Sunday, February 27, 2011
A meeting with the Hoa Van leper community children that CEF - Vietnam is assisting to receive an education
It was time to make payments for term 2 of the academic year and to discuss term 1 results with the children from Hoa Van leper community that CEF - Vietnam is helping.
Every time I see the children I notice their beauty and feel how blessed they are to have good health and not be affected by leprosy like their parents or grandparents whose bodies and health have been destroyed.
Even though we first met the children one and half years ago most of them are extremely shy still. For the first time one of the girls practiced her English on me; which impressed me.
Thirteen of the fourteen children were there with their parents for this meeting. The fourteenth girl lives with an uncle about two hours from where we met, so we agreed she could meet me and Duyen (my right hand)at the home-office later that day.
This was the first time we had a more formal meeting in a People's Party Office. Ms Nga the head of the Vietnam Woman's Union had organized a large conference room for us to use with fans and bottles of water to keep us cool; which we needed with all the people in the room generating heat.
Besides the children and parents there was the headman, the assistant headman of the Hoa Van community, Ms Nga, Duyen, myself, Brenda an English supporter and Bruce and Elaine from Canada (well they live in Canada but I should say Bruce is an American). Bruce and Elaine have been amazingly supportive of this project since we started it. They came along to see the children they and their friends have been helping to receive an education. Unbeknown to them I wanted to honor not just three of the students, but them as well, for their commitment to this program.
To their surprise they were presented with a certificate by the headman and very coyly presented with some flowers by Kim Anh who Bruce and Elaine sponsor. I wanted them to meet all the children they and their friends have been educating too.
Bruce and Elaine helped to honor three students with certificates and a little money. Hong Thuy had the best results and its the first time for her to have been first although her results are always good. Thanh Tung and My Duyen have both had consistently good results for three terms now. It's a real achievement as school gets harder term by term.
Before Bruce and Elaine and Brenda left Bruce and Elaine presented friendship pins of the Canadian and Vietnamese flags crossing over each other to the headman, assistant headman and Ms Nga. Ms Nga attached hers to her blouse immediately and was very touched by this gesture. We took photos of all of this and some are attached.
After our guests left we met with each child and discussed their results and encouraged them to work harder as it's needed as they are all nearing the end of their high school years when its hard to maintain a high standard. Many of them need good results to carry out their career choices. One boy who wanted to be a doctor last year now wants to be a train driver as he struggled with his science subjects this term and didn't do well in them. Several want to be doctors and many wish to be teachers, one wants to be a banker, one a journalist, one an engineer and one a business woman.
We hope they will be able to achieve good results for their remaining education and have their desired careers become a reality.