12/31/2009 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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 Another Quick Update: We were on the road most of yesterday testing EV China.  It was yesterday that I realized why it was so crucial Peter and I came to China to test the speed of EV at different locations.  We learned more yesterday about the situation than any research or reading or preparation.  We could say now that we have a clearer understanding of what to expect.  We performed some tests and tried to narrow down all problems.  There's not much time to be specific in this post, but we're glad that we finally found a solution after 5-6 hours of testing with 10 chinese students in a computer lab.  We also tested at teacher's offices and student dormitory at BNU.  I made phone calls to Tsinghua, Beida, and Minzu.  Our chinese host friend ZhaoXiaoPing made phone calls to his friends who are on their company network, QQ'ed all his friends online to test the site at their school, and called his friends at Beida.  At first it was so frustrating, seeing the "random" and unexplainable results. It was a very productive day and we are happy that we figured out a solution.

Afterwards, we enjoyed our time with Lifu and two professors from a university in Gansu. They are all very sweet people and we were happy to be in their presence.  I also forgot to mention that it was the BEST hotpot we've ever eaten! (BNU has many food treasures surrounding it, and Ping & Amy were absolutely right about the delicious dumplings)  We got to meet XiaoYan who's finishing her dissertation today.  She is so sweet.  We really like her.  She said after her dissertation, she will have more time to get involved with EV and XHJ.  Good news: I recruited Yang Kaina and a few BNU students to join tomorrow's training.  Teddy is coming to Beijing from Shanghai for a retraining to make sure he learned everything.  I guess we can make the most of tomorrow's training with our new tiger team members (Luke, Rebecca, Kaina, Teddy, and BNU students).  A big thanks to Lifu for being such a wonderful host.  We really got to spend a lot of time with him and the two professors from Gansu during the past few days. OH! And they are planning a birthday party for me.  Two more professors from DongBei region are being invited.  I really see doors opening and lines connecting.

Lastly, the night was young and we wanted to explore the city.  We went to Wangfujing on New Years Eve and went to the night market.  Peter got a cool circus trick for cheap and he's now practicing it.  Happy New Year, Villagers!



Posted: 12/31/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Quick Update (Yesterday, No Internet Access): We are now in Beijing at Home Inn.  The student dormitory at BNU did not have internet so we moved out this morning to Home Inn.  The internet here is medium, not that fast like our hotel in Shanghai, but we can still access Dongcunzu (at medium loading rate).

We tested the internet at BNU in Lifu's office yesterday and both US and HK sites were very fast on their global network for teachers.  We went on the student's local network (education network) and dongcunzu loaded very quickly nevertheless.

Today we will proceed to test EV at more locations in BNU (classrooms dormitories) with a phd student of Lifu, ZhaoXiaoPing.  Lifu is very nice and so was Tao Laoshi.  Peter and I had a discussion seminar with 30 students in the conference room yesterday about doing nonprofit work (2-3 hours).  It went really well.  We had a chance meet many of their students.

Posted: 12/29/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Since we have finished EV Training and Testing in Shanghai (having a better idea of the internet situation in this location and a solid list of questions we want to answer in Beijing), we spent today introducing Shanghai to Peter.  Teddy took us to explore Yu Garden, we had xiaolongbao and hulu apple candy.  Then we walked to Nanjinglu to get to People's Square and then we went to Super Brand Mall to eat at Teddy's favorite restaurant.  After that, we visited Jinmao Tower.  Peter was able to find some cheap magic tricks that are very expensive in America and a kaleidoscopic green LED light.

 Now this will be more of a stream of consciousness entry for my personal reflection and might not make much sense to the reader.  At peace, recovering from the usual sickness that comes with adjusting to a new environment.  It takes usually 3-4 days to recover.  Waking up at 5am everyday gives me some time to prepare for the day - how to make the most of it, talk to family, quality time with loved ones over skype, and show that I think of them.  I am still jetlagged but touched by some G-given moments.  Energy is low due to recovering from my cold but my heart is present. Sitting back next to a fake ox on top of Jinmao Tower and admiring the shape of pearl tower, a lady approached the ox and continuously asked her husband, "Is this real? Is this real?" I decided to tell her in Chinese, "This is fake." I continued to sit back and relax and not push my energy.  The husband and the lady smiled at me. They looked like visitors to Shanghai from another province. I asked them in Chinese, "Where are you from?" "Henan," replies the lady shyly.  We continued in happy conversation.

 With major jetlag, Peter and I visited Teddy's home and his mother at 10:30pm.  We were picking up some business cards but the opportunity made way for me to have a deep conversation with his mother.  I spoke in Chinese the entire time with his mother. It felt like I was speaking to another Vietnamese person.  I forgot that my chinese is still very poor and needs a lot of improvement, because I really wanted to express my thoughts and the words came out.  The spirit was with me.

Sitting back on the taxi, my brother and I shared our deepest reflections about the city.

Sitting back, I want to let Him work.



Posted: 12/28/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

 This morning, I woke up at 5am and started to work and prepare for the day of EV Speed Testing.  This involves shadowing our tiger team students and observing how they interact with the new EV China website at various locations in Fudan University.  Our goal is to have the browsing experience and usability for EV China to be as comfortable and easy as possible for users in China.

The weather is still colder than ever, and I'm overcoming my cold/allergy.  I fell back to sleep around 8am to make sure I had enough rest for the long day.  Around 9:45am, we met Teddy and headed out to meet Ketty and Clarissa who guided us to various locations at Fudan University to test EV's speed.  We learned many things through this observational trip about the situation at Fudan.  The average speed for the Hong Kong site and USA site seems to be relatively similar and fast, which is a good sign.  The USA speed test we were using had some problems with the Chinese firewall and gave us higher numbers than the actual results.  We discarded this test and decided to change our speed test to be a relative speed test for our tiger team members to perform.  The relative speed test will consist of a numeric scale from 1 to 10, 1 being very slow, 5 medium, 10 very fast.  This will give us an idea of the user experience as well.  Testers can use fast sites they browse on a daily basis as a benchmark.  After testing the speed at three different locations in Fudan, Peter had a better idea of the situation. 

For lunch, Ketty and Clarissa brought us to their school cafeteria and treated us to the student food.  We enjoyed the experience and the food was not bad.  We sat there simply enjoying the time together among the many Fudan students hurrying to eat their food to either get to class or take their finals. The more we walked towards the final destination, the more I realized, I have to say goodbye again to Ketty and Clarissa... it was not easy because they were such close friends to me during the summer and seeing their familiar, joyful, and eager faces made me cherish Shanghai this time again.  I wish I could see them face to face more often.  I told them, "I will miss you guys, " and Ketty replied, "I am already starting to miss you."  The little time we spent this time around really meant a lot to Peter and me, and we felt like we've been here for more than a week already; however, it has only been two days.

After we waved goodbye to Ketty and Clarissa, Peter and I debriefed at the hotel.  We decided to be more aggressive about observing the speed and we wrote down both of observations so far, analysis of the situation, and compiled a long list of questions we hope to answer.   This process was very effective for us because we want to make the most of our time in China as well as ensure a robust and scalable platform for the Chinese people.  Peter and I felt very good after the debriefing session and did some action planning for the rest of the trip to answer the many inconclusive questions we had.

Soon after, we had a wonderful talk with Teddy and he shared with us some feedback and we headed off to test EV at some public locations around Shanghai.  The results were promising and quick for the China site.  What we also enjoyed were some cheap rollerskate clips for our shoes that we bought at Nanjinglu (20 yuan each). Rolling around nanjinglu, xintiandi, and the bund was an interesting and memorable experience.  The air was not too cold, and Teddy's company was much appreciated by my brother and me.  Teddy is very funny and has been such a great friend to Peter and me.

Thanks for following our journey to setup EV China!

~ Driving a New Movement for Nonprofits in East Asia ~

Posted: 12/27/2009 - 4 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 20 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

 Peter and I arrived in Beijing at 5am in the morning.  We stepped out of the plane and the cold air rushed up my legs and face.  It was freezing stepping into the connecting walkway.  I thank my mother for reminding me to bring many layers of warm clothes.  We then transferred from Beijing Airport to Shanghai Pudong, arriving at 10:15am.  Immediately, Peter and I went to a hotel near Hanting.  We quickly prepared for our EV Staff Training session and had no time for lunch.  At 2pm, we met our dear tiger team friends. They are so sweet and energetic.  We pulled our hearts into the 4 hours with them.

I have not held a 4 hour training session with people that engaged for all 4 hours in a long long time.  It was a wonderful team bonding time.  EV Staff are very excited to get the site translated.  We also went through expectations, feedback, and the Chao Foundation 2010 Plan as well as our five year road map. We look forward to performing some EV tests with Ketty, Clarissa, and Teddy tomorrow morning at Fudan University and public locations such as coffee shops and other locations.

Peter and I saw snow fall in Shanghai! According to our friends who are Shanghai natives, they have not had snow in two years.  It was a beautiful sight to see it falling slowly down our window.  I was so surprised.  Peter said his goal was realized today on the first day.  His hope was to see snow and he got to see it and feel it.  We looked outside our hotel window and in another building, a little girl was at her window with her hands spread out feeling the snow in the sky.  We can't wait for tomorrow.  Thanks for reading our China journey to setup EV 东村族!

Posted: 12/24/2009 - 3 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

The EV Team is off to China to set up EV China. See you all in China!

Posted: 12/23/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 16 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: General Blog

 We are presenting the Ping & Amy Chao Foundation Introduction Video.  We hope this video will give you the big picture of our vision and passion for Children's Health, Promoting Volunteerism, Applying the Best Web 2.0 Technology, and Driving a New Movement for Nonprofits in East Asia. Please let us know your thoughts.


Posted: 12/23/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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We will be updating you with some of the exciting programs Chao Foundation is working on.  Currently, Chao Foundation is focusing on creating a strong alliance under the umbrella organization called "Little Red Scarf" to work on solving a very important health disparity in Gansu Province, China.  We are also working to build a separate EV platform that embraces the Chinese culture, spirit, and language to help connect NGOs and sharing of resources with China called

Many more updates to come!


Driving a New Movement for Non Profits in East Asia

Posted: 12/23/2009 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

Tiger Team is moving forward! We have a conference call each week to catch up and reconnect as a team.  My goal for the upcoming china trip is to form team identity and clearer understanding of each person's function within the team through training.  Another important goal is action planning for Translation Project with Ketty taking the lead.  Lastly, technology testing.  Luke had some great useful info today.  China has 5 main networks and the network that will not be able to access EV US is the Education Network.  We need to test how a hong kong website runs on the education network.

Peter and I are looking forward to our China visit.  We hope to see the fruits of our visit by the receptiveness of many students, volunteers, NGOs in China to use the EV China tool.

Today Peter and i will head to the Acoustic Holiday Party to share about EV and LRS.  I will need to prepare a few things to say about EV and LRS.  Merry Christmas EVERYONE and we cannot do this without your support.  

Until next update,


Posted: 12/18/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

 Our Tiger Team from the USA, Beijing, and Shanghai are forming our first steps in our respective cultures.  I'll periodically update the EV community with many of the exciting projects we're working on.

Two main projects we are working on right  now are:

1. EV China Translation Project (led by Ketty Jiang) - an intensive revision of our Translation First effort and a new effort to translate remaining pages item by item.

2. EV NGO Database - a collection of NGOs and training for NGOs (especially in China) to use East Villagers.

Have a wonderful holiday season everyone!

Posted: 12/10/2009 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

East Villagers is back and running with rapid speed!

Reminder: EV Points will reset December 31, 11:59 PM PST.
If you plan on buying something at the EV Store, please do so before this date. Villagers will start anew on New Years!

-- The EV Team

Posted: 11/12/2009 - 3 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

We just returned from a wonderful dinner.  The china chapters, Asian Liver Center staff, and other invited guests had a chance to meet and talk with Mr. and Mrs. Ping & Amy Chao.  They just arrived from Beijing today at 2:30pm but had great energy and enthusiasm for the youth and projects of hepatis B in China.  People had a chance to enjoy the wonderful French-Vietnamese cuisine in Los Altos downtown's Beausejour.  They mingled, laughed, and had a good time.  Once again, thank you Ping and Amy for your thoughtfulness and care.  Here is a photo from the night.

Posted: 11/12/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

A few weeks ago on Sunday, October 18th, 2009, our EV team held a fun interactive webinar with the TeamHBV US chapter leaders.  The webinar's purpose is to introduce them to the main features of East Villagers and guide the chapter leaders through how to use the features for the conference and for their chapters after the conference. The TeamHBV chapter leaders were engaged and asked many good questions. Big thanks to Jian Zheng Amanda Wong and Derek Chen for helping to facilitate the 30 members who participated in the webinar.  Thank you Mr. Chao for his guest speech at the webinar. Thanks Peter for helping host the webinar.

A few days ago, myself and YanYan Zhang conducted an in-person training for the TeamHBV China Chapters at Stanford University all in Chinese.  It was 3 hours long but because everyone was so engaged and asked so many good questions, it felt like we were only there for one hour.  Although, EV tools are made to be easy to use by any younger generation internet user, we found it necessary through our past case studies, to hold EV training and walk through specific functions and allow the users to try it for themselves on the spot.  Watching a video ad or reading about East Villagers's many features is one thing (it could give you an idea that this is another social networking site), but trying out the tools is antoher thing.  Users tend to realize the difference and advanced customizations EV has made for nonprofit organizations alone while taking some time to explore all the features on the site. The key is seeing it for yourself! We went through a detailed walk-through of the site because we found that many partners, if they have not actually tried out the EV tools for themselves, it will be harder to see the benefits of using a new site and tool.  And so was the case for the China chapters. After they tried out and saw how fun it could be, they were excited to bring this site to their local chapters back in their home country.

Here are some photos from the training. Enjoy!

Meet the participants of the EV Training at Stanford.

East Villagers training for TeamHBV China Chapters at Stanford University


Students discussing with each other what it'll mean to use social media to do good in China.

We had the participants interact with each other and come up with their video plan.  This is one of the many enthusiastic groups excited to film their videos.

Another team recording their videos and sharing their stories.

Excited and having fun to share their stories!

I had a great time meeting you all.  I wish you all the best in your endeavors to spread Hepatitis B awareness. --Nancy

Click here to watch the winning video.  Will be announced tonight at the Dinner hosted by the Chao Foundation.

Posted: 11/12/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 17 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

We want to thank the Ping & Amy Chao Family Foundation for sponsoring the EV Flip Camcorders.  We also appreciate the strategic partnership between East Villagers, Chao Foundation, and Flip Pure Digital Technology LLC. Ping and Amy's endless support for web 2.0 technology, media, and social justice among the young generation is making great impact. We truly believe that we can bring the first-hand experiences to people all around the world to effect positive change.  East VIllagers will use these flip camcorders to share the priceless life-changing moments on the field.  This will allow our volunteers, chapters, and partners to record these experiences and share these first-hand experiences with the EV Global community.  Once again, thank you Chao Foundation and Flip Video! Look here as we unveil the camcorders. -- EV Team

The Flip Ultra Camcorders in their boxes.

Ta da!

Our Partners, the Asian Liver Center and TeamHBV, will be using these Flip camcorders to share their conference experience with you. Stay tuned for an amazing weekend!

Posted: 11/12/2009 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Join us for the First Annual TeamHBV Collegiate Conference livestreamed on!

For an archive of livestreamed videos, please visit

To watch and participate in the conference, simply sign up for East Villagers.

1. Tweet #teamhbv directly on East Villagers (next to the livestream, all in one window).

2. Watch the entire conference on East Villagers Home Page.

3. Microblog through EV MicroBlog, EV Twitter.

4. Blog and be featured on the home page.

5. Share your thoughts on the EV Forum

6. Follow participant's photo and video blogs.

7. Actively watch and support your local chapters by earning points for the EV Thanksgiving Points Challenge!

8. Invite your friends to watch the conference live, help earn points for your local chapters, and spread Hepatis B awareness.

9. TeamHBV Conference participants will video blog using EV Flip Camcorders sponsored by the Ping & Amy Chao Family Foundation. Stay tuned for their stories.

Let's go!

Note: iPhone users can watch the livestreaming directly on their iPhone:

Posted: 11/3/2009 - 3 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 11 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Events

Hillsong's film about justice is coming out in theaters tomorrow! It's a one-night event with a live performance by Hillsong (broadcasted in theatres) followed by their social justice documentary "We're All In This Together"

Tickets and local theater info here:


Hillsong United Live: We're All In This Together


On Wednesday, November 4th, popular Australian musical sensation Hillsong United will appear LIVE on movie screens across the US for an exclusive One Night Event featuring a performance by the internationally recognized worship band and their much-anticipated documentary THE I HEART REVOLUTION: WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, hosted from Australia.

This one-night event will begin with a LIVE intro by Hillsong United’s lead singer Joel Houston, followed by the band performing from their church in Sydney and conclude with the worldwide debut of their cause-based documentary telling the stories of justice, compassion, and mercy around the globe.

Enter your zip code above to purchase Individual Tickets. Tickets are also available at participating theatre box offices. Click here for a list of all participating theatres.

1) Box Office – go to your local theatre Box Office to purchase group tickets. Click here for a list of all participating theatres.

2) Online – Use the “Buy Tickets” function above to purchase group tickets. Maximum quantity limits per participating theatre and additional theatre transaction fees may apply.

3) Discounted – discounted group tickets are only available at Goodrich Quality, National Amusement, Hollywood and Loeks theatres. Click here for more information.

Click here to inquire about hosting a Private Event in a participating theatre.

Hillsong United has sold out their live shows across the US! Don't miss your chance to see them in cinemas along with the premiere of WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER on the big screen Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 7:30 PM ET / 6:30 PM CT / 5:30 PM MT and time delayed to 8PM PT.

The I Heart Revolution
For 3 Years, Hillsong United traveled with a documentary and production team to record the worship experiences, culture, and history of young people around six major regions of the world. WITH HEARTS AS ONE was released in 2008. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER the eagerly awaited documentary is about the movement, a call-to-action. It’s about you, and how you can get involved.

About Hillsong United
Hillsong United originally was the youth movement in Hillsong Church out of Australia.  In 1999 United recorded their first Album – Everyday, and has since recorded 7 albums, including “All Of The Above” and “Tear Down the Walls” – both of which released as no.1 in the USA Billboard charts in the top Christian category.

In 2003 Hillsong United started a global journey by traveling to Canada and performing at some of the major youth conferences all over the nation. They now have emerged as a very popular international musical group with a diverse, youthful following across the world. They support social justice movement, with huge emphasis on their music (Christian Contemporary) paving the path for support around poverty, natural disaster relief, equality, human rights and health issues affecting the world.

Posted: 10/25/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 21 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

We want to welcome Teddy Shih, 史佳俊, to the East Villagers Staff as part of the East Villagers Internship Program.  Teddy lives in Shanghai and loves to help people.  He's worked at an orphanage in Hunan and helped organize an English camp there. He created MFMC (more friends, more chances) for his friends to come together and help others in Shanghai and spread East Villagers.  He also loves to help train people to use East Villagers and see it helping people in China.  He is a big supporter of community service.  We are happy to have Teddy as one of our dedicated and passionate interns.  Everyone, please say hi and congratulate Teddy!

