Journeys of the Heart Annual Appeal 2015
Once again we are planning our return to Vietnam. Since 2006, with financial help from many friends and family we have been able to change the lives of a few of the thousands of disenfranchised still recovering from the war and the critical conditions after that war.
Schools for Remote Villages
The children in remote villages in the central mountains of Vietnam are often hungry when our friends from the Ong Van group, known as "Same Same but Different", travel the arduous trails through the jungle to visit them.
Their schools, if there are any, are no more than shacks and books and supplies are meagre. But, not only does SSBD climb the trails to bring food and warm clothing they also haul in the materials to build new classrooms.
Thanks to generous donors, a retired teachers association and a church school class in Ontario and kind friends of Journeys of the Heart has been able to put funds into the hands of the builders. We hope to do the same again when we go to Vietnam in September. Schools and school supplies bring hope to the destitute for a better future.
School Tuition for Girls from Poor Families
We have worked with the Children's Education Foundation for many years. the mission of this grassroots NGO is to provide school fees (and additional support for their families such as medicine,bicycles and a mobile library) so that girls can remain in school and have more choices as they grow. The threat of child trafficking is real for girls who end do not stay in school.
When in Vietnam, we visit these children on behalf of their sponsors and we are privileged to receive their appreciative smiles and to see them prosper despite the conditions under which they live.
Micro-Loans for Victims of Agent Orange
Friends of Journeys of the Heart, including Bruce's fellow veterans of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, have annually contributed funds to seed a new micro-loan program with VAVA (Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange. This loan program allows victims and their families to develop a home based business and through independence gain self-worth.
A woman who used her loan to start a home based knitting company, showed her gratitude by knitting scarves for our donors.
The payback rate of the loans is high and as we had hoped the program is becoming self-sustaining. However, There is still a long list of loan applications and we would love to be able to help them start a business too.
Reaching Out, a Social Enterprise
We began our volunteer work in Vietnam with Reaching Out in 2008. Since then it has grown to more than 70 disabled staff in two locations, a craft shop and a tea house where speech any hearing impaired staff serve in silence in an ancient house in Old Town, Hoi An.
Our work has evolved into roles as advisors on business matters, however we still support the trainee scholarship program so that more people of disability can join this successful team as empowered and integrated individuals.
Your contributions have been and will be delivered directly to the people and or groups who are "on the ground" in Vietnam. We love and trust the people who year after year have welcomed us and are so appreciative of your gifts.
Cheques can be sent to:
Journeys of the Heart
#10-115 Upper Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, BC