The first thing people ask me is, “How did you get into this?” In 2010 I got an email that said, “Looking for someone to volunteer for 3 – 6 months to provide design and construction advice on extensions to an orphanage in Central Vietnam.” I thought about it for 10 seconds and replied, “I can go for 9 weeks”. That’s how 4 months later, I found myself in a remote village in Central Vietnam. The experience touched me deeply. So after returning to Australia I set up this small charity.
Friends of Vietnam Orphanages Inc was created in June 2011 as a “hands-on” charity, to connect Australians with small communities in Vietnam. First we concentrated on one orphanage in one village (Hướng Phương in Central Vietnam). In 2012, we widened the focus to assist other orphanages and village projects:
Work in partnership with orphanages and village communities in Vietnam, to achieve a better quality of life for all, with a focus on children with disabilities.
We are an Australian registered charity which works in partnership with rural communities in Vietnam. We assist sustainable income projects, shelters for the disadvantaged (orphanages), adult education projects and in particular the needs of disabled children.
Ongoing or recently completed projects are:
* Tertiary scholarships for 25 women in Central Vietnam to study disability care, nursing and teaching. Women’s tertiary sponsorship program
* School and tertiary scholarships for indigenous and disabled students at An Binh orphanage, Saigon.
* Livestock and education assistance to poorest households, Hung Son indigenous village, Nghe An.
* Student libraries for An Binh orphanage in Saigon, and Huong Duong orphanage in Can Tho.
* Internet computers for orphanages and student households, in Quang Binh, Danang and Saigon.
* Chicken and duck farm expansions at Huong Phuong orphanage, Quang Binh.
* Computer training for Danh, boy in a wheelchair at Huong Phuong orphanage, Quang Binh.
* Rice harvester for women’s monastic community at Huong Phuong, Quang Binh.
* Locally manufactured playground for Huong Phuong orphanage in Quang Binh. Purchase and installation of new playground equipment
* Chicken raising project for Thuy, young mother in a severed burns accident, Quang Binh.
* Furnishing a kindergarten and traditional medicine clinic at Chuyen My village, near Hanoi.
* Bicycles and blankets for Trang Nua (Vinh) shelter for homeless children.
* Beds, bicycles and electricity stabiliser for Huong Phuong orphanage, Qhang Binh.
* Weekly tutoring for students at An Binh orphanage, Saigon.
* Drinking water supply for Quyen Ngoc river fishing village near Cau Giat, Nghe An.
* School student sponsorships and study materials for Buu Tri pagoda orphanage in Can Tho.
* Furniture for medical clinic soup kitchen at Nga Nam, Mekong Delta.
* Life saving surgery sponsorship for Tien, an adopted baby from Cau Giat, Nghe An.
* Mattresses for children in the disabled room, Bo De pagoda orphanage, near Hanoi.
* Recovery from facial medical surgery for Hieu, victim of an acid attack, Saigon.
* Washing machines, hygiene and food supplies for Huong Duong and Hoa Mai orphanages in Can Tho.
Much of this project work is ongoing. We are always on the lookout for best ways of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g that dollar, to help where it is most needed.
Welcome all friends, volunteers and supporters,
We have just received word from the amazing Mrs Pho Vietnamese restaurant in Beach Road, Singapore. They have just opened a second great Vietnamese restaurant, Mrs Pho House at 221 Rangoon Street. The restaurant opening was run as a fundraising night to help the children of Vietnam.
A big, heartfelt “Thank you” to the owners, staff and all the patrons of Mrs Pho House. Please dine at Mrs Pho and Mrs Pho House when you visit Singapore.