Click on Teddy's Photo to visit his EV Page! Everyone, congratulate and welcome him! Go MFMC!

Posted: 10/24/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 16 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

We want to welcome YanYan Zhang to our East Villagers Staff.  She will be the main admin for the China EV Forums and serve as the Root International Peace Corps Office Manager. She is from Kunming City, Yunnan, one of the most beautiful places in China.  Currently, she is studying for her MBA in the next two years.  YanYan has experience working with World Vision International in Yunnan, authored over 20 news reports in China, and loves to do nonprofit work.  She will help us build a community of Chinese speaking volunteers and NGOs on East Villagers and write spotlight and NGO-related articles for EV News.  Everyone, join me in welcoming YanYan to the East Villagers Team!

Click here to visit YanYan's Page and say "Hi!"

Posted: 9/30/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 9 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

Here is a very interesting video by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod's about Social Media and it's role in communications in this day and age.  Social media can be a very helpful tool to leverage for nonprofits.  What are your thoughts? Post a comment.


Posted: 9/13/2009 - 4 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 15 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

Vivian loves community service. She is only 9 years old and just joined East Villagers Non Profit Community.  She created a project called "Project Spare Change" and "Help the Planet." She invites you to join her projects and donate to charity on EV!

It's so easy, even Vivian can join.  Join EV today!


Posted: 9/8/2009 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 7 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

Description: When Tracy McGrady (T-Mac) of the NBA heard about the massive challenges children from Darfur were facing in the refugee camps in Chad, he decided to travel there.  I'm watching this feature film (length: 1 hr, 1 minute) via  I thought I'd share it with the EV Community.  You could watch it directly below.  Click play and hit the fullscreen square (top right corner).  Let me know what you think by commenting below. 


Posted: 8/11/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 12 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Other

[Via CNN]  (CNN) -- Hundreds of people were stranded on Wednesday in villages dotting Taiwan's mountainous regions after Typhoon Morakot unleashed its fury over the weekend and caused the worst flooding in a half-century.

Morakot dumped 83 inches of rain on parts of the island, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, leaving Taiwan covered in thick blankets of mud.

After hitting Taiwan on Saturday, the storm roared on to mainland China, killing at least six people and displacing 1.4 million, authorities said.

Yet the death toll was much higher in Taiwan, where Morakot was blamed for at least 67 deaths. Figures from the Central Emergency Operation Center said the storm had injured 45 and at least 61 were missing, not including the hundreds trapped in debris.

In northern Taiwan, mud slithered down a mountainside, sweeping up trees and rocks and carrying them into valleys below. In the south, Kaohsiung County was devastated.

A wall of mud inundated and cut off the village of Shiaolin, burying houses. About 10 people there awaited rescue by helicopter. Video Watch what rescuers face in Taiwan »

In Jiahsian village, as many as 100 people were feared buried alive.

Continuing rain had hampered rescue efforts, but the weather showed signs of letting up Wednesday, allowing better access to those in need of help.

Taiwan's Interior Ministry said Wednesday that 200 people were trapped in that county's village of Namahsia and 38 were rescued by helicopter. Among the rescued, 18 were injured. In the village of Maolin, where 200 to 300 people were feared trapped, rescue workers were forced to suspend operations because of bad weather. (Click here to read full article.)

[Via Reuters] KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (Reuters) – About 700 people from the remote mountains of southern Taiwan were found alive overnight after it was feared they may have been buried by mudslides, officials said.

The survivors from four villages made it to higher ground before walls of mud and rock submerged their homes, said Hu Jui-chou, an army official involved in the rescue effort.

(Reporting by Ralph Jennings in Kaohsiung)

Posted: 7/28/2009 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 29 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Project Story

My name is Grace Chen. I am an 8-year-old golfer, and I am starting a donation program to support childhood leukemia research to save other children’s lives. Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, affecting more than 3,500 children in the U.S. every year. 250,000 children and adults worldwide are also diagnosed yearly with some form of leukemia. This represents about 2.5% of all people diagnosed with cancer.

In the major junior golf events I play (two world junior golf championships with details below), the Gracious Life Foundation (GLF) and I are reaching out to you for help. You can pledge three or more dollars for every birdie I score or a one-time donation of any amount. Anything you can do for my efforts would be greatly appreciated.

Birdie for ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) Sponsored by Gracious Life Foundation

All donations will benefit Dr. Gary Dahl’s cutting-edge leukemia research at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Dr. Dahl is a world-renowned oncology expert and pediatrician in leukemia disease research and treatment in the Department of Hematology and Oncology.

All donations will go to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH)
In support of Dr. Gary Dahl’s pediatric leukemia research

The Ping and Amy Chao Family Foundation will match funds for any donations made to Birdie For ALL.

Grace’s scores for the following world championships will be posted online daily, so it is easy to follow her results:

Callaway Golf Junior World Golf Championships
July 14-17, 2009
Sycuan Resort, Pine Glen Course
San Diego, CA

2009 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship
Aug. 6-8, 2009
Pinehurst, NC

For more information, please contact Weixing Chen: phone: (408) 431-7178, email:

Please mail donation checks to:

Gracious Life Foundation
P.O. Box 60523
Sunnyvale, CA 94088


Support our Project Birdie for ALL on East Villagers and join our organization: Gracious Life Foundation.

Posted: 7/25/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 19 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: General Blog

Day 10, July 13, Monday: Team Planning

Day 11, July 14, Tuesday: MMK Day 1

Day 12, July 15, Wednesday: MMK Day 2

Day 13, July 16, Thursday: MMK Day 3

Day 14-16, July 17-19, Friday - Sunday: MMK Last Day, Debriefing and Beijing EV Training

Week 3

Day 17-19, July 20-22, Monday - Wednesday: Trip to Suzhou

Day 20, July 23, Thursday: Class

Day 21-23, July 24-26, Friday-Sunday: Free Time to Work on Presentation and Journaling for Class

Friday (7/24) - Lunch was good today as we all talked about faith and economics and what it means to us.  People became very vulnerable with each other and I was able to share some of my life experiences as well.

Saturday (7/25) - I'm sitting in Shangdao Cafe with my roommate Irene journaling about our experiences in Shanghai.  It is part of our PESI CISP course to journal, reflect, and process our learnings in China.  I finished my blog entries about my EV training experience, but I still have a long way to go for the journaling as I've been really busy with training, volunteering for mmk, and going to suzhou.  Please forgive me for my delay in blogging and keeping you updated.

Sunday (7/26) -

Week 4

Day 24, July 27, Monday

Day 25, July 28, Tuesday

Day 26, July 29, Wednesday

Day 27, July 30, Thursday

Day 28, July 31, Friday

Day 29, Aug 1, Saturday

Return to the US! =) Home Sweet Home!! =D  Bye Shanghai!

Posted: 7/24/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 17 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

July 18-19, Saturday-Sunday, EV Training for Beida and Tsinghua

 Saturday morning, Luke, Rebecca, and Vivian flew in from Beijing.  We had lunch and talked about where they were from, their interests, etc.  After a 30 minute rest, I went into EV Training.  They asked really good questions and were all really interested.  They signed up for EV.  We went to dinner and afterwards, met up with Ketty and Alex, to brainstorm ideas and set some concrete goals such as site translation into simplified chinese and spreading the word to nonprofits and foundations in their area.  Luke asked a good question which is what is the goal for EV in the next two years. I drew a timeline and said that we are focusing on quality of users in the first year up until May 2010, then afterwards we would like to go viral.  After Ketty and Alex left around 9pm, the Beijing Team and I were hard at work to translate all EV training material (powerpoint and videos) into Chinese.  They are excellent translators as well as video dubbers.  Rebecca and Luke had very clear voices.  We ended up sleeping around 4am.  At 9:30am, we met up with Ketty and Alex in my room and recorded chinese interviews for the East Villager videos.  Around 12pm, the girls from the Beijing team left and Luke and I spoke to Mr. Chao to catch Mr. Chao up with updates and then Luke finally left around 2pm.  I really enjoyed working with this team and hope that they'll will be excellent trainers for EV in Beijing.


July 22, Wednesday, 2nd Meeting with Fudan and Jiaotong Tiger Team to Touch Base and Plan

Present: Ketty, Alex, Fang Lu, Iris Hua, Emma, Clarissa, and Nancy

We caught up over dinner with how everyone's summer's going.  After dinner, we came back to my hotel room to watch the EV Videos in Chinese.  Everyone loved the dubbing as I think having them in Chinese made it a lot more fun and relatable to the students.  Afterwards, I had Ketty practice going through the Chinese EV Powerpoint Presentation to show the rest of the group how it's done and she did really well.  Alex helped with catching the rest of the group up with the translation effort and split the phrases among the group.  Their goal is to have the translation done by September 1st before school starts so they can start training when students return to school.  The Shanghai Team were really thankful for EV training and the efforts of Ping and Amy.  They are really excited to help out in any way they can.  I'm looking forward to working with them.

Posted: 7/24/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 9 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

July 10, Friday, EV Tiger Team Jiaoda Fudan Meeting

I met up with students who were interested in the Development Support Team for East Villagers.  These were really passionate students from Jiaotong and Fudan.  Here are some of their thoughts on video about East Villagers after hearing my presentation.


July 11, Saturday, East Villagers Overview for Fudan, Jiaotong, and PESI

The EV Overview went really well even though I had never spoken to an audience of differing english levels before.  My goal was to be as clear as possible and speak to the audience's needs in the time allotted (45 minutes).  I really wanted to make my time with them worthwhile.  I alternated videos with screenshots and demo. I could tell that American and Chinese students were both interested in East Villagers.  Many came up to me afterwards and told me that they really enjoyed the presentation and can't wait to "see me online."  Thank you PESI and TECC for giving me a chance to share about EV.

July 11, Saturday, Four Training Sessions for JiaoDa Teams

I had four 1 hour and 15 minutes sessions with Jiaoda Teams.  There was a 15 minute lag in between to set up and get the internet working.  Some computer's wireless cards worked better than others.  Students were really responsive and fast learners because EV is similar to Xiaonei and Facebook, but the slow internet was a hurdle for them to fill out their profile completely and test out the blog feature so they can blog for MMK.  I was able to teach 1-2 students who were done early how to import videos from Tudou to EV.  It is a very simple process that takes less than 5 minutes (including the time it takes to upload a video).  Tudou uploads videos really fast here in China, and Youtube and Facebook does not work in China.  Here are some photos from the training:

July 13, Monday, Four Training Sessions for Fudan Teams

I had two hours with each of the Fudan Teams.  I enjoyed working with all of the teams so far.  They are very patient with the slow internet, opening more than one window to allow time for each of the features to load.  With two of the groups, we were able to learn about how to import videos from Tudou.  I taught them how to make Tudou accounts.  We were able to upload and import 10 videos on team members thoughts before MMK.  All were able to test out blogs and introduce themselves to the community.  I didn't have time to take many photos during these sessions.  Here is the first group:

July 13, Monday, Training Session for FELP Team

 The students from the Fudan Elite Program were already very acquainted with the web and Wei Han, the leader, had already been testing out the site.  I helped him with questions that he had, did a presentation, and had the other members sign up for EV.  They did not have any problems and were really quick with the features.  We ended up finishing 30 minutes earlier than planned.  FELP has been using EV for their various projects.


Thank you to my helpers: Ketty, Alex, Yang Yang, Wang Li, and many more!

Posted: 7/10/2009 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 14 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Project Story

There are more than 3 million migrant workers in Shanghai, who help the development of the city while without a citizenship. Most of them treasure the more advanced educational method in the big city as compared with their hometown and bring their children to attend schools in Shanghai. This is how schools for migrant kids who are less advantaged than their shanghainese peers spring up. MMKMore for Migrant Kidsis the specialty of TECC, Shanghai. MMK is working on the Education for migrant kids, most of which come from families of migrant workers and are relatively less educated as compared with local peers. MMK volunteers give migrant kids extra-curricular lessons of various forms, helping those underprivileged kids achieve an overall development. This year(2008), PESI works in cooperation with TECC,Shanghai to hold a week-long summer camp with migrant kids and volunteers from China and the U.S. in an attempt to stage volunteers to communicate, organize and lead within teamwork and to arouse the social responsibility from young people for the underprivileged. Meanwhile, volunteers are work to encourage the migrant kids to be confident and independent so they can make their live a better one.

2008年7月7日至7月25日,每年一度的PESI中美文化交流夏令营三周的活动完满结束。8位来自大洋彼岸的美国华裔学生和40余位来自上海交通大学医学院06级的同学相聚在一起,在中国,在上海这一块土地上分享着彼此的思想,交流着中美的文化,在各方面丰富了彼此的假期生活,收益匪浅。这一次前来的8位美国学生与以往七年一样都是医学相关专业的学生,他们来自UCLA,MIT,Stanford等各美国知名大学。这次有40位上海交通大学医学院学生作为志愿者全程参与了三周的文化交流活动。医学院的学生从不同的视角,更进一步了解到了美国的文化也同时将中国尤其是上海的文化传统向美国学生展示。第一周和第三周的基本活动是以讨论与讲座的形式开展的。在7月7日第一天活动破冰和同学们相互交流认识的基础上,以交流与分享为文化交流夏令营的宗旨。之后夏令营的每一天活动都以确定的一个主题,或集体讨论或小组交流等各形式顺利展开。在这两周之间,交流的内容涉及学习,友谊,家庭,爱情,财富与职业,价值观,传统文化等等,往往从开篇一个小小的问题开始,同学们都要发表自己的看法观点,畅所欲言,最后都能够有意想不到的收获,从中同学们可以观察到中美当代大学生的不同之处,从而对彼此有了更加真切清晰的了解。在7月8日及7月22日 与以往几年的活动一样参观了新华医院并且在儿外科及神经外科两个科室在医师的指导下对病房寻访并且进行了手术观摩。其中一场儿外科的微创手术让外国学生赞叹不已。7月10日 美国学生参观了瑞金医院的门诊大楼,血液研究中心及图书馆。7月24日志愿者与美国学生共同参观了坐落于浦东张江高科技园区的SMIC及美国罗氏制药公司。在第二周,我们前往了闵行区吴泾小学,与那里三四年级的小学生们一同度过了一个礼拜的假期。在这一周的活动中,美国学生与交大医学院志愿者们一起展现了的才能,与孩子们打成一片。我们一同精心为孩子们准备了一堂堂课程,体会着小孩子学习的心理,及时调整授课方式。在与孩子们的交流中,我们重温童年,并且感叹小朋友们无限的创造力和无尽的求知欲,小小的孩子总是有着非凡的能量,我们希望能够将他们身上这些难能可贵的品质一直一直保存下去。在周末与课余的闲暇时间,志愿者们积极地带领美国学生参观上海的主要景点如外滩、豫园、七宝古镇、人民广场、上海城市规划馆、南京路步行街、淮海路等及上海周边的古镇,参观了交大闵行校区及复旦大学。品尝上海及各地的传统风俗小吃。短短的三周内,同学之间培养出了深厚的友谊美国学生有着他们的热情与自信,充满着激情与理想,但同样,他们对待一些问题也着保守传统的一面。而中国的学生考虑问题则倾向于保守,审时度势更为谨慎,对于现实与未来也抱有美好期许与期待。两国的文化确实存在着一定的差异,一种文化孕育一种灵魂,那些差异体现在生活的方方面面,有着它的优异之处,也有着不尽如人意的地方。同时让许多有志于将来到美国留学发展的同学提供了有价值的信息,更多的同学将目光放得更为长远,更加敢于畅想未来,对自己的想法少了一些限制,多了一些尝试,多了一份信心。如今,夏令营的活动已经结束,许多同学在这三个礼拜的活动中收获良多,临行前的依依不舍、挥泪惜别、互赠礼物。相信:虽然大家远隔半球但同学们通过互联网等各种方式依然能保持联系,将彼此结下的友谊延续。也相信在明年夏天将会有更加出色精彩的交流夏令营的活动在等待着大家。


Posted: 7/7/2009 - 4 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 17 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

Wednesday, July 8, 2009, Shanghai -- This morning I met with YangYang, one of the leaders of TECC Fudan, and we visited a few possible locations to hold the EV training for this weekend.  This took from 9am-2pm.  After testing out the internet connection and convenience of location, we finally decided on a location which is the Fudan Cafe Bar which has wireless given that we provide 10-12 laptops and login accounts.  This location is fairly cheap and discounted for students of Fudan.  On July 11, I will be holding four EV training sessions for Jiaotong University students (around 50).  On July 13, I will hold four more EV training sessions for Fudan University students (around 50).

YangYang and I tested out East Villagers and it worked fairly fast on the wireless connection at Fudan University.  He was concerned that since students could not use Youtube in Shanghai to post their project videos but I reassured him by showing him that East Villagers can support any type of video site including which is China's equivalent of Youtube.  Also, he had a few good ideas for EV which we will implement in future updates.

Today, I had a call from TSI Jiangxi which includes students from Beijing University, Tsinghua, Jiaotong, Fudan, Hong Kong, and others.  I will meet someone in 20 minutes to go off to my first training.  This is my first update about EV Training in Shanghai.  I'm really excited to see this platform serve as an aid to nonprofits in China.  YangYang told me that this is a foreign concept for students to use the web to connect with each other to do non-profit.  I will keep updating about the responses of students from China and what we can do to best serve their needs.

Thursday, July 9, 2009, Shanghai -- Yesterday's training went really well.  It was my first training session and the students were very engaged in learning about East Villagers, asked many good questions, and gave good feedback.  I really like the TSI Jiangxi group and was able to make some friends.

During the afternoon, TECC Leaders, Dan, Jen, and I had a meeting to plan out the training schedule on July 11.  I will be giving an Overview of East Villagers on July 11 for 45 minutes.  Then in the afternoon, will be training 4 JiaoTong teams (9-12 people).  On Monday July 13, I will training four more teams from Fudan (8-10 people).  I've also contacted Beijing students and we will have a few come to be trained to be EV experts in Beijing.  Things are coming along well and I'm excited to see more response and reactions to East Villagers.

Posted: 7/5/2009 - 4 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 18 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: General Blog

I am in Shanghai right now on the China Intercultural Studies Program from July 3rd to August 1st, 2009.  While I'm here I will try to engage the chinese students to use East Villagers.  I will try my best to update this blog entry with snapshots of my day here.  At the end of the program, I will write another entry with a summary of my overall experience.  Enjoy!

Day 1, July 4, Saturday

I arrived safely after a 14 hour flight.  I had allergies right before I departed LAX and had my temperature checked before entering Shanghai.  It was a good thing I did not get quarantined.  I met Joanna and Kortney at LAX and we all went to Shanghai together.  We all arrived at the hotel near Fudan around 10pm and were very exhausted.  We were the last ones to arrive due to our flight being delayed.  The weather in Shanghai at around 10pm was slightly humid but not too bad.  My roommates' name is Irene and we get along really well.  We both had a good night's sleep and woke up early in the morning around 6am.

