There’s nothing like a kid and a ball. This 21-month-old boy was brought to the Phu Ninh Children’s Home a few months ago. During our previous visits, we noticed that he always seemed sad and withdrawn. We had never seen him smile — that is, until he booted one of the new soccer balls right into the goal and turned around to us with that big grin, basking in our cheers. Call it soccer, call it football; it clearly did the trick for this little guy.
The new mini soccer goals that we brought to the Home on Sunday, June 10, were constructed by Phil Neiland, the owner of International Football Education and creator of innovative programs to expand youth soccer in Da Nang (see IFE Soccer Vietnam on Facebook). Many thanks to Phil and to an anonymous donor from Hoi An who contributed the netting, two new soccer balls, and a pump.
This visit felt a bit like Christmas, if you disregard the steamy weather, that is. Linda LeTourneau brought two badminton sets, along with toy cars donated by Keith Ogden of Hoi An and other toys and art supplies donated by another Hoi An friend. The younger boys eagerly snatched up the cars, while one of them cleverly transformed the packaging into a space helmet. The younger girls took up the badminton racquets and even coaxed me into playing. The very youngest children were fascinated by Linda’s gift of a talking cat, which she hopes will encourage their language development. Meanwhile, the older girls gravitated around Mark Stapelkamp for an impromptu art lesson with their new art supplies.
Mark was a first-time visitor who was equally comfortable sharing his art skills with the girls and his soccer moves with the boys. Mark and his partner Robin Barnes, who gets the credit for all the great photographs of this visit, have signed on as regular donors to our monthly support campaign. We thank them for their financial support, of course, and appreciate them even more for their generosity of spirit during our visits to Phu Ninh.
This month, in addition to giving our regular monthly donation toward the children’s food and other expenses, I had the pleasure of presenting Mr. Hung with a very generous donation towards the new dining/study tables for the older children. A very big thank you goes to Cyril Quynhon and another donor from Hoi An who wishes to remain anonymous. The high school students are delighted to finally have a suitable place to study. Please note that Cyril has a number of good-quality bicycles and motorbikes available to rent, with the proceeds going to various charitable causes in the local community and in the Central Highlands. If you or a friend need a rental while in Hoi An, you can reach Cyril on Facebook and send him a message.
We also got to see the swank new refrigerator (and refurbished older refrigerator) made possible through the generous donations last month from Big Bear Kitchen and four Da Nang families. Thank you once again!
And I cannot close without mentioning and thanking Nhung, much-admired “”Chị,” or older sister, to the high school girls and our very competent Vietnamese-English translator. We are so grateful to her for smoothing our communications!
Donations can be made to PNCH through the GoFundMe or PayPal buttons on the right-hand side of this page.
100% of your donations are used to support the children of Phu Ninh Children’s Home.
If you have any questions or would like to be part of our monthly visits to Phu Ninh, please contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.