Welcome to the site


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.

 

Hướng Phương Orphanage group photo 2009

We are an Australian registered charity which works in partnership with rural communities in Vietnam. We have a “hands -on” approach. Every dollar  donated goes to direct assistance in Vietnam. We assist the needs of disabled children, sustainable income for households, shelters for the disadvantaged (orphanages) and adult education.

 

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.

You can assist these community projects by donating here.

Girl with genetic skin condition brought from the village

 

August 2017 Newsletter

Our annual report to donors is just finished.  You will find it in “About Us”. During the 2017 financial year we carried out a wide range of projects. This included encouraging children to attend school, providing an electric wheelchair, medicines for a group of orphanages in Nha Trang and provisions to disadvantaged families in villages as well as help to a leper colony. Our sustainable projects increased household income through livestock raising of free range black mountain pigs, wild geese and chickens.

Our board, Julie, Dennis, Geoff and Clive provided encouragement and support. Vietnamese-Australian friends Loan & Tiep were regularly consulted as cultural interpreters. They have provided a picture of what is happening under the surface. Our faithful weekly contributors Clive, Vytas, Michael & Adrienne, Geoff & Rachelle. have been joined by Hayden and Yen. Thank you for a generous donation from the friends of Mrs Pho House, the Vietnamese Restaurant at 221 Rangoon Rd Singapore. The owner, Hoang, organised an amazing fundraising opening night for this new restaurant.  Also thank you to our Vietnamese-Australian friend Thuy. The fund received large donations from our friends Dennis and Karna. Thank you also to our many volunteer interpreters and “fixers” in Vietnam: Hien, Chau, Thuy, Huyen, Hiep, Truclinh, Duong, Lam, Son. We were not able to involve all of them during the 2016 trip. But nothing could get done without the help of our interpreters. We relied heavily on the generosity of local people, some of whom were also volunteer interpreters, to carry out and complete projects: Hiền in Mekong Delta, Sister Kim Anh in Binh Duong, Lâm in Nha Trang, “Nam1” in Ha Tinh, Châu in Ha Tinh, Sister Quế in Buôn Mê Thuột, Sister Nhàn in Phong Nha, Sister Kính in Phát Diệm, Sister Lành in Xã Đòai and Sister Nguyễn in Quỳnh Lập. Neighbours in my street included  Hamish and Ginny  who helped with street parties. Jee and Joyce held a Sunday junk stall at the local Trash-n-Treasure market. With this funding we were able to carry out many small, local projects at the village level, including 3 large projects:

1. Flood relief for 20 households in Ede indigenous village, Central Highlands, south of Buôn Mê Thuột. Pig raising and food. Project carried out by Sister Quế.

2. Medicine supply to 8 orphanages in Nha Trang region. Project carried out by Lâm.

3. Geese for 34 poor households in 4 mountain villages around Phong Nha. Project carried out by Sister Nhàn.

Thank you to all for generous donations to the fund, practical help, moral support and good counsel.