Orphanage in Vietnam
What is Agent Orange? Agent Orange is a chemical weapon used by the US military during its herbicide war campaign in Vietnam. The US would disguise the gas like weapon in bombs. When the bomb exploded, the poisonous gas would spread across the area, wreaking devastation and disease to the populous. The side effects were varied, killing many, causing brain defects, stunted growth and lack of limbs. Agent Orange is strong enough for the effects to be continuing to the third and fourth Vietnamese. Many do suffer from the tragic physical deformations.
I decided to take upon myself to find an orphanage in Vietnam for our family to do service at. We really wanted to help the community in Vietnam and make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children. I was not prepared. I found the place, but didn’t call them. And we had a problem, none of the phone numbers worked and to help out at an orphanage, we needed to have submit a form to the government 4 weeks in advance (see tips on Vietnam coming soon). Together as a family unit, we decided how to do some service. My mom and I went to the hotel concierge, asking them about a school we could donate some school supplies to (or an orphanage). The hotel did recommend us an orphanage, which had a school.
As my brother and my mom were sick. Me and my dad set off to the book store to pick up some school supplies. We bought everything a child might need (100 kids), including rulers, pencils and crayons. The manager was great, helping us the entire way to pick out the supplies. After carrying what seemed like 100 pounds… we cabbed to the orphanage.
We arrived there at 6 pm. We were immediately greeted by the staff and the head nurse, Kim. She took us on a tour of the entire orphanage. She couldn’t speak English so we used Google translate to communicate. All the kids there were abandoned/dropped off by their parents either for financial reasons or their lack of desire to raise them. Many of the children are disabled. It was tragic seeing them abandoned by their parents. But what we were shocked was seeing the effects of Agent Orange 1st hand. Many of the children had deformations, like a soft head (like the size of a balloon ball). The kids were only babies and are suffering from various side effects. It was so sad. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was almost in tears, I can’t imagine what their lives will be like. The nursing team was great, they stay up all night, taking care of them like their children. They are wonderful with the children and it’s heartbreaking. About 100 of the kids were normal functioning (but abandoned) and able to learn in the school housed in the orphanage.
The school materials did go to use. But even a month later, I can never forget the tragedy and the sadness I experienced at the orphanage. I truly realized how lucky I was to live in Canada.
Kim and team if you are reading this, excellent work.You mean the world to these kids and it’s great how much effort you put in to make their world a better place.