Day 2, July 5, Sunday

Today was a long day full of very meaningful events.  From the morning, we had orientation to go over logistics, goals, and program schedule. We met with PESI alumni and they shared about their work in Shanghai.  We got to eat dinner with the professionals and had a chance to ask them questions.  Then we went sightseeing at Jin Mao Tower, and I got to take pictures of all the skyscrapers at night.  The buildings and city lights overwhelmed me and I wonder how the people in Shanghai feel about the rapid change.  Dan, our director, told us that 15 years ago the area was rural farmland.  All in all, today was very tiring but good to have an overview of the program and get to know my teammates more.  I'm going to sign off to sleep now - 10pm Shanghai time - we need to wake up at 6am tomorrow and class starts at 8:30am.

Day 3, July 6, Monday

The humid weather is still gripping onto my clothes and skin but I am getting used to it.  I am still not over jetlag and wake up everyday around 5am.  Right now it is 8:20pm and I feel like I want to go to sleep. Hopefully, I'll be over it soon.  We had our course orientation today at Fudan University.  We saw a few movies to become more acquainted with Chinese history and background before diving into the course topic of china international relations and economics.   I have never taken a class on this topic before so I'm interested in learning more about this area.  After class, around 3:30pm, we heard thunderstorms and rained.  I had a good conversation with my roommate today about reasons why we are in China.  I think I'm going to rest now. Until the next entry...

Day 4, July 7, Tuesday

Today's weather was so much nicer than any other day I've been in Shanghai.  I woke up eating two red bean buns and a little cup of yogurt for breakfast.  We watched a movie about China and Shanghai today and I learned so much.  After a wonderful lunch with the girls in my group, we returned to class to listen to Professor Ni's lecture.  It was very interesting to hear a Chinese professor's perspective on the topic "China and the World."  His talk was very interesting and english was very clear.  After class, I met up with an old friend from Stanford and we explored the city of Shanghai.  It was so good to finally catch up after two years.  I really enjoyed today because of everything I learned, having the opportunity to catch up with my friend, and the wonderful weather (no rain).

Day 5&6, July 8-9, Wednesday and Thursday

I want to combine my blog for these two dates because on Wednesday I was taking care of logistics all morning and during the afternoon, I was holding a training session until night time.  Today (Thursday) was great because I got to come to lecture again and I really enjoy learning about China from a Chinese professor's viewpoint.  I've taken similar courses taught by American professors, and this opportunity gives me a more well-rounded perspective on China.  In the afternoon, a guest speaker talked about her company which involves yak milk and fur and how she's able to carry out her idea into a company.  Afterwards, I met up with a few TECC and PESI leaders to discuss the schedule for July 11 (Saturday) training session for the More for Migrant Kids Summer Camp.  It seems to be falling together and I'm happy to see that.  During the evening we had group debriefing where we're able to share about our experience thus far for the first week and Dan, our director, shared some very insightful material about cross-cultural relationships and how acceptance is so important which involves patience, humility, respect, and much more in our actions with not only people in China but people in general to show that we love and value them as a human.  He went through a few articles and pointed out some insightful observations about American culture which involves impatience and a high value for efficiency and directness whereas Chinese culture may be different.  My days have been pretty eventful and I'm glad to be sharing that I'm learning a lot.  I'm grateful to finally get over my cold so soon.

Day 7-9, July 10-12, Friday Saturday Sunday

These few days were devoted to East Villagers Training and presenting about East Villagers for around 100 Chinese and American students.  Check out my blog about EV Training in Shanghai Week 1 for more details.

Posted: 6/25/2009 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 83 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

Blogs, Stories, and Lives Impacted are now fully linked and all show up on your Organization's page - June 25, 2009

*Featured News: East Villagers Development Team has accomplished another milestone - your blogs, stories, and blogs about lives impacted through your projects now show up on your Organization's page
*Community News: The Asian Liver Center is looking for nurses overseas and in the United States.  Click here for more information. AALDEF Housing Justice Project is looking for Volunteers in New York City for this summer. Click here for more info.
*Contest News: First place organization for Thanksgiving Points wins $2000 USD.  Top 15 organizations win a total of $10,000.  Start earning points today for your organizations. Top 5 Point Leaders: Elisabeth Sum, Alena Groopman, Brian Cheng, Jean Yu, and Julie Van.  Invite your friends and earn 5 points each invite, 50 points for each friend who signs up with your referral link. Click here for the cool invite tool!
*Upcoming Projects:
More for Migrant Kids Summer Camp in Shanghai - July 13-15, 2009
Youth Leadership Conference on Asian & Pacific Islander Health at Stanford University - August 5-8, 2009
Miss Asian American Pageant in San Francisco, CA - August 8, 2009

Here are some cool things on EV that the staff recommends you to check out:

Staff Recommended Videos:
- Why Zigen comes to Shilou, Shanxi?
- Just Another Man by Tim Be Told and Paul Dateh
- Be a Hero - Stop an Epidemic

Staff Recommended Blogs:
- Cambodia 2008 by Steve Tangsombatvisit
- B-Inspired! Winning Essay by Andrea Tan
- Tim Tebow - Football Star Serving in the Philippines by Johnny Pham

Staff Recommended Profiles:
- Ping Chao, Nancy Nguyen, Elisabeth Sum, Alena Groopman, Jean Yu, Peter Nguyen, and Brian Cheng

Staff Recommended Organizations:
- Sino Canada Culture Association (39 Supporters), Ping and Amy Chao Foundation (33 supporters), Asian Liver Center (33 supporters), Technology and Education: Connecting Cultures (25 supporters)

Staff Recommended Summer Projects:
- Little Red Scarf, Youth Leadership Conference, Golfing for Little Red Scarf, PESI Student Leadership Program, TECC TSI Qinghai, Happy Translators, Taiwan Root #198, MMK Summer Camp, ServiceAsia Concert



         我們已將所有已登記的社團組織網頁與其相關的部落格及小品文章聯接上了. -    June 25, 2009.


社區團體訊息 : 亞洲防治肝炎中心徴求護士(工作地點 : 海外或美境內 )祥情請參閱副件.
AALDEF Housing Justice Project 徴求義工, 地點 : 紐約. 時間 :暑期中.

競賽報導:凡感恩積分點數最多, 排名第一的社團組織, 可贏得美金 $2000.以為獎勵, 另有美金 $10,000  獎金, 由總積分在十五名之內的社團組織來分得 , 請盡力爲您的社團累積積分. 目前排行榜 :  Elisabeth Sum ,  Alena Goopman, Brian Cheng ,  Jean Yu  和 Julie Van.

近期活動目錄 :                          時間                                    地點
-新移民兒童夏令營           七月十三至十五日
-青年領袖研習團                                                               亞太島
-史丹福大學保健項目           八月五日至八日
-美國亞裔小姐選美大會        八月八日                              舊金山

東村族發展委員會特別推薦瀏覽項目 :

-Why Zigen comes to Shilou, Shanxi?  (滋根基金到山西省石樓縣的始末)
-Just Another Man  (只是一位平凡的人 )--- Tim Be Told and Paul Dateh
-Be a Hero - Stop an Epidemic (制止疾情的英雄)

部落格 :
-2008年的柬埔寨  ( Cambodia 2008 by Steve Tangsombatvisit )
-靈性的感動  ( B-Inspired ! Winning Essay by Andrea Tan )
-菲律賓的一位足球名星 ( Tim Tebow -Football Star Serving in the Philippines by Johnny Pham )

個人簡介 :
- Ping Chao, Nancy Nguyen, Elisabeth Sum, Alena Groopman, Jean Yu, Peter Nguyen, and Brian Cheng

社團組織 :
-Sino Canada Culture Association. 中加文教協會及卡城中文學校 (39位 支持者)
-Ping and Amy Chao Foundation. 趙修平夫婦基金會 (33位支持者)
-Asian Liver Center. 亞洲防治肝炎中心 (33 位支持者 )
-Technology and Education: Connecting Cultures. 科技與教學 (25位支持者)

-Little Red Scarf (小 紅巾 計畫)
-Youth Leadership Conference.(青年領袖研習會)
-Golfing for Little Red Scarf (為小紅巾計劃籌款的 高球友誼賽)
-PESI Student Leadership Program .( PESI 學生領導活動)
-Happy Translators ( 快樂的翻譯人)

Posted: 6/17/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 14 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Other

Here is a calendar of community events from If you are from the Bay area, check out some of these events in your community.
J U N E  &  J U L Y  2 0 0 9

You Are Invited!

�  SATURDAY 6/6 - SUNDAY, 6/28
    31st Annual Ethnic Dance Festival

�  FRIDAY 6/12 - WEDNESDAY, 9/30
    Asian Art Museum's Lords of the Samuari Exhibit

�  FRIDAY, 6/19
    California Sing-Along With Charlie Chin

�  FRIDAY, 6/19
   Wine tasting with the Asian Community

�  FRIDAY, 6/19
    Kapakahi CD Release Party

�  FRIDAY, 6/19
    MTV's America's Best Dance Crew Season 3 Winners Quest Crew Performance
�  WEDNESDAY, 6/24
    For The Love of Ramen

�  SF Hep B Free Speakers Bureau
    Speakers available to make educational presentations to community groups in  
    various languages.

    7/11 - Boogie Nights in J-town, Fundraiser for the Nihonmachi Street Fair
    7/18, 7/25, 7/26 -  Asians Americans for Community Outreach Sports Day 
    for Charity

{ See below for more details. }
31st Annual Ethnic Dance Festival

Ethnic Dance Festival

31st Annual Ethnic Dance Festival

From the palace courts of Korea to the temples of India and the village squares of Mexico, the 31st Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival is your first class ticket to an unforgettable journey around the world. Every June, San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts comes to vivid life in a swirl of breathtaking beauty and explosive energy as thirty six companies representing dance traditions from more than 20 cultures and featuring more than four hundred of Northern California's most acclaimed dancers and musicians take to the stage. The Festival is the largest and most prestigious gathering of its kind in the country with four weekends of performances and a different line up of performers each week. This year, the Festival is proud to present three specially commissioned works by some of the Bay Area's most accomplished companies including Gamelan Sekar Jaya (Balinese), Leung's White Crane Lion and Dragon Dance (Chinese) and the Murphy Irish Dancers. So come once or come four times, just don't miss this extraordinary annual celebration of our global artistic heritage.

Every Saturday & Sunday from now through June 28, 2009
Saturdays 2 & 8pm; Sundays 2pm

Plus Special Festival Gala hosted by Honorary Chair Rita Moreno on Saturday, June 13, 2009 beginning at 6pm

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco

Call 415.392.4400 or visit

$22-$44 with specially priced Saturday family


Weekend passes and group discounts are available

Visit or call (415) 474-3914 
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Asian Art Museum's Lords of the Samurai Exhibit
Asian Art Museum's Lords of the Samurai

Lords of the Samurai

The samurai culture and code of conduct, bushido, have long captivated the imaginations and aspirations of young and old in the Western world. 

Lords of the Samurai takes an intimate look at the daimyo, or provincial lords of the warrior class in feudal Japan. The Hosokawa clan, powerful military nobles with a 600-year-old lineage, embodied this duality of fierce warrior and refined gentleman.

The exhibition features more than 160 works from the Hosokawa family collection housed in the Eisei-Bunko Museum in Tokyo, the Kumamoto Castle, and the Kumamoto Municipal Museum in Kyushu. Objects on view will include suits of armor, armaments (including swords and guns), formal attire, calligraphy, paintings, teaware, lacquerware, masks, and musical instruments.

The Asian Art Museum is the exclusive U.S. venue for this exhibition.

Now - September 30, 2009

Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA

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California Sing-Along with Charlie Chin
Charlie Chin


California Sing-Along with Charlie Chin

Join folksinger Charlie Chin as he plays the guitar and banjo, taking us on a sing-along journey through California history. We'll visit the Gold Rush, the building of the Trans-continental Railroad, pass through the Golden Gate and find our hearts in San Francisco.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yerba Buena Children's Garden
Howard & Fourth Street

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Wine Tasting With Asian Community Groups

wine tasting

For the second year in a row, the public will have a unique and fun chance to sample over 50 wines and learn about local Asian American community groups in the Bay Area.

This event will be a great chance to meet and greet many local Asian American community groups and taste over 50 wines from many regions in a friendly atmosphere.

This year's event features over 15 diverse Asian community groups, including: Asian American Theater Company, Asian Community Mental Health Services, Asian Women's Resource Center, CauseConnext, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Community Educational Services,  Hyphen Magazine, Kearny Street Workshop, Narika, Nakayoshi Young Professionals, Oriented, Richmond Area Multi-Services, SF Hep B Free, Wa Sung Service Club, and Young Filipinos Professional Association.

The event will feature 12 new and four returning wineries and wine retailers, including: Alejos Cellars, Armida Winery, Artesa Vineyards & Winery, Blacksmith Cellars, Coppola Wines, Dee Vine Wines, Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Korbin Kameron Vineyards, La Famiglia Winery, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Snows Lake Vineyard, Tres Sabores, VERGE, Wine Cellars, Vinum Global Imports, and Wente Vineyards.

Friday, June 19, 2009
6:00pm - 9:00pm

The Green Room at the War Memorial Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco

Les Tso

Kapakahi CD Release Party



What exactly is Kapakahi? Simply put, it's complicated.

Imagine if you kidnapped Sublime, put them on an island with a case of rum and invited The P-Funk All Stars, 311 and Lupe Fiasco to join the party...they would probably come up with a sound ALMOST as unique as Kapakahi's.

Like the multi-cultural mix of musicians that make up the band, Kapakahi is about celebrating diversity in all its fun, funky glory. Their music is a fresh and progressive mash-up of pop, reggae, latin, hip-hop and funk and their energetic stage show grabs the attention of whatever crowd they're in front of.

So, regardless of any label placed on them, Kapakahi's genre-bending style aims for ONE thing: to get your ass moving on the dance floor!

Please join the band this evening as they celebrate the release of their newest CD, "Light Up."

Friday, June 19, 2009
Doors open at 8 pm
Event starts at 9 pm

333 11th St.
San Francisco, CA

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MTV's America's Best Dance Crew Winners Quest Crew to Perform in S.F.

Quest Crew


Quest Crew, the talented winners of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew season 3 - will be making a special appearance in San Francisco to perform for CenterStage, a new ages 18 and up promotions company.
The popular group from one of TV's hottest shows will be hosting a meet and greet, followed by a choreographed as well as freestyle dance performance shortly before midnight.
The members: Steven Terada, Victor Kim, Brian Hirano, Ryan Conferrido, Ryan Feng, Hok, and D-Trix each have substantial professional dance experience, performing on television shows like So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol to touring with the likes of Gloria Estefan and Sheila E.

Friday, June 19, 2009
10 p.m.

Club NV
525 Howard Street
San Francisco

Kingston Wu
(415) 999-1709

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For The Love of Ramen


For the Love of Ramen

All of us have benefitted from the quick and easy goodness of ramen. From the desks of salary workers to the dorm rooms of college students, from famous noodle shops to supermarket shelves, ramen's many incarnations have tangled their way into our hearts and minds as much as they've filled our stomachs.

A panel of noodle experts will explore how a dish born of extreme need after World War II was transformed into a meal of luxury, endless regional specialties, and then, finally, an iconic convenience food.

Come join the conversation with:

Eric Nakamura, publisher and co-editor, Giant Robot magazine

Andy Raskin, author, The Ramen King and I

George Solt, assistant professor of history, New York University

Thy Tran(moderator), director, Asian Culinary Forum

$20 General Admission

$15 Full-time Students with ID

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm

San Francisco Ferry Building


Boogie Nights in J-Town:
A Fundraising Dance For the 36th Annual Nihonmachi Sreet Fair

Nihonmachi Street FairOn July 11, the Nihonmachi Street Fair will host a fundraising dance at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco. Performing will be the Kanzaki Lounge All Stars, a band composed of some of the best-known  Asian American musicians in the Bay Area--Carey Huang, DerrickTong, Billy Shen, Colette Ikemi, Rich Aguon, Eva Chew, Chris Garcia and Jessie De Torres.

The Street Fair is set for August 8 and 9 in San Francisco's Japantown. In this, its 36th year, the non-profit event, which benefits Asian American and Pacific Islander community service and cultural organizations, is facing some of the most challenging times ever in terms of its fundraising efforts. The Street Fair has become a traditional summertime event in Japantown that not only supports community service organizations and artisans but also serves as a showcase for emerging
Asian American performing artists.

This fundraiser will help ensure that the street fair continues its service to the Japantown community. "Your $30 support will definitely help us in offsetting logistical cost associated with producing the 2 day event in August," Grace Horikiri, executive director and president of the Nihonmachi Street Fair. "We encourage everyone to tell their friends and truly come out for an evening that will sure to be a memorable experience!"

The Boogie Nights in J-Town dance will take place from 8 p.m. to midnight, and tickets will be $40 at the door and $30 during presale before July 1. Please email  to order your tickets today.

Sports Day for Charity

Sports Day

WHAT: Sports Day for Charity

For the 14th consecutive year, Asian Americans for Community Outreach (AACO) will be holding its annual Sports Day for Charity event!  This is always AACO's biggest and most popular event each year, with over 350 participants, and proceeds going to local charities! 
Sports Day for Charity consists of a softball, volleyball, tennis, and basketball tournament.

July 18, 25 and 26


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SF Hep B Free Speakers Bureau

Hep B Free

The SF HEP B FREE campaign is pleased to announce the launch of its newly activated Speakers Bureau. Speakers are available to make educational presentations in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean, or Tagalog.

These talks can range from 20-60 minutes, with question and answer periods incorporated. There is no charge for this service.

Target audiences include community groups of any type, including staff, members, special gatherings, brown bag lunch sessions, etc. Our goal is to provide basic information about hepatitis B (prevalence, transmission, prevention, and screening).

To request a speaker for your group, email or fax the information below to Tamiko Wong at, FAX: 415-397-3080, PHONE: 415-321-5865

AsianWeek Foundation Wish List



AsianWeek Foundation accepts donations of goods and products on a limited basis. The following is AsianWeek Foundation's wish list of current needs:

    • laptop computer 2.0ghz or faster
    • projector
    • folding screen (for projecting slide shows)
    • recordable DVDs
    • USB drives
    • printer paper, white and colors, regular and card stock
    • file folders (plain manila or color)
    • large wall clock
    • printer cartridges for HP LaserJet 3380, HP LaserJet 8000DN, Lexmark x2480, Epson Stylus Photo 2200
    • ink cartridge for Brother intelliFAX 2820
Used items are fine, as long as they are in good condition. Gifts are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

809 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 321-5894

Join Our Mailing List

Posted: 6/11/2009 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 13 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: East Villagers

Happy 17th Birthday, Sophia! We hope you had a wonderful day! We met you when you were a sophomore and now you are going to be a senior in high school.  Thank you for being the sweetest friend to all of us on AC and EV.  These communities would not be the same with out you.  Never stop being you, sister.

The video is a special surprise from Sophia's hero. 

Posted: 6/10/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 22 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Cam Ne Village, Mon, Jun 8, 2009 at 8:53 PM - This an update from our on the ground person translated into English.  This is three years after Project Vietnam 2006.  To read more about what we did, please follow the link at the bottom of this page to our project page.  You can also watch the video at the end of this blog for more background.  Thank you for all of your support.

Hi Nancy, It's been a long time and I miss you.  I am saddened because I don't know much about computers.  There are times when our internet has some problems and some other technical issues.  Personally, I really want to fix them but my financial resources are very limited  I hope you can understand why I couldn't contact you as much as I'd like.

