Thank you to our friends and family who supported our donation drive last Christmas. Together, we raised a total of $2310 – well above what we anticipated!
With your support, Ravy, Tin and Francis traveled to Vietnam and purchased bulk goods to aid the many orphans prior to Christmas. Your donation was given to the Chua Ky Quang 2 orphanage in Saigon and will help feed over 100 children for the next 3 months. They include the following:
- 18 boxes of instant noodles
- 180 cartons of milk
- 6 boxes of biscuits
- 12 large bottles of soy sauce
- 5 large bottles of cooking oil
- 1 tonne of rice
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the staff. Nothing has changed since we last visited. We walked down a long dreary corridor lined with confined rooms of children. Each room was segregated according to the child’s ability/disability. One room was reserved for children with mental illnesses, another for children who were able and the rest were a multitude of rooms for children suffering from Hydrocephalus, an incurable brain defect caused by use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The nurse advised us that most children had no mobility and will only live up to the ages of 2 to 3 unless given medical attention.
As we meandered along the corridors, older children strolling along in their wheelchairs were keen to greet us and guide us throughout the facility. By the time they turn 18, the orphanage can no longer accommodate them and in most cases, they would turn to begging or selling lottery tickets on the streets to survive.
We visited a room full of restless children who were on their lunch break. As we entered the room, one of the kids quickly offered to play soccer whilst another child tugged on my shirt and asked me to ‘ẳm em’ which means to hug and carry him. I did and he held on tight…you start to wonder how all of the children here are deprived of a human connection and the affection needed between a parent and a child…yet they all carry on with their lives as though it is the norm.
We took some time to absorb all of this. We realised that no matter how small or big our problems are, there will always be someone out there who is suffering substantially more than us…but at the end of the day, we are all in this together and that we can make small differences in peoples lives. So thank you for helping us make that difference.
That evening, a friend of ours referred us to SV07, a Vietnamese charity comprising of 20 members. Their group actively fund raise for orphanages, schools and hospitals each month. They had a fundraising event on that night at a local hospital to support 60 quadraplegics, paraplegics and various people with disabilities who would receive prosthetics or medical treatment funded by UNICEF. The problem is that they all come from poverty stricken backgrounds with most not even able to afford the journey to get to the hospital let alone afford the accommodation. Some only carried the clothes on their back and others were homeless and lived on the street. With SV07’s advice and your donations, we managed to purchase the following:
- 60 boxes of dry crackers
- 240 packets of instant noodles
- 300 sachets of shampoo
- 240 packs of milk cartons
- 60 cans of condensed milk
- 60 packs of body wipes
Although the above items seem so simple, we were advised that the shampoo satchets and body wipes would help bring some relief to their nomadic life whilst the condensed milk was used to dip bread in just to bring some flavour into their daily meals…apparently it is a common practice in Vietnam for the poor to dip bread in condensed milk.
SV07 helped us package up the gifts whilst another charity group cooked up a basic meal for everyone. As we delivered the small gifts and meals, you could sense the gratitude from each person. They smiled briefly but, underlying this facade you can sense their grief and their overwhelming thoughts of what their future holds for them.
A few songs were sung by SV07 to lift up each other’s spirits. Everyone joined in and held hands…some were missing a hand so we held their arm. Others were missing an arm… so we held each others shoulders.
We sauntered along the hospital wards collecting the disposable bowls from each patient as they finished their meal. Some were so inconceivably poor that they insisted us not to throw away the bowls so that they could use it for their next meal. It dawned on me that something so insignificant like a paper bowl was often overlooked as part of our daily battle to survive in such a lucky country, yet this is the reality of their situation…their battle is beyond compare and relentless.
Last Christmas you brought a smile and relief to the many orphans and homeless people of Vietnam. We were showered with many thank yous over there and we vehemently insisted them that it was only possible thanks to you that this charity drive could be accomplished. So thank you all again as we have no doubt that it has made a difference to those less fortunate than us.
$2310 raised in total thanks to…
|17/12/2016||Miss Jennifer Nguyen-Do||$200|
|13/12/2016||Miss Vanessa Leung||$50.00|
|10/12/2016||Ms Karly Nguyen-Do||$200|
|10/12/2016||Mr Luan Nguyen||$200|
|10/12/2016||Mr Luke and Oliver Pham||$200|
|10/12/2016||Mr Joe Forgione||$121|
|03/12/2016||Dr Anna Cao||$100|
|02/12/2016||Mr Abdou Elhage||$150|
|02/12/2016||Prof Abdul Rahim Ymer||$50|
|02/12/2016||Dr Meg & Leslie Wilson||$100|
|02/12/2016||Miss Vi Nguyen||$100|
|02/12/2016||Mr Ravy Pham||$200|