For nearly three decades, our programs have provided critical care for infants, multi-year scholarships for students, and affordable clean water and improved sanitation for low-income communities.

Building Our Foundation

The East Meets West (EMW) Foundation establishes a track record of implementing highly effective development programs in Vietnam that provide low-income children and families with the essential elements that enable them to be part of thriving communities.

2006- EMW clean water systems


Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese woman who fled to the United States after the Vietnam War, founds the East Meet West (EMW) Foundation to improve the health and welfare of the Vietnamese, especially victims of conflict, and offer a bridge between different countries to bring about world peace.


EMW receives a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to construct the Village of Hope, a shelter and safe haven for 136 needy children from Central Vietnam.


EMW starts Operation Healthy Heart, a program that provides financial and medical assistance to Vietnamese children with serious congenital heart defects whose families cannot afford the costs of surgery and treatment.


In partnership with Atlantic Philanthropies, EMW participates in building of Vietnam’s medical and educational infrastructure, including a 200-bed cardiovascular center in Huế, and a 12-story English Language training center in Da Nang.


EMW’s mission is refined to partner with the people of Vietnam to improve their health, education, and economic conditions in an effort to eradicate poverty and achieve self-sufficiency.


Executive Director Mark Stewart retires and John Anner is hired as new ED. Several large construction projects are completed, including a new pediatric hospital at Huế Central Hospital, a new internal medicine building at Da Nang General Hospital, and a dam in Da Nang province. EMW works with 17 Rotary Clubs from all over the U.S. to implement projects in Vietnam.


EMW’s Pediatric Dental Program in Da Nang celebrates its 25,000th patient in 2004 since it opened in 1996. The SPELL Scholarship Program is created and helps more than 1,500 primary school students stay in school. EMW constructs 12 self-sustainable water systems, giving over 13,000 residents of central Vietnam access to clean water.

2004- EMW’s Pediatric Dental Program


Breath of Life, EMW’s Newborn Health Program, launches as a partnership with KSE Medical to distribute a locally designed, low-cost, durable CPAP machine to help babies with respiratory distress. EMW begins an early childhood care and education program for young children, and launches a new program to combat sexual trafficking in the Mekong Delta. EMW builds 15 new water systems to serve over 16,000 people with piped water in Vietnam.

2005- EMW's early childhood care & education program


By the end of 2006, EMW has built 88 clean water systems in Vietnam. EMW completes construction of the US $8.3 million state-of-the-art Huế Cardiovascular Center, funded by Atlantic Philanthropies. EMW receives a grant from the Ford Foundation to create a medical and support network for people with disabilities in Quang Ngai province.

2006- Hue Cardiovascular Center


EMW receives a grant from the Global Partnership for Output Based Aid, managed by the World Bank, to expand its Clean Water and Sanitation Program. By the end of 2007, EMW has built a total of 109 village water systems, bringing more than 110,000 residents access to potable water piped directly into their homes. EMW’s Newborn Health Program distributes 110 CPAP machines and 14 phototherapy machines to 48 hospitals throughout Vietnam.

2007- EMW’s Newborn Health Program

Looking Beyond Vietnam

EMW takes a regional approach to international development, moving beyond the borders of Vietnam. Between 2009 and 2013, EMW launches programs in Laos, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, India, the Philippines and West Africa.

2012- EMW’s Clean Water and Sanitation Program


EMW Vietnam welcomes new Country Director, Minh Chau Nguyen. The SPELL Program provides scholarships to 4,672 children and sets up tutoring classes at 119 schools. EMW’s Clean Water and Sanitation Program builds 20 clean water systems and 320 household latrines. The Newborn Health Program expands to hospitals in Cambodia, Laos and Timor-Leste, with generous support from the Lemelson Foundation and ANT – Friends of Trento’s Neonatology, from Italy.

2008- EMW’s Clean Water and Sanitation Program


EMW makes an exploratory trip with the World Bank to investigate the development of the Output Based Aid (OBA) approach for privately funded piped water and sanitation systems in the south of Vietnam. Between 2005 and 2009, the Newborn Health Program distributes more than 450 CPAP machines and more than 500 other pieces of neonatal care equipment to more than 130 hospitals in 58 different provinces in Vietnam; these efforts support the treatment of approximately 20,000 infants per year.

2009- EMW's Newborn Health Program


EMW builds solar-powered water systems in Cambodia, serving thousands of school children. EMW builds the first intensive care units for infants in Laos; now nearly every province in the country has a health facility that has been developed, and the staff trained, by EMW. The Newborn Health Program begins work in India through a partnership with GE Healthcare and collaborations with local partners.

2010- EMW India


EMW programs are active in seven countries: Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. EMW’s mission is now to transform the health, education and communities of disadvantaged people in Asia by building partnerships, developing opportunities, and creating sustainable solutions.

2011- EMW staff retreat


EMW celebrates its 25th anniversary— the organization has now provided 400,000 people with access to clean water, treated 250,000 newborns, awarded 57,000 scholarships, and completed 63 large construction projects, including hospitals and university facilities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awards EMW a US $10.9 million grant to improve sanitation and hygiene practices among the rural poor in Vietnam and Cambodia.

2012- EMW’s Clean Water and Sanitation Program


Blue Planet Network (BPN), an online collaboration and impact analysis platform, merges with EMW’s Water and Sanitation portfolio. Founded in 2002, BPN has a mission to exponentially increase the impact of safe drinking water programs for people worldwide. EMW’s Newborn Health Program expands to West Africa, serving hospitals in Benin and Ghana.

2013- Blue Planet Network

Introducing Thrive Networks

EMW re-launches in the United States as Thrive Networks. Thrive Networks’ mission is refined to improve the health and well-being of underserved communities in Asia and Africa through evidence-based programs and technologies.

2009- EMW's Newborn Health Program


EMW relaunches in the United States as Thrive Networks. Thrive Networks adopts a bold nonprofit business model: using mergers and shared ventures to radically increase impact.

2014- Introducing Thrive Networks (not sure about this pic) 2

Coach for College, a program that brings together U.S. and local college students to teach children from rural Vietnam, joins Thrive Networks’ Education portfolio.

2014- Coach for College


After 13 years with EMW/Thrive Networks, John Anner steps down as CEO. The organization welcomes a new management team that is committed to evidence-based impact and strategic focus. Embrace, a nonprofit founded at Stanford University in 2008 when graduate students developed a low-tech, low-cost device called the Embrace Infant Warmer to treat newborns suffering from hypothermia, joins Thrive Networks’ Health portfolio.

2015- Embrace joins Thrive Health


EMW Vietnam welcomes new Country Director, Loan Duong. Thrive Networks renews its focus on conducting and commissioning rigorous evaluations and impact research. Thrive Networks programs are active in 9 countries: Afghanistan, Benin, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Uganda and Vietnam.