Hue Children’s Shelter update

Playing at the beachHue Children’s Shelter was happy to welcome two new orphaned children, a brother and sister, to the shelter. They have been unable to attend school for the past year so are delighted to be back at school and are working hard.

Two of the shelter’s girls have started at university and Hue Help will support their tuition fees and living costs. Quynh studies at Hue  University of Economics and Nhi is attending the Hue University of Foreign Language. One boy has also moved to Hoi An to train in hospitality, thanks to Streets International.

The Hue Children’s Shelter residents have enjoyed some recreational activities over the summer sponsored by a very generous donor. They loved their trip to Hoi An and Danang where the children explored the cities and had fun on the beach. They went shopping at the markets for Childrens Day, and enjoyed festivities at the shelter to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival (read more on our Tumblr page).

Night at the Races Fundraiser, February 1st 2013

On Friday February 1st 2013, a fundraising event was held at O’Shea’s Irish Bar in Manchester, UK for the benefit of disadvantaged children in Hue, Vietnam. In total, eight live races were shown on four screens which, along with a raffle and live band, provided plenty of entertainment throughout the night.  With over 100 people attending, the night was a great success with many horses and races sponsored and bet on, with one particularly popular horse named ‘The Rebel’ attracting many bets.

Hue Help would like to thank in particular Luke Keller (who will volunteer with us in April) for all his tireless effort in organising and coordinating a wonderful event that has raised somewhere in the region of £1,000. In addition, we would like to thank O’Shea’s Irish Bar in Manchester for holding the event and also all the sponsors of the races and horses. The biggest sponsors of the night were Windmill Golf Academy, O’Sheas Irish Bar, Whalley Range School, Manchester Tommy Burns CSC and VNAM Cafe. And finally, we would like to thank all those who attended the event and contributed towards improving the lives of underprivileged children living in Hue, Vietnam. We can only hope that you had an enjoyable evening, and we will ensure that donated funds will go towards improving our programmes and thus improving the lives of the children we support.

YEP (Youth Expedition Programme) Hue 2012 – Unforgettable moments

From 23rd March to 2nd April 2012, Hue Help received a group of students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, under their programme “YEP Hue 2012”. During this programme, they helped construct a courtyard for Tay Xuan Kindergarten over a period of nine days.

We were excited for their arrival, and when they did eventually arrive my first impression was that they were friendly and always smiling. They all greeted me with “Xin Chao”- the first Vietnamese word they had learnt. I thought it was going to be a challenging job for me to teach them Vietnamese, but they were very keen on learning Vietnamese, which also helped me feel less nervous. I was pleased to see that all of them remembered my name, although just some students pronounced it correctly. Some of them even managed to communicate in Vietnamese with some basic words.

For the duration of their stay, the thirty two students- divided into four groups of 8- rotated duties to do construction, organise activities at Tay Xuan Kindergarten, conduct English lessons for a primary school, and prepare daily meals for the whole group; I was impressed by their hard-working attitude and team spirit. Whether it was rainy or sunny, they were out working with the local workers. I had a lot of fun taking part in the kindergarten activities with the kids such as musical chairs, dancing and performing the play “The Little Red Riding Hood”. Thanks to them, I had a chance to eat Chinese, Malaysian and Singapore foods for lunch and dinner. Everyone took part in the cooking and from my eyes, they cooked the food with all their affection.

Apart from the busy life working at the kindergarten, they also enjoyed their time going to the beach, visiting the rice field and bean farm, and exploring Hue city. The activities included visiting Hue Children’s Shelter in An Hoa. We also had a cultural and musical exchange with members of Au Lac School. It was a meaningful event for students from both countries to get to know each other. The event was well planned and everyone enjoyed chatting, joking and spending time together. During the exploration of Hue city, we visited Linh Mu Pagoda and the Citadel. Before that, they had only heard of these places in their lessons at school, and they were happy to visit them in person. Personally, I appreciated their desire to learn more about the history of Vietnam.

We had a closing ceremony before they left Hue. After the dinner, we chatted, sang, and danced around the camp fire. I felt so amazed and touched by the students from Singapore, the Vietnamese volunteers and the local villagers.

Although it was only a short period of time working together, it was full of happiness, smiles and laughter for all the Vietnamese volunteers and myself. I felt that there was a strong bond between us and it was so sad for me to say ‘Goodbye’ to them at the end of their trip. So on behalf of Hue Help, I want to bid farewell to YEP Hue 2012, and I hope that the memories and the laughter we shared will stay with us forever. You will all be missed.

Diaconia University Students Spring 2012

From February to April 2012, Hue Help and one of our partners SORCODE received the first group of social service volunteers of 2012 from Diaconia University of Applied sciences. Annika Hyttinen and Jari-Pekka Pesonen completed a 3-month practical training in two of the children’s shelters of Hue as part of their university studies. The two volunteers taught English in An Tay children’s shelter, and taught English and provided close support to disabled children in Thuy Bieu children’s shelter in Hue. With the support of local volunteers, they successfully completed 3 months in the respective shelters and came away with an increased knowledge and awareness about the support and welfare of disadvantaged children in Vietnam.

Coming to Hue was my first trip to Asia. I’m happy that I had a chance to learn things about Vietnamese culture. Completing a practical training in Hue was the best thing I’ve experienced in my studies” – Jari-Pekka Pesonen

I had a really great time in Hue! I met lots of interesting people from all around the world. And I’m definitely going to miss them all! The Vietnamese lifestyle is something you cannot describe, you have to experience it” – Annika Hyttinen

Feedback from the placement sites and their coworkers in Hue was just as positive as their conclusions about their experiences in Hue. From giving quality lessons to the children to participating in social activities, Hue Help benefited greatly from the volunteers’ enthusiastic involvement and we would be glad if they were able to take away as much they gave.

English Lessons at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Hue

In order to improve the communication skills in English for the officials of Thua Thien Hue Workers’ Union, Hue Help collaborated with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Worker’ Union of Thua Thien Hue Province. Hue Help organised three English classes for nearly 90 officials with the teaching participation of voluntary teachers from Hue Help. After more than six months of implementation, the course was ended successfully on 30th December 2011. This was a pilot programme that Hue Help carried out in Hue. And we will work with the partners to assess the programme and to plan for the coming years.

-Khanh Truong, Representative of Hue Help