June 20-24th marked Children of Vietnam's first ever hand-in-hand service project. Four volunteers worked and visited for a week at the Hoa Mai Orphanage in Da Nang, Vietnam. Volunteers helped with mushroom farming, yardwork, English tutoring and daily chores.
At the end of the week the group of volunteers delivered a whole spread of donations and gifts for the kids at Hoa Mai.Donations included new shoes, school uniforms and textbooks for each child's upcoming school year, six bicycles for rising 6th graders to use to ride to secondary school, 4 large cabinets to be used as lockers for the kids and a large assortment of games, toys and school supplies.
Some reflections from volunteer Olivia: "Sweet Long was always the first kid to greet me and answer questions in class and he refused to ever leave the classroom without shaking my hand and saying, "Thank you Miss Olivia, may I please be excused?"
Another one of the adorable sixth graders was Linh, who, though very soft spoken, was just brilliant. Though the boys often didn't let her play, Linh was the was the best player of the group always thinking five and six moves ahead.
Ngoc another shy 6th grade girl , had actually learned to ride one of the older kid's bikes already and though she didnt want to show off her skills and embarrass the other 6th graders who were still learning, after receiving her own wheels she called me to the side of the building to watch her proudly pedal out of sight of the others.
All of the kids were extremely mature and independent. They each had their own chores and tasks and worked seamlessly together like a big family. I was amazed at their ability to share and help one another. They were also extremely gracious and appreciative of all of their new things. Their school supplies and uniforms were promptly put away so as not to be messed up before the first day of classes and each of their new "fun" gifts were very carefully handled and shared- nothing like how an American child would treat new toys."
Thanks for a successful week at Hoa Mai!