I was not a friend of Landon’s but our paths crossed several times when I was country director of IIE-Vietnam (2005-09). My brief encounters with him made a lasting impression. What I remember are his thoughtfulness, intelligence, humility and sincerity. I regret that I didn’t know him better.
Landon had lived in Vietnam since 2004, first as a Fulbrighter, from 2005-08 as a senior associate with IDG Ventures Vietnam and from June 2008 for Indochina Development Partners in HCMC. He took his own life in June 2009.
Here is a link to the first quarterly report to donors and prospective donors to the Landon Carter Schmitt Memorial Fund. It “describes the fund’s mission; its inaugural project; our partner, Global Community Service Foundation; its fundraising initiatives; the Schmitt family’s trip to Viet Nam in March; and accomplishments to date.” Below are some excerpts from the report:
After the death of our beloved son and brother, we decided to establish a fund in Landon’s name to support projects in Viet Nam, a country where he lived and worked for more than five years. Landon loved Viet Nam, its people, culture and history and spoke the language fluently so he could be a part of it all. We felt it only fitting to honor his memory in the country he called his second home.
Mission of the Fund
The Landon Carter Schmitt Memorial Fund provides financing for capital projects in Viet Nam that serve the needs of children, especially those with physical disabilities or medical issues, and/or are economically disadvantaged.
Landon Carter Schmitt School for Children with Visual Disabilities
The inaugural project of the fund is to build a school for children with visual disabilities in Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam. Phase I of the project is the construction of a building that will accommodate 50 visually impaired children in a boarding school environment. The immediate goal of the school is to enable the children to attend local public schools once they have the necessary skills to integrate into that system. They will receive supplemental education onsite focused on life skills that will include, but not be limited to, music, technology, athletics and mobility training. These skills will enable graduates of the school to integrate into mainstream society, which is the ultimate goal of the school. It will be completely self-contained with dining facilities, dormitory rooms, a technology laboratory, study rooms and classrooms for age-appropriate instruction.
If you would like to make a donation to the fund, please take a look at the quarterly report, or visit this website.
Below is a photo of Landon, who participated in a February 2009 panel discussion about Ivy League schools organized by IIE-Vietnam’s HCMC office.