Saturday, February 2, 2013

Your Donation Dollars at Work

 At the Vietnamese Association for Victims of Agent Orange the administrative procedures are tightly controlled. Before any monies can be distributed receipts must be issued to the donors...and so here we are signing on your behalf. Phuong is putting the receipts in envelopes which we will deliver to you on our return to North America.

We wanted to see the results of the some of the projects supported by your funds in the micro-loan program, so we hopped on the backs of motorbikes and joined a cavalcade out into the countryside to visit Chung and his family ( and as it turned out...a large group of curious neighbours)

Chung, a second generation victim, is mentally challenged. With the support of his aging parents, he started a Tet flower business. This week all of the plants and the kumquat trees will be delivered to the flower markets and Chung and his family believe that they will be able to repay the entire loan if sales are good.

 We also took advantage of being with the family to deliver the envelope with Tet lucky money. As always there needed to be a signature on a receipt for the gift. Chung can not write or comprehend the idea of needing to sign, so his father put his mark on the paper for him.

Here are some of the colourful mums, ready for delivery. The flowers are pulled up by the roots so that when they are put in a vase for a shrine or as decoration for the house, they will last longer. The kumquat trees often are returned to the nursery after Tet where they are tended until the next year.

As usual I was drawn to the old sisters here in Vietnam. This Grandma, with her Betel nut smile was a neighbour who came to see us and of course had a turn at holding the baby. Babies are never far from some one's arms, passed from one to the other with little evidence of shyness. The toy is an empty cigarette package!

In the next weeks we will be visiting more victim families and checking the progress of their new small home based businesses that you, our donors ave made possible.

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