Monday, May 25, 2015

Thank You Letter to the St. Alban's Church Sunday School: Kenora, Ontario, Canada

In Vietnam, the ethnic tribal peoples of the mountains live in remote, poverty stricken villages. The soil is poor and their crops are meagre.

Access to these villages is very restricted, often the last few miles are on foot. 

If there are schools in these villages for the children, they are often no more than shacks which do not keep out the wind and the cold in the winter time.

There is a group though, in the seaside town of Hoi An, that is doing something to change the lives of these young children. The name of the organization in English is Same Same but Different. In Vietnamese it is Ong Vang (om van). We know this wonderful man whose name is Thanhhuynh Huynh,(pronounced Tun-who-in, Who-in) . His job is as a tour guide, but on the weekends he is the leader who takes volunteers into the mountains to build schools and to nourish the ethnic tribes who are often hungry. They also take warm clothes for the children.

The Saint Alban's Sunday School group has given $200.00 to help Same Same but Different to build a school. Look what your dollars have helped to build!

When there are desks and books the children will be able to learn and through education they will be able to help their communities become more prosperous.

From the children whom you have helped...a VERY big Thank You. In Vietnamese that is Cam On.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Warm Woollen Wishes

I don't imagine that many people think of woollen scarves when they think of Vietnam. But, yes, they do wear scarves when it is cold. Not only up north and in the mountains, but also in Central Vietnam during their "winter." For us, the drizzly, cool weather in December is like a fall day and we may wear a raincoat, but the Vietnamese wear parkas and wool hats, gloves and scarves. Serious gear!

When Bruce visited the home for the aged and disabled in Hoi An this past December the residents were all wrapped up!

A coveted gift to mountain children is a warm matter what the size. Below, Thanhhuynh Huynh our friend who, with Ong Vang (Same Same But Different), builds schools in very remote areas, posted this picture from one of his latest excursions. The children and their jackets are precious! I think that the little guy on the left will be wearing his jacket for about ten years!!!

One of the recipients of a micro loan from the VAVA program submitted an application to start a home based knitting business. We were skeptical. How successful could this woman be? Well, Phuong has knit her way to independence and has also built enough confidence to get a part time job as an attendant at a nursery school.

But here is the wonderful part of the story. Phuong knit a scarf for each of the Journeys of the Heart donors who support the micro-loan program.

What a delight for us to be able to deliver these scarves and to see the big smiles.

The staff at VAVA have made sure that letters and pictures from the donors are translated and delivered to Phuong. As you can see in the picture of Phuong she is very proud that her work has reached North America!

We have the best job in the world....simply linking people with a desire to help, with those is need of a little help to break the cycle of poverty, overcome disabilities or health issues or to remain in school.

Warm Wishes to All!!!