Community Day in Preparation for Tết | 11 February 2018 – Reported by Robin Barnes
On a beautiful Sunday just before the Tết holiday I joined Esther and Lloyd for their monthly trip to the Phú Ninh Children’s Home.
Tết, Vietnam’s major annual holiday, is held annually during the Lunar New Year and is a time for family and friends to wish each other good health and luck for the new year. Our visit coincided with a Tất Niên (“Before New Year’s Eve”) community day in which the resident children gave out new blankets and food to less fortunate members of district. It was moving to see the children performing this act of service and to witness the warm interactions amongst many generations of community members.
While the children were distributing donations, I was able to tour the PNCH facilities and saw that they have ample clothing, basic amenities, and cheerful spaces for sleeping and studying. They also have a collection of donated fitness equipment that serves as a physical therapy center for sick and injured children in the local community. The outside area of the home has a field for sports, shady trees and swings for reading, and colorful playground equipment. Surrounding it all are serene rice paddies and quiet country roads.
Later that morning over a simple but delicious meal cooked by the staff, we discussed with Mr. Hung what immediate needs and longer term vision we might be able to support. Day-to-day needs are modest: shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes, and if possible, an adult-sized table and chairs for the older children to use when doing their homework.
We learned that it costs approximately 1,000,000 VND or about $45 USD to support one child for one month. The children who live at PNCH attend a local certified school and the majority of their food is purchased from area farmers. The standards provided for the children on these efficiently used funds is truly impressive. The current group of 22 children are adequately provided for through the current level of donations, however they are the maximum number of children the current budget can support. With a sustained source of increased annual donations, Mr. Hung and his team can serve more children in need of the vital care and services that PNCH can uniquely provide.
The commitment of my friends Esther and Lloyd — along with their fundraising project partners Jenni, Terry, Cyril, Van and Thao — to transforming not only the present, but the future of these vulnerable children inspired me to help their efforts. The bright and affectionate children and dedicated staff inspired me to become a donor. I have no doubt that my support will make an important impact and be fully directed to the children’s needs.
I encourage you to keep in touch by subscribing to this blog and if you haven’t yet had an opportunity to visit the Phú Ninh Children’s Home in person, we welcome you to join us! Please get in touch and we’ll arrange a date.