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What is at the core of SHH?

OUR STORY

It all started with a 20 year-old college student on a weeklong service trip to Honduras.

In 2004, Shin Fujiyama spent his winter break from the University of Mary Washington volunteering in Honduras. He was so moved by the experience that he returned to Honduras during his subsequent breaks to learn more about the country, its challenges, and its people.

In 2006, he started Students Helping Honduras (SHH) with his sister, Cosmo, who was attending the College of William & Mary at the time. Shin established a makeshift office in his dorm room closet for the 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization and began collecting coins inside a plastic penny jar. Many of the organization’s initial fundraising attempts failed miserably—including a penny drive that made no more than $23.

Upon graduation in 2007, Shin and Cosmo moved down to Honduras to build up the organization. Together with the people of Honduras, the organization built the village of Villa Soleada, the Villa Soleada Children’s Home, and the Villa Soleada Bilingual School.

Concurrently, the team began building schools towards a goal of building 1,000 schools throughout Honduras. Nearly one hundred campuses and schools throughout the world got behind the campaign. By 2019, more than 7,000 people had volunteered with the organization in Honduras, 50 school projects had been completed, more than $5 million had been raised, and the organization had grown to employ more than 70 staff members—most of whom are Honduran nationals.

Concurrently, the team began building schools towards a goal of building 1,000 schools throughout Honduras. Nearly one hundred campuses and schools throughout the world got behind the campaign. By 2019, more than 7,000 people had volunteered with the organization in Honduras, 50 school projects had been completed, more than $5 million had been raised, and the organization had grown to employ more than 70 staff members—most of whom are Honduran nationals.

2006

Provisional schoolhouse is built in Siete de Abril

We meet the Sunshine Lady Foundation’s challenge to raise $33,333 in one semester

2007

We meet the Sunshine Lady Foundation’s challenge to raise $100,00 in one semester

Shin and Cosmo move down to Honduras

Construction of Villa Soleada begins

2008

We meet the Sunshine Lady Foundation’s challenge to raise $150,000 in one semester

First staff member is hired

2009

Villa Soleada Village is built and residents move in

Shin is featured on CNN Heroes and Larry King Live

2010

Shin speaks at TEDx Bangkok

Villa Soleada Children’s Home is built

 

2011

The Villa Soleada Boy’s Home opens

2012

Villa Soleada Bilingual School opens with 50 students

Villa Soleada Guest House is built

2013

Opened Villa Soleada Girl’s Home

2015

Our 20th School is built

The Villa Soleada Transitional Home is opened

SHH speaks at United National Headquarters in NYC

Shin is featured on a 60 minute documentary show on TV Tokyo

2016

Villa Soleada Pre-School opens its doors

Team grows to 40+ staff members who are mostly Honduran

Total funds raised since day one surpasses $5 million

Total number of build trip volunteers since day one surpasses 5,000

Shin starts podcast show on social entrepreneurship and development aid

2017

Grew Team to 60+ staff members who are mostly Honduran

2018

Villa Soleada Bilingual School surpasses 250 students

Villa Soleada Early Childhood Education Center nears completion

Groundbreaking of the Villa Soleada Bilingual High School

Groundbreaking of our 50th school project