I read that there are 1.5 million orphans in Vietnam. I traveled to Vietnam and met a few of them in 3 different orphanages. Every orphanage was filled with kids. Kids that need a home.
watching them grow up
I have went back several times to visit the kids. I see the same kids growing up. Celebrating Christmas, their birthdays, their first of everything in life - without families.
the lucky ones
In Vietnam the orphanages are either run by the Church or by the Government. In either case each orphanage we visited relied heavily on donations of food, clothing, toys and other things for the orphans. The orphanages in the cities run by the church had visitors and food piled high. The orphanages run by the government in rural settings were poor, no visitors and had very little food. This is a picture of the luckier kids where love was poured on them by thousand of strangers a day.
And the unlucky ones
And this is a picture of the unlucky ones - outside of Saigon - too far for people to come visit.
The kids with ailments physical and mental are often the hardest to find homes for. The Vietnamese government has restricted foreign adoptions due to rampant fraud. Often times the only hope for kids like these were foreign homes with the financial means to take care of kids with special needs.
and the wanted
Newborn, just a few days old. She shares the floor with 30 other babies in a room. She is wrapped in a small blue towel. It was Christmas eve.
And the older ones
She was 17 here. We saw her one year later. She was 18 and spent most of her life in orphanages. I do not know now what became of her. If she was sent to fend for herself.
and the younger ones
He was adopted months after this photo was taken. When I met him, he was in a room full of other babies in steel cribs. The whole room was crying. The nurse said they were afraid of me. But I think there was something else going on.
Like all the other kids here, she was waiting for a family.
Ways to help
There are ways to help to help these kids.
you can visit them
In every orphanage we visited the kids screamed with delight when we walked in. Visiting orphans in Vietnam is something you can do. They crave attention and little bits of love from wherever they can find it.
The Children of Vietnam Benevolent Foundation was started by someone I met personally - Nhung Tran Davis. She travels to Vietnam, finds the most needy orphanages and meets local people that she can trust to deliver food, gifts and organize parties for the kids. She makes sure every penny gets to the most needy kids - The Children of Vietnam
The orphans love parties like normal kids and have much the same reaction that other kids have of Santa in the rest of the world.
lots of kids
If you would like more information about orphanages in Vietnam or how you can help you can send me an email to FrankMcKenna@gmail.com and I will do my best to get you any information that you need.