Frequently Asked Questions

What is East Meets West trying to accomplish?

East Meets West creates effective, innovative solutions to difficult development problems such as the lack of adequate cardiac care for children, infant mortality and morbidity, insufficient access to clean water and modernizing infrastructure. You can read more about our work in our overview or our programs section.

Why do individuals support these development programs?

The people who are part of the East Meets West community have different motivations. Some of us are Vietnam veterans, and we feel a strong sense of obligation to help out a country that was devastated by the war. Others are attracted by the fascinating culture, the charming people, and the beautiful landscape and want to be involved any way that they can. Many are motivated by a simple desire to help out, and others are impressed with the energy and entrepreneurship of the Vietnamese people.

Where do you get your funding?

Funding for EMW’s programs comes from a number of sources including the World Bank, USAID, private foundations such as the Ford Foundation and thousands of private individuals. For many years, Atlantic Philanthropies has been EMW’s most generous supporter. Click here to see our funders.

How much of your budget goes directly to project work?

According to our 2010 audited finances, 94% of our operating budget goes directly towards program expenses.

Who is on your Board of Directors?

East Meets West is governed by a volunteer board of directors elected for 3 year terms. Click here to meet our board.

How large is your staff?

EMW has over 110 staff located in the USA, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Timor Leste and India. You can meet all our staff here on our website - click here.

What role does the local government have in East Meets West's work?

East Meets West works in cooperation with the local government. We seek approval for our projects from the government of Vietnam because they oversee civic and regional planning. The Vietnamese people and their government- local, regional, and national- are responsible for maintenance and sustainability of our turn-key projects once they are completed. For on-going programs like our scholarship program, the dental clinic, and the orphanages, we usually partner with a civic organization such as the Red Cross, the National Women's Union, the National Organization for Study Promotion and social service agencies equivalent to the Department of Health and Humanitarian Services in the United States.

Does the U.S. government have a role in East Meets West?

At present, East Meets West Foundation several projects supported by funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Village of Hope was also initially built with support in part by a grant from USAID.

Can I volunteer for East Meets West?

If you are a dentist or other medical professional, we do have volunteer opportunities. Click here for more information on the dental volunteer program. We do not have a program for general volunteers. If you have a lot of generous friends you think would be interested in our work and you want to volunteer to contact them for us, we definitely want to hear from you.

If I make a donation, is it tax deductible?

East Meets West is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization and donations are often tax deductible as allowed by law. Gifts of stock and securities are also welcomed. Click here to find out more about donation information.

Do you accept donations of used clothing, toys, books, medical equipments, computers or other things that might be useful for the Vietnamese people?

Generally, we do not. Shipping and customs tariffs are very expensive. We prefer to purchase locally which helps support the Vietnamese economy.

I'm a veteran. Can I go to Vietnam and visit your projects?

Most definitely. East Meets West encourages veterans to visit. Vietnam is safe, friendly and the people are especially cordial to Americans and service veterans. If you find yourself in Da Nang, we encourage visitors to visit our office. We also offer an exclusive giving circle for veterans interested in giving back to Vietnam. Visit our Veterans Circle page.

Can East Meets West help me arrange my trip?

We don't do that on a general basis, but we encourage you to visit our online travel section to find out more and connect with other travelers.

How can I get more information?

We are available by email or phone. Please send general requests to or call to speak to EMW staff at 1-800-561-3378 within the U.S.



East Meets West

1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 1420, Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: 1-800.561.3378  |  Tel: 510-763-7045  |  Fax: 510-763-6545

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