Hoa Mau Don (HMD) Orphanage, a children center located at 25/30 Doan Gioi, Ward Tan Ky, District Tan Phu, HCMC, was recently approved by the government to receive permit after thirteen years long in operation. The orphanage houses about 55 orphaned children from new-born to 18 years old. All 55 children currently live in an old 3-story building that has the total living areas no more than 4,500 sq.ft.
DFC representatives visited this orphanage and recognized that the children’s living conditions were very poor because the center never received support from the government. According to the orphanage’s administrator, the center survival depended on support from family and friends. DFC investigated and confirmed that the orphanage truly needed help; its Board of Directors has discussed and arrived the decision to sponsor the center.
DFC-VN has organized serveral visit trips to HMD. Because the orphanage's facilities are quite small, the numbers of volunteer participants were limited to minimum. In these visit, DFC donated food and transfered funds to support the completion of the orphanage's new facilities in Tan Binh district. DFC volunteers also spent the day serving meals and hosted a number of activities for the orphans. For many, especially for volunteers who joined DFC activities for the first time, it was a memorable event. A few have shared their experience as follows:
VO THI BE TRAM, Saigon, Vietnam (Translated by Thuy Tien, USA)
I would like to open this passage with my sincere appreciation to Donate For Children (DFC) for the formation of such enriched humanitarian programs that allowed me and other volunteers the opportunity to participate and add hands to those meaningful projects. It was my first time joining DFC’s activities, but I have quickly learned the warmness and hospitality of this big DFC family through the smiles and gestures of DFC representatives in Vietnam. From the first moments, I realized that I had already fall in love with this extent family.
It was our visit trip to Hoa Mau Don Orphanage, a children center located in the outskirt of Ho Chi Minh City. My mind was fully occupied with excitement prior to our departure. Everyone was energetic and happily helping each other which created a very friendly atmosphere.
Traveling by a large bus, we soon arrived Hoa Mau Don Orphanage. My heart was saddened when I first experienced the living conditions of Hoa Mau Don’s orphans. Observing the children’s crowded sleeping quarters, the dark classrooms, and the tiny dining area, my perception about life started to change as I could then fully understand the meaning of being the less-fortunate. I felt very compassionate for the struggles of these orphans, and at the same time, being thankful and admiring those individuals who have sacrificed their lives taking care and raising these unfortunate children. For one thing, I was very pleased to recognize the children’s optimisms that reflected through their innocent smiles, through their impeccable regards, and through their natural politeness to visitors. The young orphans, even though they lost love from their parents, have continued fighting for their survival and existence. There were a few young artists with their paintings displayed throughout the facilities; the paintings were quite beautiful. Ironically, we had been prepared to come helping and entertaining the children there, but we were then surprisingly invited to watch a circus performed by a number of well-trained youngsters. The children’s discipline and behaviors truly showed their effort in striving for the better, and more importantly, it’s a way to saying thank you to those caring for their well-beings. Through Hoa Mau Don trip, I could realize that not only DFC programs carried the true value of humanities, they also brought an uplifting spirit to the needy children who were looking for a light of hope.
The visit was ended, but my experience with Hoa Mau Don’s children will never be forgotten. The children’s voices and singings still continue to be lively in my mind. I am proud that I did something meaningful on that day and hope to have more opportunities to do the same in future. Thank you DFC, and for Hoa Mau Don’s children, I look forward to seeing your loving faces again very soon.
NGUYEN TRAN KHANH, Saigon, Vietnam
“I once cried when I lost my shoes, but I have then realized it was a silly posture after experiencing a child who had no legs to wear them.” The phase, which I picked up from someone’s article, has made me think a lot about the unfortunate people. More importantly, it lightened my mind with the idea of helping others. Through a friend, I recently got introduced and joined Donate For Children (DFC), a non-profit organization that focuses on improving the lives of unfortunate and disadvantaged children. Just two days ago, I was invited to join DFC volunteers in their visit to Hoa Mau Don Orphanage.
Just from the beginning when first seen the smiles of DFC volunteers in uniform, I could sense a warm feeling throughout my body. I felt great joy recognizing I was being welcome. The team was very organized and reflected a unique solidarity where each individual was proud to be a member of DFC big family. We carried the common mission: “Bringing Hope to Unfortunate Children.”
We arrived Hoa Mau Don around 9:30am. I could not hold in the emotions when seeing the kids. Hoa Mau Don was quite small but had more than 50 orphans, many were under 3 including new-born. Walking through the orphanage’s facilities, I could realize not only these children had to face a difficult life, they also lost the love and care of their parents. Apparently, the physical living conditions of these children were quite poor in the orphanage. They were desperate in needs of food, fresh air, and outdoor activities that they ought to have as those of normal children.
Hoa Mau Don Visit truthfully reshaped my perception about life. I promised myself to study harder and to work harder so that I could earn lots of money to help the less fortunate in our community, especially to help the orphans and under-privileged children that are lacking of support and children’s rights in Vietnam. I am thankful that DFC has given me the opportunity to mirror myself and become a better person.