Right now, the children in Cam Ne Village have started their summer break.  I am studying Pre-School education and driving a Taxi to find money to raise the family.  Regarding the class in Cam Ne, my adopted daughter who is a second year college student at Danang College of Foreign Language is teaching the children there.  The computers in the village are now broken.  It is too expensive to fix and this is because the electricity there is not stable, especially each time the village has a flood; therefore, the computers are disfunctional.

The children have also asked about Nancy, how come it's been so long, and we don't see her visiting.  It is by your loving heart for Cam Ne Village that I am encouraged to keep the English class there.  Please pray for me, there are times I don't have the strength to keep on helping, but I feel sorry for the kids.  There were many people who thought that I have relations with America and are jealous, and many words that make me feel discouraged but God teaches "Blessed are those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy."  For this, I feel very blessed and continue my work at Cam Ne.

The kids are on summer break for one month and in July they will begin again the English class.  I will tell them to write letters to you.

If you have the opportunity to visit Danang, VN, call me so I can drive you around in the Taxi.


chao Nancy ,that lau co rat nho con ,va cung buon vi co khong ranh ve may tinh lam, nhieu khi bi truc trac ve mang ,roi cac phu kien linh tinh khac ,co thi tinh than thi muon lam nhung kinh te thi yeu duoi nen con thong cam vi da khong lien lac voi con duoc .Hien nay cac em o Cam ne dang ky nghi he .Co dang hoc lop su pham Mam non ,va cung dang lai taxi kiem tien nuoi gia dinh,
Con lop hoc tai Camne co cho con gai nuoi cua co la sinh vien dai hoc ngoai ngu DaNang dang hoc nam 2 day tai do rat dong cac em tham gia hoc, con may moc thi hong ,sua ton tien lam con a (do nguon dien tai do khong on dinh voi lai moi khi lut nuoc dang phai di chuyen nen may hong ).Cac em cung hoi tham chi Nacy sao lau khong thay qua Viet Nam.Boi tam long yeu thuong cua con voi Camne ma co duoc them suc de duy tri lop tieng anh tai do,con cau nguyen cho co con nhe ,nhieu khi khong muon tiep tuc nhung long cu thay toi nghiep cho cac em .Nhieu nguoi tuong co quan he voi nuoc ngoai cung ganh ti ,va co nhieu loi noi lam minh nan chi lam con a nhung Chua day phuoc cho nhung ke thuong xot thi se duoc thuong xot vi vay co cam thay hanh phuoc lam va tiep tuc viec nay.
Cac em nghi he lop English 1thang va du thang 7 se bat dau lai co se bao chung no viet thu cho con.

Neu co dip ve VN DaNang thi goi co Co lai taxi cho con di neu con muon

Posted: 6/4/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
- 33 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Once again the Lord blessed us with a Summer long program for the SJ2 Youth. Every Tuesday and Thursday they met from 3 to 7 pm at the NGCF building for meaningful devotions, great lessons, personal tutoring, and lots of fun games. At every meeting there were always awesome, yummy food brought by various adults in the church. What an incredibly supportive community!

What’s more, the Lord called Nancy Le, Pauly Nguyen and Nancy Nguyen to provide direction, supervision and well planned lessons. Thanks to their dedications, the youth received lots of love and care. They learned in depth about the Gospel and practiced sharing it with others. They studied about the holiness of God, explored how to guard themselves in this sex-saturated world, and committed to remain pure until marriage.


On Sunday September 7 we will plan a “True Love Waits” Commitment Service, in which young people can confirm their purity commitment while the adults can offer prayers and continual support for them. This worship service will also bring closure to the Summer program, a chance for the youth to praise God for His blessings and to thank the adults for their incredible support all Summer long. It’s a worship service you don’t want to miss! -- Pastor Hung Pham

Tuesday Aug 19 was the last NeighbaHerd meeting this Summer. During the devotion / journaling time we gave the following questions as guidelines to help the youth reflect from their NeighbaHerd experience:

  1. What were you THANKFUL for? How were you BLESSED?
  2. What have you LEARNED that would benefit your walk with God?
  3. How were you CHANGED?
  4. What COMMITMENTS have you made?
  5. If we can have the NeighbaHerd program again next Summer, in which way can it be IMPROVED? What can YOU do to help improve it?

They gave their permissions to post the these reflections to share how God touched their lives this Summer. Hope you enjoy reading these testimonies, give praise to God and offer a prayer for these precious young people!

1) I thank God for helping me in my difficult times. In the times that I was so desperate, he came and gave his words of encouragement and nourishment. Also, I thank the youth group because of they were very helping and caring toward everyone, and I felt they were like my second family. They helped me in forgiving and encouraging others.
2) I learned to build up my faith. Faith would benefit my walk with God because in every moment of my life there will be hardship. It gives me the courage so that when I have faith in God, everything will be done. I also learned that every problem that I faced had its own purpose. I know that God wanted me to learn from it and improve. God taught me one thing: when I fall down the hill, he will be there to help me to get up again. I learned to be strong and have confidence when I have hardships.
3) I became stronger. I grew by overcoming my weaknesses.
4) My commitments for the coming school are to share my testimony about God to my friends who are unbelievers. For the rest of my life, my commitments are to live a holy life and devote my life to God. I will try to help people that are desperate in their faith with what I have learned and what I have gone through.
5) If we can have the NeighbaHerd program again next summer, for me the NeighbaHerd is good enough; it does not need to be improved. I will participate more to improve this program.


1) I’m thankful for the purity class that helped to stabilize my desire to stay pure. I thought purity only meant virginity, but through the lessons I learned that purity is more like a path to righteousness. I am also thankful for the Herd because It helped me focus on God more and spend more time to get to know Him and His love, rather than spending time watching romance movies during the summer and waste my time and making me feel guilty. I’m blessed because I could spend time with God more, which made me feel more alive.
2) I learned about his grace and mercy on me, a sinner. I learned the Gospel that helped remind me of His love, sacrifice, and grace for me. I learned to keep sexually pure, and focus on God more and think about his feelings for me.
3) I have been changed in my emotions. I am not going to focus a lot on guys and give out my emotions, but instead I will focus on God more and go into a deeper relationship with Him. I’m really urged to show Him my love for Him.
4) I’m committing myself to keeping pure and living a pure life in God’s eyes. I’m going to spend more time on God, and to obey his commandments.
5) I think that next time we should spend more time in Bible and purity study. There should be a program to make people know each other deeply. I also would like to have more time to talk and get to know the people at the Herd, and share to them my experiences with God, and be brave enough to talk to all of them.

Quy Tran

2. I learned that you don’t have to work for Heaven because it’s a free gift, and that if I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I would have the gift of eternal life and to truly make my walk with God better.
4. The commitments I have made for the coming school year and for the rest of my life are staying pure and saving sex and always accepting God as my Lord and Savior.
5. If there is NeighbaHerd program again next summer, I would like more group games to get to know each other better. I can be more into the groups and games and try to come out of my shell.

Jessica Lam

1. I am thankful for the closeness that we developed with one another even though we had such a big group. I was blessed with getting to go to the NeighbaHerd, and it occupied my summer.
2. I have learned how to be sexually pure.
3. I am much more pure than I was before. I have grown in the area of purity.
4. I have made the commitment to stay pure and not be sexually immoral.
5. There is nothing that can make the NeighbaHerd better. This has been a fantastic experience!

Vincent Doan

I’m thankful for this church and how we all worked together to make the NeighbaHerd positive. I’m incredibly grateful for Quan, for driving me to the ‘Herd everyday [well, actually, it’s more like every Tuesday and Thursday]… but nevertheless, I’m also grateful for Chi Nancy [Thien Phuoc] for taking the time and talking to me and sharing her pearls of wisdom with me. It really inspired me and my bestie (Julia) to live a pure and fruitful life. I’m incredibly grateful and in debt with Chi CiCi [Nancy Le] for opening my eyes and realize that I’ve wasted all these years chasing after the wind instead of living for my Lord Jesus. I’ve put God in the backseat for so long, so it’s time to let him take charge and be in the driver’s seat. I learned that even though all else fails and others will let you down, God will always be there for me. I’m only going to depend on Jesus and lean on God, because I’m crippled without Him. I’m committed to spend the next two years of my life focusing on God and God alone. Nothing and no one will deter me from God, and no other relationship is as necessary and vital as my relationship with God, I’ve also committed to stay pure until I’m married.
I’d suggest more time for devotions, and I’d speak up and share more next time =).

Khanh An 2

1. I am thankful for:
- Nancy Nguyen, she taught me how to keep and open mind & be an effective leader/ follower of Christ.
- SJ2 giving me the opportunity to be an intern and for their support in the summer program & in the internship.
2. I have learned tips to overcome struggles in the area of purity.
3. I’ve changed my attitude & mindset toward imperfection.
4. I have made a commitment to remain pure for my future wife, whoever that may be.
5. It would be nice to have our own facility, so we can play without being scared of destroying property (not that we intend to). On some days, lessons were too long (not enough time to play). Cleanup was a tiny problem. Next year, we should literally stick to the schedule & stress about cleanup a little more.

Pauly Nguyen

I felt that the NeighbaHerd was a really big blessing for me. It provided a good way to spend my time on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of staying home at the computer getting bored when I couldn’t think about any more topics to surf on the Web about. Of course, sometimes I felt that it interfered with my “schedule” a couple of times, but I always took that thought back when I got to the Herd. I was blessed by the NeighbaHerd because without it, I would not have spent as much time with God. The NeighbaHerd made me think more about God than I normally would on a weekly basis.
At the Herd, I was blessed with fun fellowship and good friends. We went through a fabulous Kid’s Evangelism Explosion course led by Chi Nancy (Thien Phuoc). Yay! Now I can share the gospel with others! I plan and resolute to do that with my friends at school (and then later in life). We also had a sexual purity course on Thursdays that really helped me understand purity and stay away from sexual temptations in life. I feel that I have become a better Christian now– I have committed myself to purity, and I– through the devotions and others– have created a stronger bond with Christ. At some times, now that I think of it, I felt that I was a distraction to others and I will try to stay away from doing that next time. Besides that, at the current time, I cannot think of any other ways the NeighbaHerd can be improved next year. It was summer SJ2 youth programs at its best! :D

Joshua Pham

I am thankful for the wonderful people at the Herd. I’ve been blessed with a place to go throughout the summer, instead of being stuck at home. I’ve learned about the standards that God has set for everyone, so I now know what to strive for. For this coming year, I will try to bring friends to church, so they can feel the joy that I feel when I’m around everyone. The Herd can be improved by concentrating on one topic to learn, instead of two. I think I can help improve it by being more open to the leaders, so that I know what is going on and know where I can help.


1. Others have heard this so many times, but I’m thankful for the people in this church.
5. I haven’t been here for every meeting, but for the meetings that I have been to, I’m perfectly content. Stressing the issue of purity was great considering our society’s standards now.


1. I’m thankful for everyone who visited SJ2 because they get to experience God.
2. I have learned how to talk people into Christ.
3. I changed by how I see God and grew in the hand motion Nancy made us do.
4. Exercise more, join more clubs, work harder, not for the rest of my life, but until I’m not able to do it anymore
5. I want the Neighbaherd to be improved by being the same as last year when Christine was still here. I can help by bringing Christine back.


1. I am thankful for the church and friends. Because of this church and friends I grow closer to God. And when I am in trouble or when I need support, they help me. I am also thankful for my parents, because they let me go to camp to grow closer to my friends and God.
2. I have learned that when I pray to God for something, I need to be patient.
3. I grew in faith because God seems like he doesn’t answer my prayer, and I lost my faith before but God answered my prayer and my faith grew even more.
4. I have made a commitment to not fit in (school) if I know it will make God sad.
5. If we have the Neighbaherd program next summer I would love it if there are even more people coming and learning about the wonderful Lord and Savior. I can help by welcoming them.

Phuc Tran

1. I’m thankful for the Neighbaherd, and everyone that attended the program. I’m blessed to know how close we all are, brothers and sisters in Christ! We care so much for each other. We always have a good time together. We’re basically a second family of one another.
2. I’ve learned so much that would benefit my walk with God. All the devotions we do are life lessons, such as forgiveness, love, honoring your parents, and purity, PLUS EE (Evangelism Explosion), and spreading the Gospel!
3. I have become a different person in that I’m no longer naive of others feelings. I’ve become a kinder person to the people around me, including family, close friends, or even make friends with people I don’t normally hang out with.
4. Commitments I’ve made for this school year are living the life of a great daughter of Christ, be kinder to people, make more friends, and try to find someone suffering to open their hearts to God. I wish to bring a friend to youth group of church at least once sometime this school year. I lifelong commitment would be purity, and I can also continue to keep the commitments of this school year for a lifetime.
5. Neighbaherd is cool the way it is! Start strong, end strong. No need for improvements, except we all can recruit more people to enjoy this memorable summer program! This was truly something for me to remember for the rest of my life.

Jeanette Hoang

I’m thankful for the building to use for the Neighbaherd and Nancy Nguyen because she came and taught us ways for sharing our faith and having fun, plus having somewhere to go to have fun and hang out. What I’ve learned that would benefit my walk with God is how to share my faith and how to be sexually pure. The commitments I made for the school year is be what God wants me to be and share my faith with my friends and to be sexually pure.


I am so thankful this summer for the Neighbaherd. Instead of staying home and wasting the day on watching TV or going on the computer, I was blessed with a place I can go to meet with friends and learn more about God and his plans for us. I leaned a lot from Purity class this summer. Not only was it a fun time where us girls can learn and discuss about life and our struggles about it, but it taught us to make an important commitment to staying pure. I made this commitment for the next year and for the other years to come, to wait for my one true love and get it right the first time around. Neighbaherd next summer would be a blessing. I don’t think this program needs any major improvements, but who wouldn’t want more free/play time? Maybe more organized games where everyone could come together and have fun. All I can do is come, and take back with me anything that can make me the best person I can be.

Gina Ho

3. I changed by knowing God more and I grew more in the heart by knowing God.
5. If we have the Neighbaherd next year I think there should be no tutoring. If we don’t after the devotions we can answer the questions on the devotion sheets.

Terra Vo

1. God was the one that showed me how to become a better person.
2. I learned a lot of things that will make me caring, faithful, and strong.
5. I will add more fun games that will bring this group together.

Vincent Hoang

2. I have learned that God loves us and gives us strength.
3. I was changed when I learned that God is always with us.
5. It can be improved bye bringing other people here. I can help by bringing some of my friends.


4. One commitment I have made is that I will read more when I’m at home and at school.
5. If we can have the Neighbaherd again next summer, one way it can be improved is if more people come every time, and another way it can be improved is having fun everyday.

Gabriel Quach

1. I was thankful for Nancy Nguyen, Nancy Le, and Pauly Nguyen. They taught me how to get the gift of heaven. Now I know for sure that I am going to be with God in heaven. I am also thankful for the purity lessons, led by Co Phuong (my mom), Nancy Le, and Nancy Le on the girls side, and on the boys side, MSH and Pauly.
2. I have learned about purity, EE, and how to get the gift of eternal life.
3. I was changed by the relationship with God. I try to do devotion everyday now. I was changed in my heart, too. I wear my Gospel bracelet everywhere, hoping to get peoples’ attention to ask why I’m wearing it, to get the opportunity to tell them about the Gospel.
4. I have committed to stay pure until I have found my guy. I have committed to try to not to lie, cheat, or do any sin that God doesn’t like.
5. We can ask to use this building from 3 PM to 7:45 PM. I would bring some of my non-Christian friends.

Hannah Pham

I was thankful for Nancy Le and the adults who supported us. I am also thankful for the lessons that Pauly, Nancy Nguyen, and Pastor Hung shared and taught me the Gospel. I was blessed through my brothers and sisters in Christ when they practiced how to share the Gospel to others. I have learned Evangelism Explosion (EE) and purity that would help me invite others and share the Gospel to my friends and stay away from sexual impurity. I was changed through the Neighbaherd when I preached to my friends in school. My Commitments are staying away from sexual impurity and get closer to God. Neighbaherd can be improved by having more outdoor activities such as football, volleyball, and basketball.

Phu Tran

Posted: 5/10/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Cam Ne Village, Vietnam - Oct 20, 2006 12:04 AM 

The kids are learning with the software.  They want to tell us they're really happy.  Co Sang's wish is to move her home into the village so it's more convenient.  Right now, she has a piece of land already. 




Chao Nancy 3 may gio van dang hoat dong tot. Hien tai co dang giup cho cac em su dung thanh thao VT va se cho cac  em su dung dia EL kis.
Cac em muon cho chi Nancy biet la cac em rat vui vi duoc hoc mien phi va con co may thuc hanh.
Uoc ao cua co la co muon lam nha cua co tai do de tien cho cac em duoc thanh hanh nhieu hon  khi khong co mat co tai do{(vi khong co co o do nen ong do so hu may).Co da co mieng dat do roi}


Posted: 5/10/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Cam Ne, Vietnam -: Jul 14, 2006 5:11 PM

Please help me send my thank you to Mr. Kevin Teo.
I thank God for Mr. Kevin Teo and his love for the children in Vietnam, especially the children in Cam Ne Village.  I want to thank you for trusting me with the responsibility of using your laptop for teaching purpose in the village.  Thank you for providing an opportunity for the chilidren in Cam Ne to take a step of knowledge in the field of computing.  Like Auntie Nine, who has given her home for the learning purposes of children, my home will be a place for the children in the villages as well.  At Cam Ne, we will see the names of our donors and helpers everyday as we use the computers and remember to pray that God will see clearly your hearts and bless you abundantly.  The happiness of our children here along with mine is immense and tears only fall when we want to express how thankful we are towards your love and generosity.  Farewell and see you again in my next letter after we've open the first English class at Cam Ne. 

Nho con giup co goi nhung loi cam on cua co den ong Kevin Teo.
Camon Chua cam on ong Kevin Teo da co tam long yeu thuong den tre em VN noi chung va voi Camne village noi rieng Toi xin cam on ong da cho toi quyen duoc su dung va quan ly may computer ,cam on ong da tao dieu kien cho cac tre em o Camne buoc them mot buoc moi trong kien thuc van hoa trong linh vuc dien tu .Toi cung nhu ba Chin la nguoi cho su dung can nha minh de day cho cac em va cac em o day luon nhin thay ten cua nhung an nhan da giup minh trong phong hoc va luon cau nguyen cho qui manh thuong quan cau Chua thay ro tam long cua qui qui va ban on du dat tren qui vi va ong noi rieng su vui mung cua cac em o day cung nhu toi rat lon va chi biet chay nuoc mat chu khong the thot nen loi khi noi loi cam on voi ong.Tam biet hen ong thu sau khi chung toi khai giang lop moi.

Posted: 5/10/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Cam Ne, Vietnam - Jul 6, 2006 8:19 AM

Thank you for your reply to my last email.

Regarding the electricity issue at Cam Ne, the church's power supply box has been abnormal.  If you touch it, you will get electrocuted.  The other day, a Singaporean member who taught Clicker 5 said SEALNet will help buy one USP device but we don't know when we will get it.  Everything here is by God's blessings.  I only know to lift all of my work to the Lord.  I believe we will be successful.

