Sao Bien. Room for Education.
At the beginning of 2016, after 15 years in asset management, Thomas decided to go to Vietnam to work as a volunteer.
He was so deeply impressed by the honest hospitality, the openness and thirst for knowledge that he decided to found an NGO supporting education in Vietnam.
With the active support of „Verein für Soziale Gerechtigkeit‘ (Organization for Social Justice) and three enthusiastic board members, he quickly raised initial donations for his project. A short time afterwards, Sao Bien was registered as a non-profit organization in Austria.
The organization aims to give children between the ages of 6 and 11 access to quality education by building schools in very remote and very poor villages in Vietnam. In this way it aims to contribute to the children’s right for education, as anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals. More …
Sao Bien solely focuses on those areas in Vietnam which, due to their location and poverty, have not received sufficient support from the State and other NGOs in the past. These areas are mostly populated by ethnic minorities.
Many organizations shy away from the logistical troubles and additional costs that are often connected with these remote locations.
Sao Bien involves the local people and local authorities as well as teachers from the very beginning. This ensures a high degree of identification with the project and, at the same time, guarantees that the school exactly matches the specific needs of the particular village.
Agreements with the local authorities ensure a proper use of the building after completion.
The project is implemented with the help of different local partners whose support is essential in particular for finding a suitable location, contact with local authorities and a smooth and efficient implementation.
High efficiency is achieved by a lean organization with an experienced project manager based in Vietnam and a NGO-experienced board based in Vienna that handle financials, risk management and legal aspects. Therefore, no money is wasted on headquarters and other overhead costs, but reaches the children in need.
The focus of an international organization on these regions will eventually raise awareness of the problematic situation of these minority groups.