Our third year started with an incredibly successful fundraiser in October, 2015. We could hardly believe the generosity of so many businesses and friends, as we raised over $43,000 to continue our work in improving the lives of the impoverished children of Vietnam.
The children at the Vinh Long orphanage are continuing to grow into such beautiful young individuals. We had the privilege of playing a small part in the Champagne family’s adoption of a two beautiful siblings from this orphanage, and our representatives Tu McKenna and Ms Mai were invited to be a part of the touching adoption ceremony in November 2015.
Tu has been an incredible asset to us, as she helped facilitate the installation of a couple of air conditioners to keep the children comfortable in the heat. As well, she organized to have painters come in to repaint the inside of the building in February 2016 to upgrade the standard of the children’s living and playing quarters. Our foundation also helped pay for part of the tutoring fee for five of the students from the orphanage, so that they keep up with their peers in finishing school.
In November, Tu, along with our wonderful Mr. Quang Mai, visited the children of the Mai Am Thien Duyen and presented to them a washing machine, four ceiling fans and a refrigerator to help the orphanage improve care of the children. We also funded for 100 bags of cement to help the orphanage build a new building for the children. Trung Tam Huong Duong orphanage also received a new refrigerator from the foundation this year to help keep the children’s food fresh.
In December 2015, the lovely Linh Le, not only visited the children of these orphanages, but she also traveled to Tien Giang to present 20 bicycles to underprivileged students as part of our Wheels for Learning projects. Our foundation also presented bicycles to students in Ninh Thuan and Krong Ana this year to help facilitate the children’s travel to school through the often scorching heat.
In February 2016, the very kind Ms Phuong Nguyen and Yan Chen traveled to Dak Glei, Kon Tum in central Vietnam to revisit a girls’ boarding school that we had been helping over the past few years. This year, we not only presented school supplies, we also helped purchase two blackboards, one hot water tank, five bunk beds and five bicycles for a few of the students.
In March, the dedicated Ms Hoa and Mr Vuong Do brought attention to a couple of new places that needed our help: Mai Am Mai Anh and the children of the Arey-Ksath church in Bai Cai. Mai Am is a small orphanage carrying for five orphans, while Arey-Ksath cares for many children who are living under the stateless status between Cambodia and Vietnam. We could not turn our backs on these children, and so we accepted the request for help. To start, our foundation helped fund the children’s education for the remaining school year.
We are fortunate to have wonderful volunteers throughout the year. Ngoc and Quach are a couple of dedicated individuals who have helped us immensely in visiting the children of the Mai Am Thien An orphanage in Binh Thuy. Not only have we delivered basic food supplies to the children on a regular basis, we have also provided school supplies and five of the children were given bicycles to help them attend school. As well, we have provided new chairs and tables for the children to eat at.
In our third year, we were excited to be a major contributor in the building of a two -room kindergarten school to replace a dilapidated one in Thanh Phu, Ca Mau province. Dr. Nhung Tran-Davies and Yan Chen were able to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 8th, 2016. The Thanh Phu community went out of their way to show their appreciation to us for making this school a reality for the children. Because of this new school, more parents have enrolled their children in school and the local community as a whole have stepped up help provide school supplies, bicycles and playground toys for the children. This year, we also saw the completion of another kindergarten that we helped the Vietnamese Education Society (based out of Saskatchewan) build in Thanh Chung commune, Bac Giang province.
This year, with the help of the remarkable Hoang Nguyen and his team, our foundation was able to return to visit the children up in the remote northern mountainous community of Meo Vac, Ha Giang to provide the children with warm clothing, school supplies, and a few treats.
We also purchased another 12 hearing aids for the children of Truong Khuyet Tat in Ca Mau, and a few new playground equipment for the children of Bao Tro Ca Mau.
Our scholarship program awarded nearly 15,000 in scholarships and school supplies to underprivileged students in Can Tho, Tien Giang, Binh Duong, Ninh Thuan, and Saigon.
This is all thanks to you and all the amazing volunteers and board. Our board is so fortunate to have Ms Huynh Anh Mai join our team this year.