Right now, I am also taking care of Vacation Bible School for all the kids in Cam Ne Church.  Thank you for helping us with computers and for giving me a cellphone.  This will be very useful for my service and contacting you and your friends.  Thank you God for leading you, Peter, and Kenneth Wong, and your friends to Cam Ne Village.  May God be with you and your friends always and see your hearts and bless SEALNet.  Amen.



Cam on con da tra loi thu cho co .
Van de dien tai CN cai on ap cua HT da bi Move so vao la bi giat dien .Hom truoc co ban nguoi Singapo day chuong trinh Clicker 5 co noi se giup cho 1 pin dien khong biet la khi nao se co .Moi viec o day deu nho Chua ban phuoc cho co chi biet pho cac viec minh cho Chua  co tin chac minh se thanh cong.
Hien co cung dang lo cho chuong trinh hoc Thanh Kinh mua he cho cac em o HT CNe .Cam on con da giup do co ve van de may moc cung nhu may phone dieu nay rat can thiet cho co trong khi lam viec va lien lac voi con va cac ban.Cam on Chua da dua dan con ,Thien Tu ,Kenneth Wong va cac ban den voi Cam ne village .Cau Chua o cung con va cac ban luon ngyen Chua thay tam long cua cac con ma ban phuoc cho SEALNET.Amen.

Posted: 5/9/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

ServiceAsia Concert 2009 Summary

by Nancy Nguyen

To view photos and videos from the event, please visit


On May 2, 2009, Saturday, at 3pm, all the staff and volunteers were present to mingle and eat pizza.  I arrived with the rest of the staff and volunteers along with the material and equipments for the concert at 3:30pm, and we started our Staff/Volunteer Briefing or Walk-Through of the entire concert.  Leaders received their assignments and they were split into eight teams.  Vounteers enthusiastically joined teams they were interested in helping.  After that, all teams dispersed to go straight into their jobs.

At 3:30pm, Paul Dateh & Ken Belcehr and Tim Be Told also arrived.  Paul and Ken just came off their flight from LAX, Tim Be Told just came from their flight from Connecticutt, and immediately started setting up the stage at 4pm.

4pm, Bob the sound guy arrived and also started setting up the stage.  The big Stanford campus made Cubberley Auditorium hard to locate but everyone soon arrived on time.

From 4-6:00pm, all the sounds, lighting, equipments, emcee debrief, decor, service fair set up, directional signs were all set up, refreshments, and more all came together.

6-6:30pm TBT and PD did sound check and Ed Chao, Richard Wang, Becca Tang opened with the Pre-Show Concert at 7pm.  The guests all came in.



We started the show with a ServiceAsia Video to introduce the audience to the mission and bands.  Peter Nguyen created all the media for the show and introduced service needs in East Asia and core features of East Villagers through a series of videos throughout the concert.  Ed Chao, the emcee, introduced Paul Dateh and Ken Belcher to come up on stage and the crowd went wild.  Paul Dateh is a hip hop violinist with many fans and has over 3 million views on youtube.  His accolades in jazz and classical violin are countless, but what was amazing, was his humility and kind-nature which made him very easy to approach.  He played around 11 of his best songs through playing the violin and singing, with Ken Belcher on acoustic.  We will be posting videos for you to see for yourself, but his performance and personality blew the crowd away.

Mid-way, Ed introduced Tim Be Told.  Tim came on stage with the rest of the band (Andrew Chae, Jim Barredo, Luan Nguyen, and Parker Stanley), telling the audience that they did not get much sleep the night before because they had to catch the flight from Hartford to San Jose to make it in time for ServiceAsia from their previous concert in Connecticut.  Many of the guests thought that he would not have enough energy; however, he intros with the keys and opens his mouth to sing, people were so surprised that his voice was crisp, clear, and strong.  They were amazing and Tim's lyrics resounded in many people's hearts and the band's talent is unquestionable!  He wrote about his daily life, struggles, and issues that all of us could relate to.  Each one of the band members were so talented and in the same way, we will have to let you see for yourself through watching and listening to their videos.  After the concert, many guests bought TBT's cd.

Two months ago, I made a suggestion to TBT and PD to collaborate on the last song to close off the concert.  Both of them were willing and Tim had just written "Just Another Man."  Tim sent Paul the mp3, Paul practiced, and with only practicing a little bit during sound check, they sounded incredible and ended the concert very nicely with this heart-wrenching song about Tim's reaction to sex-trafficking and child-soldiers and war.


Both Paul Dateh, Ken Belcher, and Tim Be Told were a pleasure to work with.  They were very happy to be in California.  ServiceAsia was TBT's first performance ever in California! We were so happy to have them and work with them.  They hope to work with us on more concerts in the future.


Service Fair

Most of the stayed until 11:30pm to participate in the service fair, which had 14 non-profit organizations representing.  Please check out my other blog entry with the list of all partners.  We thank you all organizations for providing refreshments and being such a great support for the ServiceAsia Concert.  I heard many people say that the work that you are doing in East Asia and America is truly wonderful and to see all the groups come together is really inspiring.  ServiceAsia also serves to celebrate all the hard work and dedication of people and organizations who have dedicated their time to serve East Asia.  Thank you for your partnership and we hope to work with you on many more meaningful future events.


Thank You

Ping and Amy Chao Family Foundation - Thank you for the Chao Family's sponsorship of ServiceAsia, encouragement, and vision  They have been so wonderful and supportive of the cause.

Tim Be Told and Paul Dateh & Ken Belcher (Artists)

Ed Chao, Richard Wang, Becca Tang (Artists)

Chao Foundation, East Villagers, Asian Liver Center, Asian Central, The Haas Center for Public Service, Volunteers in Asia, Technology Education Connection Cultures, Stanford Tzu Chi, Good Samaritans Medical Dental Ministry, The SOLD Project, Southeast Asian Service Leadership Network,Asian American Donor Program, and Freedom Summit (Partnering Organizations)

Peter Nguyen (Media)

Dan Nguyen (Photographer)

Steve Ko (Videographer)

Nicki Sun (Reporter)

The SOLD Project (Video Interviews)

Peter Nguyen, Stephanie Parker, Meng-Hsuan Wu, Alan Hshieh, Steve Ko, Allen Huang, Nicki Sun, Alice Lee, Bailey Wong, Talent Lau, Anthony Yu, Christina Louie, A'Lester Allen, Karen Coelho, Debby Le, Elisabeth Sum, Julie Van, Annie Chao, Donald Hoang, Julie Len, Melissa Hsiao, and many more volunteers who have made the night possible. (Staff & Volunteers)

Family and Friends for coming to the concert and supporting East Villagers and the cause!

I want to represent East Villagers to express my deepest appreciation for all your help yesterday to make the event so successful.  I was so surprised to see how many people showed up to volunteer. We wouldn't have been able to pull the event off without your help.  From putting up directional signs, manning tables, bringing refreshments, to picking up trash, and many more tasks behind the scenes.  I wanted to let you know that we saw each of your dedication to support East Villagers and the concert.  After the concert, everyone kept telling me how friendly the staff and volunteers were.  Once again, thank you for all your help.  The night would not have been the same. -- Nancy Nguyen, Concert Manager

Posted: 5/6/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

Tim Ouyang's "Just Another Man" in Collaboration with Paul Dateh
Tim on keys and vocals, Paul on Violin, Just Another Man is about sex-trafficking and child soldiers, this song collaboration by two young and amazing artists ended the ServiceAsia Concert 2009.



Paul Dateh

Originally, Paul Dateh was only supposed to be a violinist. Beginning his violin studies at the age of four, it seemed that Dateh’s future in the classical industry was set in stone. But, on his first day at The University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, Dateh suddenly dropped his major in Violin Performance and enrolled in the Jazz Studies program instead. The move shocked his colleagues as it was hard to understand why anyone would walk away from fourteen years of classical training to begin learning an entirely new musical discipline. But, Dateh knew that he wanted to be more than just a classical musician; his goal was to become a musician, in every possible way.

Today, as a singer, an award-winning songwriter, and an instrumentalist, it would appear that Dateh is on track to achieving his goal. His work can be heard on releases by various artists within both mainstream and underground hip hop circles, and he can currently be seen performing throughout the United States with his band “The Live Movement”.

Webpage:  Myspace:



Tim Be Told

Combining elements of soul, pop, rock, gospel and blues, Tim Be Told has emerged in the Charlottesville music scene with their own unique sound. After tracking their debut album "Getting By" in the Summer of 2007 and playing their first show a mere few months later, the band has gone on to perform at various East Coast venues such as the Knitting Factory, Jammin Java, and the Satellite Ballroom. Recent winners of UVa’s 2008 Battle of the Bands, Tim Be Told (Tim Ouyang, Luan Nguyen, Andrew Chae, Jim Barredo, and Parker Stanley) continues to grow a loyal and passionate fanbase both in Virginia and beyond. With each show, the band gains new listeners with their infectious guitar hooks, captivating melodies, and driving rhythm parts; but most importantly, they hope that their music will cause people to view life through a different lens, one of honesty, hope, redemption, and change.
Website:  Mypace:



Preshow Concert: Ed Chao, Richard Wang, Becca Tang

To view photos from the show, please visit

Posted: 5/6/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: East Villagers

ServiceAsia Partners 2009

Here are the Partnering Organizations of ServiceAsia 2009.  To view photos from the Concert, please visit

They were all present at the Service Fair after the concert.  Please find the organizations and their representatives on

Ping and Amy Chao Family Foundation (Sponsor)
ServiceAsia is fully sponsored by the Ping and Amy Chao Family Foundation. The Ping and Amy Chao Family Foundation was founded in California’s Silicon Valley in 2005 by Ping Chao and his wife Amy Chao. The foundation aims to fund and nurture initiatives improving the health and well-being of children and youth in economically disadvantaged regions throughout the world; promoting the spirit of philanthropy and developing awareness of non-profit practices and opportunities for service for the younger generation of China and the greater Chinese Diaspora.

East Villagers (EV)
East Villagers is the only online community dedicated to non-profit organizations, their projects, and volunteers' life-changing stories. Anyone can share their life-changing stories and impact people all around the world. East Villagers allows users to share experiences with friends and family through blogs, images, and videos. Through these first hand experiences, villagers can inspire others to make a difference. The community is tailored to treat non-profits and volunteers as first class members.  EV wants to bring organizations the best features to help them connect with past and present members, keep a history of their untold stories, and help them build a community around their cause. This first class treatment is not found at any other place.  Our priority to listen to the community’s needs and make it happen.

Asian Liver Center (ALC)
The Asian Liver Center at Stanford University is the first non-profit organization in the United States that addresses the high incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians and Asian Americans. Founded in 1996, the center uses a three-pronged approach towards fighting hepatitis B through outreach & education, advocacy, and research. Specifically, the Asian Liver Center spearheads educational outreach and advocacy efforts in the areas of hepatitis B and liver cancer prevention and treatment, serves as a resource for both the general public and health practitioners, and implements clinical and research programs. We hope you will use our website as a resource to learn about hepatitis B and liver cancer and current treatment options.

Asian Central (AC)
Asian Central launched in February 2008, with the creation of the Stuff Asian People Like Blog by the author, Peter Nguyen. A few weeks later on March 27, 2008, Asian Central was created to be a tight-knit online community to help Asians connect through culture and entertainment worldwide. This is the only place to find out about everything Asian. Watch your favorite videos, learn about Asian history, discuss current events on the forums, find out about the latest Asian events, and read our nationally syndicated blog: Stuff Asian People Like. Asian Central is the place to find news from all around the world: music, movies, blogs, and restaurant reviews.

The Haas Center for Public Service
The Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University believes that every student can have an impact through public service – opportunities through student service groups, local non-profits, and Haas Center programs allow students like you to work toward positive social change through activism, advocacy, direct service, philanthropy, policy/politics, research, and social entrepreneurship. Drop by the BIRC on the first floor of the Haas Center for personalized service advising and we’ll help you figure out how to how to apply what you’re learning to positive social change. Feel free to just drop by or email to set up an appointment.

Volunteers in Asia (VIA)
VIA is an independent and entrepreneurial non-profit organization founded at Stanford University in 1963. Its mission is focused on increasing understanding between the United States and Asia through programs promoting public service and cross-cultural education. VIA provides U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents volunteer opportunities and fellowships in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, where volunteers may teach English or work with a local non-profit organization. 1-2 year long opportunities exist for college graduates and summer opportunities exist for both undergraduates and graduates. VIA brings Asian students from top universities in Asia to Stanford where they learn about American culture, public service, and healthcare. Programs take place during the spring and the summer, providing Stanford students with the opportunity to serve as coordinators and help run these programs during school break.

Technology Education Connecting Cultures (TECC)
TECC is a non-profit organization that leads teams of Chinese and American entrepreneurs in developing and implementing social ventures focused on technology and education. TECC believes that a great deal of positive social impact can arise from leveraging a socially conscious and motivated network, along with the enabling capability of technology and education. TECC's overall impact occurs at two levels. First, TECC helps to bridge the gap between the technologically rich and poor. Second, TECC fosters greater understanding between Chinese and Americans through collaborative work on projects that have a unified mission and goal.

Southeast Asian Service Leadership Network (SEALNet)
SEALNet's mission is to bring service to Southeast Asia and to promote the spirit of service leadership in the region.  We strive to accomplish this by building and nurturing a community of service leaders who are passionate about social development in Southeast Asia. During the summer of 2008, SEALNet conducted projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. SEALNet has been conducting service leadership projects to various parts of Southeast Asia since 2004.

Stanford Tzu Chi

Tzu Chi is an international humanitarian organization whose name means "compassionate relief." Founded over forty years ago in Taiwan by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, the organization's membership and activities now span the globe. Striving to put "Buddhism in Action", Tzu Chi is fundamentally a grassroots organization, and we hope to better our local Bay Area community by joining together as a Stanford chapter. Some of our events include: distributing food to low-income families in San Jose, dinner service at Menlo Park shelter, recycling & environmental protection, health fair, and mobile clinic. You don't have to be Buddhist to join; everybody is welcome, and we serve all who need help, regardless of race, nationality or religion.

Good Samaritans Medical Dental Ministry (GSMDM)
The Good Samaritans are a group of Christians responding to the call to bring physical, emotional, and spiritual healing to the people of Vietnam. In 1999, the ministry started in Saigon and became the base of operation for the Good Samaritans. Since then the Mission has steadily grown in size to hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters. 2009 not only marks the Good Samaritans’  tenth anniversary, but will also see the expansion of our work, as we launch the creation of the Good Samaritan Medical and Dental Institute, a free-standing facility which will provide primary and specialty care on a year round basis, in the city of Nha Trang. Its ultimate purpose is to model competent, state-of-the-art care in a spirit of respect for all patients, regardless of their social or economic circumstances.

The SOLD Project

SOLD is a grassroots organization, a film, and a movement dedicated to stopping the buying and selling of children into prostitution. SOLD partners with pre-existing Thai organizations that work in the areas of rescue and rehabilitation and hopes to provide education scholarships to children at-risk. The purpose of the film is to tell the stories of children whose lives have been affected by prostitution in some way or another. Sex sells children. Together, we can make it stop.

Asian American Donor Program (AADP)
The Asian American Donor Program (AADP) is a community non-profit (501c3) organization geared towards saving lives. We are an official recruitment group of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) specializing in conducting outreach and donor drives in the Asian, Pacific Islander and Multi-racial communities. AADP's logo, the origami crane, was chosen in fond memory of Sadako Sasaki.

Freedom Summit
Our mission is to inform, unite, and engage the Christian community against the global epidemic of human trafficking. Our hope is to gather people from around the Bay Area who will join the modern abolitionist movement. Speakers include Bethany Hoang, David Batstone, Nathan George, Francis Chan, and Phil Wickham. May 15-16, Mountain View, CA. 

- END -

Posted: 3/24/2009 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: Project Story

We need as much help as possible to spread the word about the May 2nd ServiceAsia Concert.  Please join our street team by filling out the form below and email it to

Please fill out this form below so I can confirm who you are and what you are doing:
Places you will promote:
Are you leading an EV Street Team in your area? Y/N  If, so approx. how many people?

Here is the list of what to do when you join the EV Street Team:

1. Print out the poster attached to this email and flyer at your school, church, and pass it out to your family and friends.  We also have glossy posters and club flyers upon request.

2. Change your facebook profile picture to this image.


3. Invite all your Facebook friends to the ServiceAsia facebook event:  once you have joined our East Villagers facebook group, I will add you as an officer (EV Street Team):

4. Make sure the people you invited have 1) signed-up for East Villagers 2) filled out the form to register for the concert (many people miss the second step at the end of the site registration)
5. Be excited about the event and tell everyone you know!! =)

If you are leading an EV Street Team, please send this message to your friends and also have them fill out the form.  Make sure to follow the to dos as a leader.


Thanks so much for all your help and support.  We wouldn't be able to do this without you.

-- EV Team

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Cam Ne 4/7/2006

I am currently in Cam Ne Village and want to send my greetings to you and your friends.

How are you? Wherever you are right now, I am praying for you and your friends. The children in Cam Ne really want to learn how to use the computers. However, the electricity is not stable yet for starting classes. I am sending applications and the news out for the children to fill out and turn in for studying. They will give their age and grade so I can put them in the right classes according to what they will learn on the computers. If you receive this email, please write my full name (first and last) so I know that you are the one who received it.


Cam Ne 4/7/2006 Co Sang o CN day co goi loi chao tham con va cac ban .Con co khoe khong hien con dang o dau dang lam gi co cung luon cau nguyen cho con va cac ban . Cac em o CN rat muon hoc nhung dien chua on dinh duoc de tien hanh viec hoc hien co dang thong bao cho cac em de cac em nop don xin hoc va cho biet tuoi va lop de xep lop cho cac em .Cung nhu de ra noi qui su dung may Computer .Neu con nhan duoc thu thi viet dung ho ten co trong thu de co biet chinh la con da nhan thu

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Were SEALNet - Kenneth Wong

This song will bring back memories.

P.S. Tomorrow, Nhu will be performing We’re SEALNet at her Cathay Pacific Scholarship Conference, so come cheer her on if you can.

- Peter Nguyen


The song is so awesome! Thank you Kenneth for the song. Thank you Peter for putting the song up so that everyone can enjoy and know what we had done in PV06.

I really wish I could be there to see Nhu does her presentation. But since I can’t, just want to wish her the best of luck. — Quynh Pham

Yeah, i guess the subject of this comment says it all.

YOU ROCK, KENNETH :) . I personally love everything about the song: from the humorous and “powerful” lyric, the smooth melody to your sweet voice. Thanks a bunch Ken :”D . LoTs of love to You .

Also thanks to Peter for uploading the song for us. Your the best ! :)

To Nhu : Still remember what I wrote to you last time ? : Be yourself, Stay Cool and YOU CAN DO IT :D . Good Luck tomorrow. Love you.

