Christmas is just round the corner. Here and there we hear Christmas carols. It is time for us to share with you, intimate friends of SOS Children’s Village Vinh a short summary of the outgoing year.
All over the world, the economic crisis continues its bad influence to every aspect of people’s life. In addition, natural calamity and epidemic diseases make our lives worse. Human kind had to be fully stretched to confront them, and the SOS Children’s Village Vinh is not the exception. The swine flue is spreading in our country. Thousands people catch it and already dozens died because of this dangerous virus. Fortunately, until this moment, all members of the village are safe. Recently, a terrible typhoon named Ketsana roared into central Vietnam. Our city was not in the typhoon center, but torrential rain caused terrible flood to the areas. Thanks to the good system of drainage ditch that after two days flooded, the flood had gone down and every activity at the village was back to normal. We hope that this letter will find you and your family safe and healthy. As usual, it’s now the time for us to write and tell you all the change and development of our village.
Warm family houses
After several years of working at the village, our SOS mothers have become very experienced at work. In the arms of the mothers and the village community, children grow up safely. The happy atmosphere in the family helps them to find their happy childhood. Lots of children have grown up, left the village for their own lives, but in their mind, the SOS family is always the warm home for them to love and think of. In this year, 15 more little boys and girls have been admitted to the village. They came to replace the big ones who left the families for sos-youth house or for higher education far away.
Despite of various challenges and difficulties, the year 2009 was a very successful year for the village in every aspect. 15 new admitted children integrated quickly to the new life at the village. The warm love and care of the mothers and the village community helped them to quickly forget the unhappiness in the past and mix with their new families.
All children at the village, big and little, were aware of the importance of education and have tried their best to both do well at school and improve themselves. Ending the school year 2008-2009, more than 60% schooling children were classified as good and very good pupils. In July 2009, two girls graduated from high school and took part in the university entrance exam. It’s so happy that both of them were successful! The grades they got were good enough for them to be admitted to the colleges they chose.
So, from the beginning to now, already 335 children had been admitted to the village. At present, 137 little children are enjoying their happy lives at the SOS family, 66 big boys belong to the SOS-Youth house for boys and 27 belong to the SOS-Youth house for girls. Already 105 boys and girls left the village for independent life. Of them, 41 got married and are living happily with their own little families. They are contributing their important part to the development of the country.
The SOS-Youth house
Being a part of the SOS-Children’s village, the SOS-Youth houses have been built to take care of big boys and big girls from the SOS families. The SOS-Youth houses are the places where children make acquaintance to the independent life and learn to become ‘adult’. There, they must take care of themselves and help each other in daily life. There are two youth-houses at our village, one for big boys and one for big girls. These two youth houses have been built separately. The youth house for boys is about 100 m from the village, and the youth house for girls locates in the village campus. Under the management of four educators and a cook, the boys and girls follow well the rules and disciplines. They have time to relax, do their self-studies and participate in various sport activities. On Saturday and Sunday, they must go shopping and cook themselves.
At the youth house for boys, out of the boys from the SOS families, there are always 15 boys who came from the local poor families. These ones won SOS scholarships and are accommodated in the youth house to study at the SOS school for 3 years of upper secondary education. In the school year 2008-2009, 6 boys at the youth house graduated from high school. They made an exploit when all of them passed the university entrance exam with high result and were admitted to famous universities of the country.
Many big boys and girls of the village are now working and following their professional courses far from the SOS-Children’s Village. The daily difficulties could not prevent them to develop and success. The timely help and encouragement from the village was the motive power for them to strive. Not stopping at getting good grades, many got scholarship and some even has the lead in the class or unit where they are working and studying.
As for the one who graduated from universities, college or vocational centres, not long after leaving school, they could quickly find suitable places to work and stable their self-reliant lives. For us, nothing can compare with the success of our children in life. It’s our final goal.
With a scale of 6 classes and more than 200 pupils every year, the SOS-nursery is always the prestige address for little children in the city. Vinh is a developing city. More and more schools have been opened every year, but the SOS-nursery is always full of pupils. A clear financial disclosure, good quality in teaching and serving, and devoted attitude in working of the teachers are the factors that gain the trust of the children’s parents. In the school year 2008-2009 again, the school had the honor to be classified as one of the advanced schools of the city.
Family Strengthening Programme
Since 2008, a new program called the ‘family strengthening’ has been deployed in Nghean to take care of difficult children at the community. Every year, this program of the village provides financial support for 100 children, with the purpose to help them stable their lives and be able to go to school. Thanks to this program that many poor semi-orphan children (the ones who have no more father or mother) escape from the illiteracy and find a happy childhood. This program will give financial help to children until they are 18 years old. The one who drops out of school will have to be canceled from this program. In the years to come, the number of beneficent from this program will be increase.
A change at the village facility
This year, Mr. Van Dinh Danh reached the age of retirement. His assistant named Nguyen Xuan Thuy has been promoted to the post of village director. Since July 2009 Mr. Nguyen Xuan Thuy has officially managed every activity of the village as the village director.
Expressing the gratitude to his SOS mother and SOS-Children’s Village for their devoted care and affection
It’s the statement of a boy from the SOS-Children’s Village Vinh, when a journalist interviewed him at an honor meeting held for excellent students of the Hanoi Architect College, in early September this year.
This boy comes from house Willow of the SOS-Children’s Village Vinh. Thanh and his older brother were admitted to the SOS-Children’s Village in November 1991. During his childhood at the village, Thanh was always a good boy who had never annoyed his mother. The same as other boys in the world, he was very active but he knew to adjust his acts and was very self-aware in every activity at home and at school as well. From primary school to secondary and then high school, Thanh was always the bright example for the others. Thanks to his good academic achievement that in July 2006 he excellently passed the entrance examination of university and was admitted to the Hanoi Architect College.
At a beauty, hustle and bustle of big city like Hanoi, many young boys and girls were seduced and depraved. However, Thanh was not the same. He forgot himself in the study, overcame every difficulty and challenge when studying far from home. From a very normal boy, he bettered himself, strived his best and became the number one of his class. At present, he is the monitor of the class and is voted as ‘The student of the year’.
‘What is the motive power for your such great effort?’ the journalist asked. ‘I am very grateful for what the SOS-Children’s Village and my SOS mother have done for me. I want to reciprocate them for their devoted care and affection. At present, the only thing I can do is to do well at school’. Yes, he could. For her mother and the village, his growth and success is the most precious present. We are very proud of him and believe that not long after, he will become a talented architect.
Activities and clubs
As usual, all types of activities in the SOS Children’s Village are diversified with clubs for children and mothers. Since the beginning of the year, the village coordinated with an English center in Vinh city to open an English club at the village. Thanks to this club and our children can improve their speaking and listening. In the summer holiday, aptitude classes such as music, drawing, and handicraft were attractive to all the children. The village has made excursions to beach and many places. The mothers club has been changed in terms of activity form. Out of helping the mothers to change air after tired time managing their children, the club focus also to equip them with children’s education skills. Art performance and sport drives are more interesting. This summer again, a great singing contest named “Red flamboyant” of provincial level took place in Vinh city with the participation of hundreds groups. It’s a great honor for the village when once again the children won the third prize.
We would like to tell you more about our village. However, the letter is rather long and in order not to waste your time, we’ll stop the letter here. Once again, on behalf of the children, mothers and co-workers of the SOS Children's Village Vinh, we would like to express our deep gratitude for all your great valuable support over the past years both in difficult and favorable time. We do hope to enjoy you in the SOS worldwide family for the years to come. We hope to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Nguyễn Xuân Thủy
SOS Children’s Village Vinh