Update from our U.S. Director - May 2017

Dear Supporters,

I will be taking my first trip to East Africa this June and July. it will a strategic trip that is meant to make new business ties with organizations that want to partner and grow with us as we expand our work in vocational education, girls’ education and university scholarships for our MBSS graduates. 

  • Zawadi Education, which provides scholarships to gifted African secondary school girl graduates.

  • Andela, which provides a prestigious vocational training course to Africa’s best and brightest software programmers.

  • FilmAid Kenya, which works with youth in Kakuma Refugee Camp and other groups to provide arts and film training. For example, they are known for their campaign to bring refugee stories to the global public through their #teamrefugees campaign.

  • BRCK, which provides appropriate hardware technology for remote learners, including tablets that allow school children to learn even if their teacher is absent and there is limited electricity.

  • Xavier Project, which teaches multimedia literacy to South Sudanese refugees living in Nairobi.

In South Sudan, I will follow-up with NGOs that are potential partners such as Norwegian Refugee Council, Concern WorldwideUSAID VISTASGirls' Education South Sudan; University of Juba, UN Mission in South Sudan including UNICEF and World Food Program.

As a development professional with over seven years of field experience, I will also perform key programmatic tasks, such as:

1) Map out the stakeholders in South Sudan's education industry and the performance of their projects, meet with them and understand how decision making is made in these donor and implementation organizations, get a sense of their outlook for the next year or two in South Sudan.

2) In Aweil, research for designing the South Sudan Employment Initiative, get a sense of what buildings are available, what other NGOs are doing in the TVET (technical vocational education and training) and working with out-of-school youth to give them economic opportunities.

3) Strategic planning with field staff.

4) Collect stories from the students, teachers and members of the local community.

5) Meet with alumni from last year’s class and other alumni from previous years.

6) Collect other information required for grants and major donors.

If you're interested in arranging a personal presentation after I return in late July, please email me at yvonne@vadfoundation.org.


Yvonne Chen (M.A. International Development Studies)

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Yvonne Chen