To the rest : I miss you guys a whole LOT.. — Hanh Nguyen

Hey guys,

Nhu won the scholarhip!!! Congratulations Nhu! Good job! — Quynh Pham

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Dear all, I’m done with the news translation (finally… phewww). The translated version is below. For the sake of other SEALNet members in PC and PT who don’t know which pic is us, the article with the title “Ngôn Ngữ Của Tình Bạn” is for us. Enjoy reading the article about SEALNet yah. Warmly, Quynh Pham

Language of friendship

“I simply want to bring together talented and active youth who have a passionate interest in dedicating themselves to the development of SouthEast Asia. Maybe there no one will become a leader in the future but at least we have created the network between people who are animated by the same sense of purpose and created the foundations of an organization that will grow bigger in the near future.” This statement of purpose laid down by the founder and president of SEALNet (SouthEast Asian Leadership Network) organization Huynh Minh Viet was revisited by 20 SEALNet members at the meeting reviewing their first week of the project at Danang College of Foreign Language (DCFL) in the afternoon of June 27. After going through activities in the past 7 days, team leader Nguyen Quoc Thien Phuoc (Nancy Nguyen) said: “We hope that our work will receive more help and interest in the future. I want to say thank you to the Danang College of Foreign Language and to the college students who we have met. They are friendly, cheerful and very fond of studying.”

Language of Friendship

In the past week, after giving 7 computers and installing the teaching-and-learning-English software in DCFL library, the SEALNet group had some teaching sessions to show the teachers from DCFL and the nearby areas how to use the software. The cultural exchanges and little “conferences” between the college students and the group members left everyone with unforgettable moments. Leng Lim (Singaporean), one of the 2 advisors and also one of the founders of SEALNet, explained the motivation of the group: “The project, in one side, is to bring the computers to the community but in fact, it’s about teaching English with computers using the prime language – friendship. The language of friendship will help to build trust between us”. According to Leng Lim, a very important purpose of SEALNet is to share and build trust between people. The project is not only for those who come from South-East Asia but also for everyone in the world. Another advisor Nguyen Cao Hung (Hung Nguyen), who has left Vietnam for 25 years and come back 3 times to visit, recognized the resemblances (rather than the differences) between Vietnamese students who are studying in Vietnam and those who are studying abroad. According to Hung, Vietnamese students, both local and overseas, have a strong desire for a better life and a deep aspiration to assert themselves with their talent and creativity. They are willing to learn from foreigners and improve themselves. Going to Vietnam, both American-Vietnamese students and foreign students want to approach and know about Vietnamese culture. This is why the Project Vietnam 2006 is called “long-lasting cross-cultural friendship”. Each member has a chance to know more about Vietnamese culture through meeting Vietnamese, creating friendly relations with friends from different countries such as the United States, England and nations in South-East Asia. Last year, with the support from Ho Chi Minh Youth Union, Singapore International Foundation, Stanford University, and some other companies in the United States and Europe, SEALNet had a successful Project Vietnam 2005 in Ho Chi Minh City. This year, the “language of friendship” is extended to 3 nations: Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Youth Desire

In that afternoon, everyone gathered together to watch a short movie on what had happened in the past 7 days and enjoy themselves. Danang Supermarket, Statues of Mother Nhu, the innocent laughter of children in Cam Ne, Tam Tien villages… Everything that had passed had deep impressions on everyone. Brook Rosenkrantz, an American student with a friendly smile said, “Even though it’s just been a week, the things I learned from here will definitely change my life, especially the images of the poor remote areas with students who love learning. What left the deepest impression on me were the heartfelt attitude, the hospitality and the warmth of Vietnamese.” The South East Asian Leadership Network (SEALNet) is a network of students from various American, British and South East Asian universities first founded at Stanford University in 2004. The 2 main purposes of SEALNet are to create a cross-cultural network among students interested in Southeast Asian developmental issues and to empower students to create positive change. (This is the one in the blue box) A week with the heat and the wind in Central Vietnam placed stamps on the faces of people from different nations. But this is nothing strange to Pham Dinh Hai Quynh and Nguyen Phuong Ca Dao. Hai Quynh is the daughter of a senior lecturer of English in DCFL who went to the United States for an exchange scholars program. Ca Dao is the alumna of Le Quy Don Specialized Senior High School and currently a junior studying Accounting and Finance in the London School of Economics in England. “I have been away from home for 2 years and I miss this place a lot. Going back to Danang and seeing so many changes here, I want to do something to contribute to my hometown. I volunteered to become a SEALNet member because I love the purpose of this program: training the leadership skills for the youth, preparing them with the tools to give back to their community”, said Ca Dao. What makes Vietnamese students like Hai Quynh, Ca Dao devote themselves to SEALNet is the wonderful example of Huynh Minh Viet. From a poor student who originally came from Quang Nam Province and had to stay with the host families that were closest to his schools from 4th to 10th grade, Viet became one of the 50 most outstanding students in the world to receive an award for being a prospective leader by Goldman Sachs Fund. He is also the founder and president of SEALNet. Viet is currently studying for a degree in Economics at Stanford University (US). Before that, he studied for 4 years in Singapore on the ASEAN Scholarship program. In the International Student Conference that was held in Tokyo (Japan) last year, Huynh Minh Viet was one of the 2 youngest speakers with a talk entitled “How to pay back to your community when you are still in college?” Viet raised questions that any students who are really motivated and dedicated to the development of Vietnam can feel the strong young desire within themselves: What do you want to do to make your community better? Looking around the city, what can you do to improve the living standard? As a student – a very busy student, what will you do?…

See you again!

To Dr. Luu Quy Khuong, the dean of graduate studies and international relations office – DCFL, welcoming and working with SEALNet group is “the first product” of his office as it had just been set up in April, 2006. Through the exchange, DCFL wants to cooperate more with SEALNet in the future to strengthen the understanding between students from South-East Asian countries in particular and students from all over the world in general and to prepare their students with leadership skills. When she learned that there is an annual student volunteer program named “Green Summer”, the team leader Nguyen Quoc Thien Phuoc hoped to come back next year to immerse in the youthful and ebullient atmosphere of Danang students. Although she is the team leader, Thien Phuoc is just 20 years old. The junior-to-be is studying Human Biology in the US. When representing the team to make a speech, she stammered at times, sometimes saying “con” sometimes saying “tôi” to the teachers in the school managing board of DCFL. This created a close connection among Vietnamese. DCFL is famous for having very good relationships with many organizations even though the material and technical foundations of DCFL is still poor. The principal Phan Van Hoa said: “I am very grateful that SEALNet came and brought computers to DCFL. You did very significant things in the very first step in our long-lasting relationship. I hope that this relationship will create more good things in the future.” In the farewell meeting, everyone was reluctant to part with their friends. There was crying as people strove to say “See you again!”…. .gallery { margin: auto; } .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } .gallery img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; }

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Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Dear all SEALNet members, I have lots of things that I want to say to each and every of you but I don’t have time to do this (things are all against me now). So, I will make this real quick. Continue your own paths and we’ll see each other again soon. BON VOYAGE!! Love you all, Quynh Pham

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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I know you’ve been waiting for it. Here it is, the world’s one and only SEALNet 2006 - Project Vietnam Recap Video. It took a while to get it online, but it’ll be worth the wait. alt

Click Here To See It!!!

- Peter Nguyen

I know you’ve worked very hard to make this video . And I really encourage you for your contribution , as well as admired you for your computing talents ! Thanks so much ! — Duy Nguyen

Thanks for the encouragement. Stuff like this makes making movies worthwhile. — Peter Nguyen

Yay! My mentee are I are the first to encourage you for your hard work! :) I’m sure you know how much we love your video-editing and filming skills and more importantly how much we love you!!


Love, weixiong.wong and solarprince — Kenneth Wong

I agree! Great video man! — Jiun Haur Wang

THANK YOU PI TO*? FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORD. I’m sorry that I put lots of stress on you when asking you to give this video to me as soon as possible as we originally planned that I would make the copies of CD for everyone. =(. BUT you really surprised me by making this done 1 day after I called you. Wow… This is awesome. WELL DONE bro!! — Quynh Pham

Thanks Quynh. I didn’t feel rushed. I wanted to get it online ASAP anyhow. =) — Peter Nguyen

Awesome work harry Peter! This video is so awesome. My family really enjoys it! I miss you as well as everyone else! Take care! — Thai Huynh

Thanks for the comment, Thai. I’m glad that your family is enjoying it. Stay cool at A.S.U. — Peter Nguyen

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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PV06-ERS!! I miss you guys so much. I’ve been taking a few days off digesting everything that happened during our two weeks together. Still I cannot fathom all the transformation that I was able to witness while leading this project. I feel overwhelmed and very fortunate sitting here writing my first blog. I hope you all had a wonderful time. =) My peak moment would be saying “bye” to Thuy, a village girl from Tam Tien that we took as a mentee. Many of you were not there when we had a formal farewell in front of all the school officials. Stephanie gave Thuy a new stuffed bunny, and I handed her 20 USD for school supplies. Thai walked away because he could not bare seeing Thuy cry. Aside from the tears of our members present, I saw the men, who had been laughing, drinking beer, and cracking jokes a second ago, cry. I trusted a relationship began at this moment. This experience gave me hope for the second week. I had intense energy, peace, joy, and trust in all of you to own this project after Ca Dao stood up for our Stake. I wasn’t disappointed, but surprised day by day. Thank you. Indeed, many relationships bloomed and poured into emails, phone calls, and activities after our project. I hope these will be ones that will LAST FOREVER. I cannot encapsulate this moment or this trip into many words, but I feel awfully THANKFUL to have met each one of you and our cute mentees. My goal for this trip is to serve the poor and be a true friend to my teammates by being an honest leader. I was very touched by your care for me while I sick the first week. First, I thank God for keeping us all safe and healthy for the most part. Special thanks to my co-leader, Kenneth. I’m so blessed that you were on the team. I wouldn’t have been able to pull through without you. Core, I felt a lot of peace when you all made it to see our hard planning finally come into life. Your arrival made a difference. Quynh, you’ll always be my superkid. I thank Leng and Hung for being part of our family. Thanks for sparking the fire to serve each other and the poor in everyone! =) You are both inspiration to us all. All of my teammates and mentees - you have inspired at least someone on our team to change and grow. You have inspired me. Thanks for giving me a chance to meet my goal. YOU GUYS ROCK!!! P.S. Don’t forget to OOSH!! =)

– Nancy Nguyen, SEALNet PV06 Leader group-picture

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Dear fellow Sealnet adventurers, I have been reflecting on what are some of my peaks and memorable experiences that I have during Project Vietnam, and what I have learned about life, love and leadership of human spirit from those experiences. I am taking my time to reflect and write, and will post them as they becoming clear. I would love to hear yours as well. So here’s the question for all of us: what are your top 3 (and more if you have more) peak and memorable experiences during this Sealnet adventure, and what you have learn about life, love and the human spirit? Here’s the first of 10 from me: 1. The moment when Cadao stepped into the middle of the circle and powerfully claim the Stake of “Commitment to Service, Friendship and Growth” for the whole community. For me this is leadership at its finess because it was about allowing space for trust, patience, acceptance. After a long hour of people naming the creative tension between “current reality and vision”, and brainstorming the stakes, I felt that we were getting stuck. We choose to change perspective by moving from sitting to taking a stand in a circle and face each other as a community. There was a moment right before CaDao stepped in, the silence felt almost unbearable. I had to let go of trying to “figure it out” and trust in the wisdom of the community. I notice that the harder we tried to figure things our with our brains to come up with the stake more confused and competitive we got. Many of us were trying to find the right words. My intuition was that if we keep trying to figure things out with our heads, we will not be able find the stake. So instead we held hands, feel grounded in our bodies, breath and trust in the energy of the group. I can feel the nervousness and anticipation in myself and in the group. When Cadao stepped forth with her whole body, and say the stake out loud, I feel the support of the whole community. We let go of how the words “should be”, people were just being together. For me, this is a powerful leadership moment because it is about taking risk, trusting, and allowing for something to unfold without getting attachment to the outcomes. It’s also about the embodiment of the stake. In the end, even though we arrived to the same stake that we had at the beginning of the project, now everyone can fully align themselves behind it which contribute to the success of the Vietnam project. I feel sure that all of us who worked on this project has experienced the “commitment to service, friendship and growth”…am I right or am I right? :)

– Hung Nguyen

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Hello everybody, I’m so lazy to blog but now I just want to say goodbye to you all. Last night when we were all standing and holding each other, I felt that I can say goodbye to you all but those words are not enough to describe my feeling. I was confused, nervous and didn’t know what to say. I guessed I’m not strong enough to express my feeling, not strong enough to let go. My pride and independence sank down and there I realized that it’s ok to show you’re weak and dependence is not a bad thing. From now on, I know that even when I walk on my path alone and independently, I will never feel lonely again because I have you all. I have to say part of my life is depended on you. Fate has blessed me so much for letting me found you all. Thank you

- Tuyet-Mai Hoang

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Today was Mia’s 21st birthday. Understandably, she was gently awoken in the middle of the night to be congratulated. A group of us stepped quietly into her room, sang Happy Birthday at the top of our lungs, and then dragged her from where she had been sleeping peacefully to the tub for a cold shower. Fortunately, she had excellent humor about all of it, aside from not having any other pajamas to replace freezing, soaked ones she wore. Eight hours later, I was in Cam Ne for the second day of the project headed by the high school students. I don’t think I could have been more proud. Their excitement and invovlement with the children is unrivalled in my memory. By the end, the children were wanting them to come back. At their debriefing, it was easy to see how they had all been touched by the experience. In the evening, we went to sing karaoke in a dual celebration of the project’s end and Mia’s birthday. Everyone was easy, friendly, and ready to sing. It was a good evening. So what, you may be asking me, is the point of this concise overview of the day? It was the achievement of a goal shared by so many on this project. At the beginning of the project, a large number of team members expressed emotions ranging from apprehension to excitement about the coming days of the project. What nearly everyone admittedly hoped to gain from this experience was a closer relationship with everyone involved on the project. So when I saw how everyone cared for Mia on her birthday away from home, or worked with the mentees in the village, or said good-bye to Hung and Ca Dao, the love that has grown from this trip was inescapably apparent. Personally, I have never felt more comfortable around anyone, other than those who are the closest to me, than I have here. There is an unpretending friendliness and openness here that has fostered deep and hopefully long lasting relationships here. For this, all I can say, and I know it is not enough, is “Congratulations, guys. We did it!”

- Danelle Mallen

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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It’s a shame that I can’t join you guys at the banquet; I can’t be with you on the last day of our Project either. For the past 2 weeks, I have grown up in my way…. I suddenly realize that, at the end of today, I might not be able to see you guys again. I feel disappointed that I haven’t got to know each one of you the way I wanted to do, that I have to leave early and that I can’t join the Talent show which is planned by our mentees. Leng and Hung, thank you so much for being present to us. You are always there to guide us, to be friends that we can always count on. I want to acknowledge you for guiding us to go to the right direction, for helping me figure out myself. I want to thank you for the day that you helped me realize how much I wanted to open up myself. ‘Live the life of honest’, that sentence has waken me up, I has lived a life without opening up my whole self and now I feel that I am ready to share, to be me. This project has come and given me a lot, I’ve learnt about relationship, about friendship, the commitment we have to make to our community services, and above all that, I had a lesson about myself. After what we have done, I am so grateful for being given the chance to be part of this project. All the works we have done, all the people we have met, all give me a deep picture that I will never forget. Here are just some thoughts about friends that have been running through my mind. Nancy, I’m so glad that I jointed the team because I get to know many great people, among that; you are the person that I look up the most. I missed out your ‘Spotlight On’ because of my personal matter but that was one of the thing that I regret. I heard your story from Viet and I admired you so much. Our situations are somehow similar in a way but the way you treated people around you was not the way I did. You treat people with your love; you grew up in that harsh environment and still being a loving girl. I hated people; I was the world with grey colour. I was selfish, you were tolerant. I didn’t know how to share, I kept everything for myself, and I seldom talked to my parents or my brother. I admire you so much for your heart to your work, for your love to your brother. Nancy, I found in you the passion to help people with all your heart. I’ve learnt from you to love unconditionally, without questions, without expectations. I know whatever happens, you will always be a strong person and live your dream. I am so happy that I have chance to be your friend. Kenneth, Huỳnh Vĩ Hùng, wow you have such a great Vietnamese name. First thing I noticed about you was you were so funny, you still are ha-ha. I ‘acknowledge’ for being such a great co-leader with Nancy. Even though I don’t think you look mature, I still find you a good friend to talk to. You are the friend that I come to reassure myself that thing is going to be fine since you always make others feel at ease. Ahh, you are a patient teacher too, oh my god, you repeated the line ‘If you’re happy…’ for a million times, didn’t you get bored??? Ken, thank you and Nancy for scarifying your sleep hour to do the plan everyday, thank you for taking the works from Quynh so that she’s not stressed out, thank you for making things easy for me about the time, thank you for being such a funny person so that we all have a good laugh when we are tired. Bí thở, Peter, you are cute little boy. You are like a sweet young brother that I always feel I need to protect you whenever I am with you. However, I also learnt from you too. I find you really mature in your thoughts and actions. Thank you for all the recording that you made, it would make this trip unforgettable. Please send it to me please; I’m going to miss you guys so much!!! You are 16, I thought you would be just carefree but actually, you care for people around you, observe people in your way and very you are very hardworking too. So, keep it up Peter, and email me when you get into Stanford! Tuyet Mai Gas Station, hey, you are a sweet girl you know, somehow, I feel I want to know more about you, it’s not going to be possible now coz I will miss your spotlight. We did talk a lot, or I did hear you talk with other people too. When I think of you, I think about a cute little girl who are really active and also mature in saying stuff. You said you wanted to find people that you can talk about investment bank. So keep in touch, we will discuss about it. Mia Sugar Cane, your Spotlight On night changed my whole perception about you. You know that every time I see you, I feel peaceful with your smile. You are always ready to smile; I thought you must have come from the family with all the laughter, I thought that you were such a carefree and happy person. And that night, I knew that you did overcome a lot of sorrow. I was happy for you Mia when you said you were over it now, and that you felt happy. The important thing that I want to learn from you is you smile with your true self… Chi Pham, I acknowledge you for being honest at your Spotlight On night, for being so co-operative, for put your 100% energy in whatever you do. Thank you for the offer to allow me to stay in your home (I might stay with my auntie’s friend for now in Saigon) even though you didn’t know me that well back then. You are sometimes a quiet observer. You remember the Spider Web workshop; I was so impressed with your enthusiasm to help the team, to encourage the team that everything was going to get done. ‘It’s possible, I’ll jump I’ll jump!!!!’ it was so brave. Phuong Huynh, you are an understanding sister, you are always willing to help figuring things out. Thank you for a wise advice to Quynh when she had problems, thank you for leading the workshops. I hope you’re going to do well in your study in America and we’ll meet again. Thank you for sharing with me the thoughts about parents, I believe that you are growing up along with this project too. Brooke, my idol, I do admire Brooke and Danny for coming to this project with all your heart. Brooke, you are full with energy and I can see how enthusiastic you are with the project. You are always ready to step up to air your thoughts, you are ready to sing and sing well. I acknowledge you for being a good mentor to Nhu, always be responsible and caring. Remember to buy some coffee before you go, make coffee with the thingy and with condensed milk of course. Phuong Tran, strong woman with black is her favourite colour! You have such confidence and strong personality with you. I have a feeling that you are going to do so well in whatever you choose. I’m really looking forward to seeing you in LSE. Phuong, you have 2 sides about you, one really strong, one really sensitive. You can be confident but also easily being touched. I hope you live the person you want to be. After last night, I felt that I am connected to you more. At first, I did feel disconnected from you; you looked cold and a bit far from me. But the more we talk, the more I feel I know you. Shi Hua, first time I met you, I thought you were in university doing 2nd year or something like that, I couldn’t believe that you were doing your master. You looked so young. You are a caring and sweet person. You care for friends in your way. You can talk, or you can wait and see. You always bring your baby with you ha-ha, I think you are funny too. By the way, I will send you the picture of the singer that I told you. Good luck with your job. I hope that when I go to Singapore, you can give me a tour around the city. Chi Chi Chành Chành, like a litchi, always together in branch, soft and sweet, that is how you describe yourself. You are only a small girl but you never hesitate to do all the hard work. You always try to overcome your weakness and develop yourself. Two consecutive workshops, we can see how hard you try to overcome the fear of speaking in front of the big group. You love people without asking for return, you help people without their noticing. But we do realize that you know, and thank you for that. Danelle Mallen, I didn’t know that you learn Vietnamese until yesterday. I remember there was one session that we talked about our problems. You were so sincere to talk about yours. You are calm which is opposite to me, ha-ha, I am loud. Thank you for telling me about your dream, I wish with all my heart that you will reach your dream to be a good writer. Quynh Pham, you always eager to do thing, you are willing to help us in everything, you are still young and you are in the process of growing up. I’m impressed with your enthusiasm and energy. One thing I want to tell you is you have to take care of yourself too, don’t overload yourself with works, and ask for help when needed. One thing, you are a great singer! Thai Huynh, a big brother with a big smile. I can see in you the affection for children, for be Thuy, cu Thinh. I hope you carry this with you always. You are there to help, to talk. You join with people whenever they need you. You care for your friends, for people around, never hesitate to do anything. Tuan, there is something about you telling me that you have a strange personality (positive way). You always have the mature thoughts and you are good at what you are doing. We don’t talk much then I don’t really get to know you that well. I just hope that things will always be a challenge for you. Wei Siang, even though we work with each other in Finance, we don’t talk much. Your face is scary sometimes to me as we first met. But the day you show your care to your friends, especially me on the day I went to get the projector, I feel I get closer to you as a friend. Actually, I was hoping somebody was there since it was late and I hate it going up by myself at that time. Thank you! Tracy, I’m glad that I had the interview with you. At least, I had the chance to get to talk to you more since you are busy with recording. Before you and Stephanie came, all the members told me about how great you are. At the interview, at first, I was not really comfortable but then, think about it as the conversation between us, I felt more convenient talking to you. I shared with you my thoughts and I luckily had the chance to listen to what you thought about me too. Tracy, the work that you do is really important since you make my first experience here unforgettable. Thank you for that. Stephanie, I feel so bad that I’m in charge of lunch and dinner and I keep forgetting you are a vegetarian. And then you get sick, I think it’s because I didn’t let you eat properly. I’m so sorry, Steph. Thank you for doing the documentary. Thank you for having such a good heart that you’re going to take care of be Thuy. This summer has been my most memorable summer. I’ve met all good people, learnt many great lessons. This project Vietnam has made me realize about myself, about people, about the world. This experience I am going to carry with me. This is one pace that later on I can look back and say: ‘That day, I changed, that day, I started growing up’.

