East Meets West Testimonials

In Their Own Words:
Testimonials from Supporters, Partners and Beneficiaries

Village of Hope Donor 

“I first became involved with East Meets West after making a visit to their Village of Hope Disadvantaged Children’s Center in 1997. There I witnessed the care and compassion of a dedicated staff to the welfare of the children of Viet Nam. As I walked around the grounds, saw the buildings, and visited the children it touched my heart in a way I had never felt before. Within a few minutes I knew I wanted to be involved with EMW. Upon my return to the USA I made a donation for repairing the buildings and supporting the children. I have been connected ever since. To be involved with the staff of EMW, and the children of the orphanages, has been an emotional, healing experience. Through the years it has helped my spirit grow beyond the memories of war to a balanced, soulful happiness.”
Dan Knox
Vietnam War Veteran

Breath of Life Donor

“EMW is a top notch NGO. Believe me, I have seen many NGOs, and EMW stands out. I am supporting a program that is consistent with the foundation’s mission, but I am also supporting an organization that can deliver services to the poor excellently.”
Robert Lemelson, Ph.D.
Vice-President, The Lemelson Foundation  

Founding SPELL Donor

“We were looking for an organization that was innovative, flexible, able to grow rapidly if funds were available, and close to the grassroots... We decided to launch and support the SPELL program through East Meets West. There are three important ‘life lessons’ that we have gleaned from our experience. First, traveling to far away places can change both your perspective and your role in the world in unexpected ways. Second, U.S. dollars have a whole different meaning in places like Vietnam. The third is that involvement in developing country philanthropy can entail more than just writing a check. My wife Barbara and I really get into the programs, dig into the details. We go to Vietnam, meet the kids and follow the progress of our donation. East Meets West very much wants engaged donors, with the knowledge that philanthropy coupled with direct involvement will entail a stronger commitment on the part of the contributors, as well as greater program accountability and effectiveness.”
Eric Hemel
Board Member

School Construction Donor

“East Meets West is a powerful force for positive and sustainable change. It has enabled our small charity to build schools in Vietnam, handling construction and financial affairs with professionalism and a true passion for the people of this fascinating country. The world needs more organizations like East Meets West – compassionate, proactive, practical and committed to making the world a better, more equitable and more promising place.”
Carin Holroyd
President, Vietnam Education Society (Canada)

Breath of Life Partner 

“I highly appreciate what the Breath of Life program is doing to improve newborn care in Vietnam and particularly in my hospital. It’s a team effort that is bridging the gap between rural and urban areas in neonatal care.”
Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan, Pediatrician
Bac Giang Provincial Hospital, Vietnam

Dental Program Donor 

“Fantastic! Fabulous! This is my third outreach. I love the changes I see: more trained staff, bigger impact on the trips, the ability to provide more services to these needy children. It is tremendous that you are establishing goals that are big and you hit them!”
Dr. Wendy Bailey
Dentist, Washington, USA

EMW Donor &Volunteer

“I first became involved with East Meets West when a Marine Corps friend and I were in Da Nang. As a veteran who served near Da Nang in 1968, I saw the devastation and suffering of the people in the countryside who were caught in the middle of a war that they did not want. Since my involvement with EMW, many of my friends have achieved great satisfaction in helping support EMW projects in Vietnam.”
Jack Wells
Marine Basic Class 6-67, California, USA

Clean Water Donor

“EMW and AkzoNobel’s community program have common priorities. We both are not interested in short-term charity but instead want to deliver sustainable solutions that will empower people in Vietnam towards brighter futures.”
Jun de Dios
General Director, AkzoNobel Paints

EMW Partner and Volunteer

“Building a working farm and greenhouse at the Kon Ray Boarding School was, I can honestly say, among the most rewarding experiences I and the Roadmonkey crew have had. What made it extra special was being able to work with the students and teachers and administrators, to cooperate across language and cultural barriers, in a spirit of mutual respect, to solve problems and help the kids get a better education.”
Paul von Zielbauer
Founder, Roadmonkey Adventure Travel

Operation Healthy Heart Donor

“I first became involved with EMW because my church has been an ongoing donor to EMW. I went on a trip to Vietnam with the church to visit many EMW programs and met with many of the people running the various programs. As a result of the trip, I felt a need to give back – and the work EMW does makes such an immediate and direct difference to the people of Vietnam. I find that the work of EMW is a huge blessing to the people of Vietnam and it is a well-run organization deeply committed to the humanitarian programs they support.”
Erik Niemann
Piedmont Community Church

SPELL Partner

“I became involved in the projects of EMW because I feel that all the programs of EMW in my province aim at helping the poor and disadvantaged children through practical help which provides multi-year scholarships or healthy heart operation to poor children in Vietnam. This help is really precious, appreciated and in accordance with the Viet Nam tradition of compassion and humanity.”
Dr. Huynh Dang Khanh
Former Director of the Binh Dinh Department of Education and Chairman of the Binh Dinh Study Promotion Association (SPA)

Breath of Life Medical Advisor

“And I remember thinking, if I added up all the babies I’d saved in 25 years of practice in Boston, that it wouldn’t come close to the difference we could make in a few months in Vietnam through this program.”
Dr. Steven Ringer
Brigham Young Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Dental Program Beneficiary

“What you have shown us is your continuously enthusiastic dedication to dental treatment for our kids. It brought bright smiles for them. In any situation, your professional conscience is still bright and you do whatever you can for your patients. On behalf of the parents and the children, I would like to send you all our most sincere gratefulness.”
Le Thi Mai
Principal, Mai Dang Chon Primary School

Compassion Home Benficiary

“My family feels very comfortable living in this new Compassion Home. From now on, we do not feel unsafe about typhoon and floods anymore, although this area frequently has natural calamities.”
Pham Ngoc Vinh, a disabled father from Quang Ngai Province whose family home was destroyed in Typhoon Ketsana

Breath of Life Donor

“It was a very easy decision for my wife and me to decide to donate money for a neonatal machine with the Breath of Life program. First, we knew exactly what the donation would make possible. Second, EMW donated the machine to a site in Vietnam where we knew it was urgently needed. Third, the program has wisely decided to manufacture the machines in Vietnam, thus fostering the biomedical instrumentation industry in Vietnam while ensuring that parts and servicing will be available. Fourth, Breath of Life provides on-site training in the use and care of the machines. I want to thank EMW for giving my wife and me this great opportunity to donate.”
Rob Gertler, MD, PhD
Staff Anesthesiologist, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound and Director, Group Health Global Health

Dental Program Beneficiary

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for treating our children from Dong Hiep! This experience was the first for all of these children. You have a wonderful team. Please continue to do your good work to help those who are very poor and disadvantaged in Vietnam.”
Karen Leonard
Lifestart Foundation Ireland

Breath of Life Donor

“I first learned of EMW at a luncheon sponsored by one of my law partners and was very impressed. I loved the idea of saving babies, especially in Vietnam. I recently visited Vietnam and was very impressed. It was heartening to see the money at work.”
Chip Rice, JD, Litigation Partner, Shartsis Friese LLP 



"I am overwhelmed by the amazing work you do and your dedicated team."

Learn more about volunteering with the Dental Program!


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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