- Ca Dao Nguyen

Posted: 1/8/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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***This post is belated, because my user name wasn’t working before…. Yesterday was a very long, exhausting and exhilarating day! The SEALNet members woke up in a beach resort near Tam Ky and headed out to the local middle school. We learned that the school has over a thousand students and no computers, so our impact by bringing in 3 computers would be huge. The SEALNet team broke into 3 groups: teaching English to the 7th graders, setting up the computers, and cleaning. Dani, Viet, Peter, Nancy, Phuong Huynh and I were on the cleaning team. It was a little scary because there were HUGE jumping spiders that we had to sweep out, but we made the job fun by listening to music at the same time. We ate a seafood lunch on the beach and Kenneth dropped his cell phone in the sea water and it broke a little (oops). We had free time for an hour so some people hung out on the beach while the others (including me) wandered around the village. We met some kids and gave them little toys and pretty soon we had a small parade of little kids following us around. The people living in the village were very curious about us and everyone stared at us from their houses as we walked by, but they were also very friendly and waved and said hello –one man even said “bonjour!” I guess he thought we were French. After lunch we went to the high school to have a social with some students there. We were expecting 15 students or so, but it turned out to be over 40 kids! We played games with them and Nancy taught them to dance the Electric Slide. Very tired, we loaded into the vans to drive to a school in Tam Ky where SEALNet had set up a computer lab last year. The director of the school was very nice and welcoming and we enjoyed singing song after song after song with him. By this time, it was around 6 pm and we headed to Hoi An for dinner and shopping. We had a really good dinner of Vietnamese pizza (?) and white roses. Then we all wandered around the city shopping; a lot of people got clothes tailored and Stephanie got lost for like half an hour. Thankfully she found her way back and we all came back to the hotel to take a badly needed shower and sleep!

- Mia Nguyen

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Before I get to my blog, I would like to take the time to say Happy Birthday Mia!! You’re finally 21 and that means I’m not the only 21 year old on this trip! Last night, we decided to sing Happy Birthday to Mia, so we all snuck quietly into her room. Mia, who was supposed to be asleep, started laughing. It was hillarious! We all sang to her and then decided that she need to “cool off” for her birthday. So I ran into the bathroom, turned out the shower and Tuan, Kenneth and the rest picked her up and put her in the bathtub. My oh my was she wet! It was really cool until she somehow took the shower head out of my hands and sprayed me down. My oh my was I wet! So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MIA!!! I hope you have a great 21st.

- Thai Huynh

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Ok… Nancy asked me to blog everyday to record random funny stories in PV06 but I was overwhelmed with workloads and totally forget doing this. I notice that everyone wrote serious stuffs here. As I said before I’m a fun-loving KID so I’d like to contribute some fun here in addition to these burdening and exhausted days. Here u goooo…. Well let’s start with today. I went to the SOS village for the mini project. I tried to teach them the song “If u’re happy and you know it…”. BUT the kids didn’t listen to me as “You have such a terrible voice” (quote one kid). Oops… JH, see it. I prove u wrong… So, we played games after that but I was too tired + lazy to do anything else, therefore, I just sat there and observed our mentees do their project. We have two Tuan in PV06. The “big” one is the mentor and the “small” one is the mentee. The small Tuan (mentee) had trouble in owning his space. He was really clear about what he wanted to do BUT no one except for he himself knew what was going on in his mind. Thus, he ended up with some little troubles. Tuan let the kids play a game in 15 mins and then suddenly stopped them and said “So, ok. Here are the instructions”… hahaha… The big Tuan, Tuyet Mai, Phuong Huynh, Thai and I brusted into laughs. We didn’t intend to do this but something so funny at the way the kids acted that couldn’t make us stop laughing… The group goes to SOS village returned to the hotel at 6 pm. And my parents were already there to invite the whole group to have dinner at Lang Co. We did pass the longest tunnel in SouthEast Asia. The food was so good. We had some dancing and karaoke after dinner. And it was the time that I spoiled everyone’s ears with my terrible voice (uh oh.. sorry). And here are some funny stories in the past days. On the way to Tam Ky village (the poor village in Central Vietnam where my dad was born and grew up), I sat in the front with Wei Siang and had some little conversations with him. After talking nonsense for a while, he suddenly asked a weird question. Eh hem, here it is. “Does ur name mean “a pig”?” 0_0. Uh oh… *_*. Wei Siang saw the pic of a little lovely pig in my avatar and thought that was me. *_*… But actually he was right somehow. My friends here call me “little pig”… But, oh well, whatever. hahaha. I’m still a little pig then. And Wei Siang keeps in mind that Quynh means a little pig. Just wondering Wei Siang, how can you come up with that idea? Mistaken the name of the beautiful flower to the name of a pig. The next day after we arrived Tam Ky village, we went to Tam Tien Secondary School in the morning. SEALNet members slipted into 3 groups: one went to clean up the school, one went to teach English and one went to set up the little lab. The teaching session was really great until we taught the kids an English song “If you’re happy”. We taught them sing simple sentences first and then asked them to sing the whole song with us. This is the very very normal process to learn a song. BUT what’s weird here is that we had the most patient teacher in the world - Kenneth Wong - in our group. He did show a really great patience when kept saying “if you’re happy”,”and you know it”,”if you’r happy and you know it” for like thousands times. AND he should have kept repeating and repeating and repeating that forever if only Brooke didn’t put her hands on his shoulders and said “STOP”. hahahahaha. Wow. this is the first time ever had I known such a patient teacher. hahahahahaha. Now, shift your concern to Nancy. One night during our “short” debrief which always lasted for more than 1 hour, one thing happened to Nancy. We were doing ownership at that time . Nancy stood near the door and gently and slowly lied back to the door. BUT the door wasn’t completely closed which also meant that she lied back to an opened door. You can guess what happened next: she fell on the ground. Some of you may start wondering whether or not she was ok. She was fine but it was so funny the way she fell. hahaha… (sorry Nancy) There is something really weird about Nancy. She told me a secret and asked me to keep it secret. I did. BUT still everyone in PV knew about this… how come?… the answer is simple… nancy told me to keep this secret but she didn’t tell herself to keep this secret. that’s why after she told me about this fun stuffs and turned to tell wei siang, shi-hua, peter and ca dao about this. and of course, that’s a funny stories and the ppl who were mentioned above told others about this… and the secret ended up as a well-known funny stories in PV.. well… nancy, do u want me to let everyone know about this???? yeah that’s all i can remember for now. it’s 3am and i have to leave at 7am tomorrow… will do blogging more next days…. and forgive me for all the grammar mistakes, i will edit this post asap.. ^_^

– Quynh Pham

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It’s time to say Goodbye…?!? We had a ‘brief’ debriefing with Leng and Hung tonight to say goodbye to Hung since he would leave tomorrow to Hanoi. I felt that I had something to say but it didn’t come out. Now, I want to take this chance so say how grateful I am for them being present for us, being good listeners that any member can rely on, and being good coaches that contribute a significant part to the success of this project. They’ve helped us to grow in so many ways. For me, the workshop about being present on the 6th of June, that will go with me for the rest of my life. That day, I experienced a true revelation. That day, I realized how much I wanted to share. That day, I discovered the part of me that I thought it would never come out, it came out… It did make a difference on me… What have we done?… I have to do the journal today, so I guess I have to scan through what we have done on Day 10. How excited!!!! Today is the first day our high school students do their first-ever mini-project. We headed to the Cam Ne Village at 8:30 ( Peter kept telling me how unfair it is when his team had to leave at 7 to SOS Village and he didn’t even have the chance to go to the rest room…Oh Peter!) and Nhu lead the ice-breaking activities. I was really impressed with her, the way she came up with ideas and led the group of all ages. We really enjoyed it even though the high school students thought they didn’t do a good job since they felt they bored the village kids. Therefore, they had to finish the session at around 1015. During the break, Brooke, Danny and I hold an English lesson for the kids about body parts through the songs. That was really interesting since the kids knew much more than we expected. Brooke, again, proved to be a very good teacher with her patience and enthusiasm. Danny, Brooke, Ken and Shi Hua got to learn the song ‘Ca nha thuong nhau’, Danny’s Vietnamese is really clear, well done to her. In the afternoon, we had the session about hygiene. We can see in the eyes of the village kids the passion, the eagerness, and also the hope to be educated, to be exposed to the world of knowledge.

- Ca Dao Nguyen

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I feel frustrated that this blog has not worked the way I wanted it to do. I have wanted and tried to record thoughts and events every evening, save two, but my account is fickle and capricious when it comes to admitting me access. As a result, I have been full of words and stories that are now either distorted or forgotten. I will, however, try to make up for the past few days as well as I can. The first experience that stands out in my mind is that of being sick half a world away from my family and those who love me the most. It is a lonely and frightening experience. It touched me, though, how much my teammates cared for me in their stead. I lacked for nothing and feel like the people here have been my surrogate family. It has made me very happy. Secondly, perhaps the most poignant memory that I have acquired this past week was when we traveled to the village outside of Tam Ky. We arrived early in the morning and split into three groups; computer set-up, classroom clean-up, and English language workshops. My preference was for the language workshops but I volunteered for the cleaning crew because I felt that no one would volunteer for it and it had to be done by someone. What I experienced as a result was moving like I had never expected. The first room we cleaned was littered with broken benches, cracked desks, and decaying blackboards. At first, some of us thought they had directed us to a storage room, but a school that has over 1000 students and only 6 or 7 rooms can hardly afford the luxury of a storage room and what we were seeing was indeed one of their functioning classrooms. It was something I had seen in countless National Geographic magazines but I had not quite prepared myself to see it here. It’s not that I expected something different, but that I simply did not think about what the conditions were. I was educated in Arizona, the state notorious for their seriously underfunded school system. I have been indignants about this fact for many years because I have felt cheated by the system that did not seem to care about educating my generation. After seeing the conditions under which these children are left to learn, I have shut my mouth. Rooms either have no windows or windows that are broken and dirty. All types of insects, including huge spiders that pretend to be dead and then jump up, make their homes in these classrooms. Mosquitoes hover in every corner and every desk. The wood is unfinished and the nails are rusty. The air was hot, sticky, and nearly suffocating. It was no longer a picture in a magazine. I realized suddenly that I was sweeping the dirt, removing the trash, jumping away from the spiders, swatting the mosquitoes, and tasting the salt of my own sweat. It was a reality that surrounded me completely. Nonetheless, I could hear the enthusiastic responses of the children involved in the English language workshops. That they could still be excited and able to learn even under these conditions was at once inspiring and chastening. Thus far this trip has been an exercise in humility. Later that day, we moved to the village. The children there seemed happy and interested in us new-comers. They followed us around at a reasonable distance for a while. The best way to describe the feeling is that it made my soul smile. Finally, there was today. Today we let our fledglings step out of the nest. For the past week and a half or so, we have been leading workshops with the youth of Vietnam and showing and growing with them in becoming leaders in their lives and communities. Today was the most important day of the program because they took everything we taught them and applied it to a real life situation. It was the most important because it was the first step toward creating a habit of social embeddedness. Once that first step is taken, the following ones become easier and easier. Watching them play and interact with the children of Cam Ne village was a very proud moment for me. They fell at certain point, of course, because they are only human and this was the first day, but they did so well over all. They show so much promise as young leaders. Tomorrow is the final day for their projects and I can hardly wait to see how much they can examine themselves and see how much they have grown, as I have seen. This blog has been lengthy, I know, but these are the most important words that imprinted themselves on my mind and heart. They do not reveal everything that I feel, of course, but it comes close enough. Thank you so much for sharing with me and allowing me to share with you.

- Danelle Mallen

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Now that we have that done, I’d like to spend the next few minutes of my life ranting and raving about my experience at SEALNet. This project has opened my eyes to many outstanding issues in Vietnam, most noticeably, the road system. Why the road system, you ask? Imagine being driven down a road in a taxi, and cars, vans, and motorbikes are whizzing by you at a torrent pace. That’s not the worst part. Your driver is driving either on the middle or on the left side of the separated road… It gets worse… You suddenly see TWO TRUCKS running straight towards you, obviously confused by their lack of intuition and ignorance for the road laws. That’s not all, though. The police officers are present the whole time. Oh.. oh.. it gets much worse. You continue to drive after dodging the twin trucks, and you notice a man and child that have been struck by a taxi van. You are outraged, and want to help, but your own driver scurries on, leaving the poor man screaming in agony. Two minutes later, you see that van actually overtake you on the road, causing you to realize that the man and child have been left on the road to die. Otherwise, this whole project has been quite enlightening. I have learned much more about Vietnamese culture, bargaining, and proper etiquette. For example, it’s actually improper to NOT honk at intersections, and if a person asks you for 50,000, they will gladly accept 25,000. My interaction with the mentees and college folk have greatly influenced my life. I have learned to be a better leader, better listener, and an all around better person. I am truly grateful for this organization. I have also learned to be a better leader. Under the tutelage of Hung, Leng, Kenneth, and my sister, I have become a stronger person. I am now able to control my space, demand respect, and correctly acknowledge others. I hope you liked my story about the road.

- Peter Nguyen

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Hung and I co-led several sessions, including one on the Critical Voices versus the Ally voices that we all experience in our heads. We had three volunteers (myself being the first) each one talkign abuot a challenging issue he/she currently faces and we had two people taking on the role of Ally or Critic, somewhat like the old cartoon of the Demon and Angel (or Gollum and his double self.) The issues were real time ones, but the ensuing coversatino between critic and ally was improvised in the moment. The effect was emotional on several people. The voices beign played out touced a universal cord–we had all experienced those critical voices within ourselves, telling ust o shut up, that we were unloved or unwanted or helpless. The session enabled us to talk about this univrsal experience of the inner critic. (anyone interested in looking into this issue further can reference: Taming Your Gremlins for a how-to self-help appraoch, and Pema Chondron’s work, The Places that Scare You.) Most of the younger high school students were still rather emotional having disclosed this part of themselves. I hope that over time the relief will come from understandign that others have these punishing voices within them, that the arising of these voices is a human phenomena, and that as we can start externalizing these voices, objectivitly looking at it (by verbalizing them to others), that a new awareness will dawn on us: we are not those voices. If you are able to study something, then it no llonger becomes a part of you; you have made what you are subjected to into an object of inquiry. one of the high school girls cornered me and asked: so if those critical voices are not me, then who am I? And how did I get those voices in the first place? well, on the bus to Dalat, there was a young mtoher in front of us, who threatend her 1 -2 year old son with the following: if you don’t stop crying, I am going to throw you out of the bus. That’s where the internal crtical voices coem from; inherited from culture and family. Yes these critical voices can be a motivator (fear cn be a motivator, no doubt), but its not the same kind of motivation derived from joy or from core strengths. As a coach who does this kind fo work for a living with corporate clients, I feel very privileged to do this with younger people. I am moved by their ability to open up, to share wtih each other in a spirit of learning. I feel quite blessed.

– Leng Lim

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Hung and I took a side trip on Day 5, leaving the team behind and traveling to Dalat in the Central Mountains, a 12 hour ride on a van from Danang. By the time the ride was over, I thought my neck had unscrewed itself. The trip here was worth it. I had been here 12 years ago when I had embarked on my overland trip from Singapore to Beijing. See Dalat and the country side of Vietnam after 12 years was an encouraging experience. I remembered the dark and stale shops of Dalat, and the desperate energy of the street kids who had swarmed around me. Today, Dalai is vibrant, with public fountains, outdoor cafes, clean streets, and the ever ready smiles of the shop keepers. There is an energy and pride that is pulpable in the air. I find it very moving to see the young people, typing away at internet cafes (inwhich I find myself at this moment), with their bright faces and direct looks. 12 years ago, the only form of public transport were the cyclos in Saigon, who charged a hefty US$1 then. Today, there is ample transport on the backseats of motorcyles with personable drivers. I had come to Vietnam 12 years ago because I was curious about the effects of the war. My teenage years in Singapore in the 1970’s was marked by news of the refugee situation. It was a historical lesson to visit the cu chi tunnels, to realize why the Americans couldn’t win a war where the locals were fighting for their dignity and self respect. Bao Ninh’s Sorrow’s of War was my reading material on the train. But today, I have a sense that the war is truly past. There is now a future, work to be had and done, and the pleasures of a material life. But the friendliness and down-to-earth goodness of people are still evident. We had dinner last night with family friends, sitting on a linoleum floor, eating copious quantities of homemade banh xeo, my contribution of 2 durians, and the sharing of hope-filled stories for the future. Pham wants SEALNEt to consider bring computers to his technical college where he is a professor in auto mechanics. I said I would relay his suggestion to SEALNET. The bus ride to Danang, while somewhat torturous to my pampered San Francisco body, was smooth. Gone were the potholed roads and over stuff vans. The road was smooth and tarred. I never thought I would take such great joy at these kinds of improvements. As a Singaporean born in the sixties, mine had been the generation to see the country change in the greatest kind of way.But when one is part of the change, it is harder to notice what is changing. The change in Vietnam is the only one i have observed through direct experience as an adult, and yes, i do find myself strangely moved to tears to see an evenly paved road, an absence of beggars, a night market, plastic chairs for the road side stalls. it moves to see a community move forward and change for the better. I feel proud about SEALNET. I think we have found an idea that only has legs but wings. And I am proud that we believe in the power of youth.

– Leng Lim, Project Advisor


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The first activity of the morning was a social with the college students from Danang College of Foreign Language. We all played games like trying to sing a song after only hearing it once, wheelbarrow races to bob for lychees, and learning how to do the Electric Slide from Nancy. To wrap the social up, everyone went picture crazy and the room was a frenzy of camera flashes. My mouth hurt from smiling so much! Next were the workshops. Thai and Chi Pham led a workshop on Leadership Styles and made us divide into smaller groups to do the “human knot.” My group was really quick at it and was able to undo the knot twice, while most other groups didn’t get a chance to finish. I think this was mostly because we had Tuan in our group and he was really good at bossing us all around. Ca Dao and Chi Tran led a workshop called “Strung Out,” in which we had to discuss a heavy topic while passing around a ball of string. It made us realize how different it is to be the one speaking and to be the one listening. Then we returned to Daesco hotel for lunch. My group went to eat com ga, chicken and rice. After lunch we had more workshops on the 10th floor. One was about public speaking and was led by Phuong Tran and Viet and the other was about safety led by Phuong Huynh. At 4:30 half of the group went to Cam Ne Village and the other group was supposed to go to SOS Orphanage, but those plans fell through and some SEALNet representatives will meet with the director on Tuesday to work out the details. Tonight’s spotlight was on me, which was kind of a scary experience. But at the same time, it was very freeing to share with other members of the team. Shi-Hua’s spotlight was postponed for today, since everyone was sleepy. I’m looking forward to hearing what she has to say.

- Mia Nguyen

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Date: June 23rd 2006 Today, It was hotter than usual, the sun was out earlier around 3:00 am. Around 5:00 am, I was annoyed but hundred of phone calls from all mentees. I guessed they decided to wake up all together and go to the beach to watch sunrise. However, I was upset because I didn’t have enough sleep. Anyway, after finishing breakfast, Nancy and Ken announced the schedule for the group. Quynh and I today had to conduct a workshop “Negotiation” in the morning. We were both excited about it. Second group left around 8:45 am to Da Nang College. Like usual, we sang all the way there, though now we ran out of songs to sing. When We got to Da Nang College, we were all looked tired and sleepy. Leng and Hung had to leave today for Da Lat, so in the morning, they replaced my workshop with their session. Leng and Hung conducted Current Reality and Vision workshop. It was very well put but I guessed I was too tired to pay attention. The workshop took longer than our expectations and since we had to share the room with Software group, we were all distracted . However, it seemed like our mentees understand more about us through this process. Two more worshops came up, which were “The Five Languages of Love” and “Emotions”. I thought the topic was very interesting and I learned a lot about how to give and recieve love from others, but most of the mentees did not really understand the purpose of these activities. This problem was discussed later in our Debrief session. Nancy gave an mandatory nap to everybody which was great, then for metoring session, she let us to have dinner with our mentees and some quality times. That was most satisfied moments I had for the day. Finally, Debrief was short and well done. We discussed how to make debrief most effective and we all agreed what topics we should touch. I thought that was helpful for everybody. Mentor-Mentee was still a hot topic to discuss and we also concluded that we cannot expect too much from our mentees in two weeks or a major growth from them. We thought for now, the process was to plant a seed and watch it grow slowly. Finally, spotlight was again personal and I was happy to learn about Chi Tran and Chi Pham even though half of us were asleep because of the dim light. I can’t wait for Mia and Wei Siang to do their spotlight.

- Tuyet-Mai Hoang

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After breakfast, the group traveled to the Danang College of Foreign Language in two groups. I met Stephanie who will be working on the documentary with Tracy. To strengthen the mentor-mentee relationship, van groups were assigned so that the two groups could mingle more. Everyone began the day by playing the “Cushion Game” led by Phuong Tran and Tuyet-Mai. At first, the students had to be reminded that the activity would be most useful if they divulged meaningful information. During the night debriefing, Leng mentioned that he was impressed by the students’ ability to open up and share personal information such as, “I am afraid of being alone.” During the game, Wei Siang and Shi-Hua arrived (still jetlagged from their trip) as well as some university students from the DCFL. After the game everyone joined in a learning activity about our internal Angels and Devils, which represent our Poisonous Critical Internal Voices and our Supportive Nurturing Internal Voices. We noticed a general trend that some critical voices seemed to be universal, such as rebelling against parents and not feeling good enough. After lunch, Hung and Leng led a core values workshop. Each student had to pick a fruit from the ones lying on the ground in the middle of the circle which represented their core values in some way. My core values in comparison to the apple were discovery (because I had never tried that kind of apple before), simplicity (because the appearance of the apple is very straightforward compared to a chom chom or durian) and my group members told me that one of my values was openness/friendliness. Following that, Chi Pham and I facilitated an Introvert/Extrovert workshop – which did not run as smoothly as planned. The main difficulty arose because Chi and I did not agree on the main purpose of the workshop. Also, we had to share our room with another lesson and could not be as loud as we wanted. On a positive note, our difficulties provided a learning opportunity for other members, so hopefully future workshops will not run into as many kinks. During the SEALNet members’ night debriefing, Tuan and Ca Dao were in charge. Nancy and Phuong H. were the chosen members for tonight’s Spotlight On. The group felt very honored by Nancy’s trust in sharing a very intimate story about her greatest achievement in learning how to love. Phuong revealed her struggles in growing up and struggling with the concept of a traditional and “good” Vietnamese woman, which I have noticed is a popular trend among the high school students.

- Mia Nguyen

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We started our day with a group aerobic on the top floor of Daesco hotel. It was such a great fun. However, doing it after breakfast is something I have never tried before. At 8.30am we headed to Danang College of Foreign Language and by 9.30am, we all were there. Today was our first day to work one-to-one with our mentees and we started to learn different leadership topics together. Tuyet Mai and Phuong Tran commenced the day with the cushion game. We were requested to find an empty chair for us as we switch our places with people sharing same interest or qualities. We then moved on with an activity to discovered our inner voices – both critical and ally voices. The activity involved lots of emotions as people explored their own inner voices and found out that their friends also share same voices. After a good lunch with “banh canh”. Leng and Hung led a discussion on core values. We then moved on to fruit rituals exercise, when each of us picked a fruit and explained in our small groups of 3 people how we chose that fruit. In small group discussion, we identified our core values and relate to the fruit we picked. Then each of us were requested to share core values that they would bring to the group. The last activity of the day was Mia and Chi Pham’s Extro/Intro activity where we explored further ourselves in regard to our communication style.

- Phuong Huynh

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This morning we received our group debriefing at 8:00 am and headed to the Danang College of Foreign Language for SEALNet members to receive more internal training and for the Software Team (Peter) to install software on the newly installed computers. Kenneth and Phuong held a Mentoring Workshop for the SEALNet members to prepare them for their mentoring relationship, which will officially begin tomorrow. The members then participated in some connecting exercises facilitated by Leng and Hung, in which SEALNet members paired up and practiced silently “being present” with another person. At first there were nervous giggles, but as the members became accustomed to the practice, real connections began to form. Ca Dao experienced a true revelation during group discussion, and Chi Pham expressed her admiration for Ca Dao’s courage and honesty. In the afternoon the college students went through mock college interviews with Leng, Brooke, Chi Tran, and Phuong. Surprisingly, most of the high school students reported that they weren’t nervous about the interviews, yet many also recognized areas for improvement. During this time, the SEALNet members got to enjoy a long rest before everyone headed to the beach for a short swim in the ocean and a feast of seafood. Chi, Dani, Thai and I had a special visitor, Co Kim, our Vietnamese teacher at Arizona State University. After speaking with Co Kim, Leng is really jazzed about starting a SEALNet group and project based at ASU.

- Mia Nguyen

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Category: Project Story

Prior to coming on this project, I made sure to read the profile of my mentee so that I could prepare questions that would spark conversations between the two of us. When I arrived, I discovered that she had mysteriously dropped out of the program. Instead, I was reassigned to one of the village children who had already come. She speaks no English so I welcomed the challenge to overcome the language barrier and to practice my own Vietnamese. It was better for her and to make her experience in this program, however, if she was able to have someone who was able to communicate with her more fluently. Therefore, she was assigned to another mentor and I was given one who could speak English well enough. She was only my mentee for an hour or two, but I still felt like I had failed her in not being able to communicate with her, so I have been striving to speak with her, no matter how little, to ascertain with her that I still hold an interest in her gettin the most from these two weeks as possible. For three days now, I have been asking questions, elementary at best, and she has managed shy answers. Today, however, she approached me and asked me a conversational question. It was a sign of success to me because I have made her feel comfortable enough to strike up a conversation with me, a foreigner. This was indicative that I have done well in helping her, for which I am very happy. More materially, I have broken ground with my proper mentee. She has expressed a wish for us to become better acquainted on a personal level so that we can communicate clearly throughout this project. I like her very much so I am glad that I have been able to put her at ease enough for her to wish to close the spheres of privacy that separate us momentarily. This is also a first step toward my ultimate goal, which is to build a long lasting relationship with her that will extend beyond the program. Today has been very successful for me and I will sleep well tonight knowing that the work I have done, laying relationship groundwork, is beginning to show its first fruits. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow holds!

- Danelle Mallen

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Category: Project Story

“When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But still we know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lay down to die, what it makes in all my days till then–that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it.” The above quotation is from C.S. Lewis’s novel Out of the Silent Planet. Hopefully its being from a science fiction novel does not take away from its meaning to you, dear reader, because in the past couple of days I have seen their truth in progress. In the past, when I have partaken of leadership activities, I have always felt like something of a third wheel. This time it is different. There is so much unaffected warmth from both the members and the high school students that it would be difficult for one to remain untouched. The past forty-eight hours have changed my life for ever, or at least hold that potential if I choose to let them. I came to Vietnam seeking a new perspective on the world. I did not, however, expect to gain it so soon into the program. I have gained so much to think on and meditate about in the past even few hours that I would write far more than I am sure you are willing to read. I will give a synopsis, though. This morning, the SEALNet members and the high school students went to Da Nang College to set up computers for the Foreign Language Department. Each of three teams were given two or three computers to set up and every team set to work with such unpretending excitement and ambition that a task that was meant to take a couple of hours took half of that. Consequently, there was plenty of time to talk with the high school students. I spoke with my mentee and tried to get to know her. She is a taciturn, intelligent, optimistic young woman who hopes to extend her education in the states. She worries, however, about the SAT testing that she will have to take in order to get into an American university. As soon as I began to describe the testing process to her, three or four other girls quickly gathered around to ask questions and learn as much as they could. One high school student has set his sights on Harvard. Not even I, a citizen of the U.S. with very little financial hardship in my past and all sorts of educational opportunities at my fingertips, never dared to try for Harvard. Their ambition is almost daunting and has made me feel ungrateful for my own good fortune by comparison. Secondly, the workshops here have helped me to define what it is in my own life philosophy that I have had trouble doing myself. It is, perhaps, too verbose to divulge all of my thoughts here. The emotions flowing forth from them are still too fresh to articulate well. I will say, however, that what I have experienced has made an indelible imprint on my heart and mind and that I am forever grateful to my SEALNet teammates and leaders for affording me this invaluable experience.

- Danelle Mallen

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Category: Project Story

Today is day two of the Vietnam Project. Everyone woke up and made it to breakfast by 8 am — sadly, most of the food was gone by that time! So tomorrow morning we will all have to wake up earlier. Everyone, SEALNet members and high school students, drove to Danang College of Foreign Language where SEALNet members were introduced to the professors and given a brief speech about the project’s work. The professors recognized Viet and Nancy’s efforts and Nancy invited them to our banquet next Friday. All the members divided into three groups and began the day’s task of setting up 7 computers. Amazingly, everyone worked very competitively and cooperatively to accomplish the setup in about 30 minutes. After finishing up everyone hung out in groups in the newly established computer lab, getting to know fellow group members and eating fruit provided by the DCFL. For lunch, everyone went to Co Sang’s house for a home-cooked meal. So many people tried to pack into her house that we resorted to sitting on the floor cross-legged – and even so we still had to eat in shifts! Filled with food and rested after a short break, the SEALNet members gathered in a hotel room to conduct internal training and the high school students attended an impromptu workshop devised by Phuong and Tuyet-Mai about applying to colleges in the United States. The SEALNet members’ internal training session was very intense, but helped all of us to learn more about owning leadership and owning our own experiences in a session. After a delicious dinner selected by Ca Dao, all members returned to Daesco hotel for more sessions. The SEALNet members gathered to learn about social entrepreneurship from Leng, who shared some personal experiences with the group. The members also learned about the Johardi Window and how to build teams by making private personal information known to others. The group participated in a “Spotlight On” session for Viet, who will be leaving for Thailand tomorrow morning. Viet shared his story of growing up as a “lucky” boy and his experiences in Singapore and at Stanford. Members were invited to ask him questions about himself and provide him with feedback about how he has affected them. Phuong, Tuan, Nancy and Quynh, among others shared their appreciation, admiration and respect for Viet with him. By this point, everyone was exhausted so the group decided to break for the night. All in all, Dani and I agreed it was a very thought-provoking day.

- Mia Nguyen

Posted: 1/2/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: Project Story

It was 5am when the sun arose and shone right into our bedroom. Thai was already prancing around the room by then. When I opened my eyes an hour later, he was back in bed, complaining about the light bulb that had fused in our bathroom. We both showered in the dark (NOT at the same time obviously) and he slipped and hit the toilet bowl while I didn’t. I suppose that encounter is sort of symbolic of how we came together as a group. Some of us weren’t quite used to the amenities (or lack thereof) in Vietnam, whereas others grew up in this environment. Some of us came prepared, whilst some others had to grope somewhat in the dark to find their way through the various aspects of this project. But no matter what had brought us to Danang, we were all here together (OK save for a few of our team members, but they’re graduating so let’s give them the break they deserve) and are going forward with this project at the forefront of our minds for the next two weeks. The morning and afternoon of the first day consisted of getting people from the airport to the hotel. Some of us then shopped around for snacks. We had passed many bakeries (some looked quite fancy) yesterday, but somehow when we really needed to stop by a bakery to get some cakes and bread we couldn’t find very many. After walking about in circles (for which I sincerely apologise — we walked out of our hotel, then along the river, then turned back to where we started out from) we found two small bakeries with the help of the local vendors we approached. As we didn’t know what was in the most of the cake stuff we saw, we ended up buying one item of each unknown delicacy to sample what it tasted like. Our greatest find was a green slimy looking thing (which we have now christened “the green slimy cake”) which actually turned out to be the most delicious of the lot. Just before we reached the hotel, we found roadside stalls which tempted us with lychees, dragonfruit and sugarcane pieces — to all of which we happily succumbed. Lunch was a joyful affair at Co Sang’s house. Co Sang is one of our local contacts at Cam Ne village. I probably should retell the story of that village. Her aunt lives alone and had very generously offered the use of her own living room/dining room for conversion into a computer lab for the village. No one in the village had ever touched a computer mouse before and when we visited her the night before she expressed gratitude that we could just read from her eyes, without the need to understand the Vietnamese she was speaking. Co Sang lives in Danang and very kindly offered to prepare lunch for all of us. It was a generous spread and we left her home happily full and fully happy. In the afternoon, a group of us went off to run some errands, like activating our sim cards for use in Vietnam. But we managed to chow down on some banh beo. We also had another version of banh laop(??), which Brooke very cheerfully nicknamed “the fossil thing” because the shrimp embedded in the rice flour paste really seemed like a fossil. Dinner was another cheerful affair (hey I hope everything can be done as cheerfully as they have been today) with some high school mentees joining us. At night we had our first session together as a group, with Leng, Hung, Viet and Nancy leading the icebreakers, sharing of the vision/history of SEALNet/SALI. It was very enriching and eye-opening to hear about the various burdens elsewhere which were splitting our attention and minds–worries about the future, our loved ones etc–as well as what we all would like to bring home with us from PV2006. We were certainly off to a good start. Hopefully everyone will get over their jet-lag and regain their voices as we embark on this journey to change others’ lives, and our own. Let’s all take a deep breath as we await the next day’s adventures. Over to you, tomorrow.

- Kenneth Wong

Posted: 1/2/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ]
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Category: Project Story

pheww…. what a tired day! ok so here is what we did in the past 2 days. yesterday i went to pick up nancy, chi tran, thai, mia and danelle (do i get everyone’s name rite?) at 12 pm. mia looks different than what i saw on our forum. thai always has a little laugh. danelle is really nice too. and nancy, of course, is the most talkative one. hahaha… we went to have “banh beo” for lunch. afternoon, going shopping (hurraaayyy… we’done with shopping rite? i hate shopping so much) and having “mi quang” and “cao lau” for dinner. then, everyone went to rest in daesco hotel today, pick up viet at 7:30 am. pick up kenneth at 9 am. viet went home after seeing everyone at daesco. 4pm. nancy, kenneth and i went to make the plaque, came to cam ne village to visit while others went to the beach with nancy’s aunt. this is time when i found out how heavy kenneth is. hahaha… we should have gone by taxi but kenneth chose to take a bike. i drove nancy on my mum’s bike. later when we came to co sang’s house, we switched. i took kenneth and… gosh! hahahaha he’s so heavy… hehehe…is it supposed that every singaporean guy is really “big”? hahaha.. i saw JH, Joel, BoonLeong, KS, Dexian… and they’re “big” guys hehehe…when nancy took pics, kenneth didn’t want to sit on the bed ’cause he was afraid that he would break that bed. and nancy, she talked soooo much (i told u, she’s a talkative woman) and now, she loses her voice … i need to call her now but as she loses her voice, uh oh… can’t do anything but wait for her to check her email. hahaha… cam ne’s quite far away from danang. we are gonna be there in wed and thurs of the seconday week. back to hotel and rest at 9pm. tomorrow. need to buy some more stuffs and pick up ppl with ca dao. uh oh, should take kenneth to a bakery too. oh gosh! i forgot we need the ID card for Viet and Tuyet Mai… how can i forget this???

– Quynh Pham