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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Dong Hoi, Vietnam

Sponsored children from Dong Hoi
Sponsored children from Dong Hoi

A child sponsorship report from Dong Hoi in Vietnam. Written in 2009.

Dear Sponsors,

Christmas is always the time when we are thankful for everything merry and bright and look back what we have done in a year. Although, this year leads its own way like every other years before, we hope you take this letter a good report in such a special atmosphere. Now, let us share recent events taken place at SOS Children’s Village Dong Hoi in the year of 2009.

Cozy home for children

In this year, eight new children have been admitted in to our village. The total number of children is 110 ones now, of which 45 boys and 65 girls at different ages. Lives of children go smooth, which brings peaceful feeling to whom visited us. Daily contacting with kids helps us to recognize that they are growing day by day and we all know that the devotion of mothers in our village cannot be counted over the years.

Time passed by, if we have a look at initial photos of kids comparing to theirs now, they are quite different. Our kids have become mature and more confident. There are no bewildered eyes among strange crowds, no hesitating footsteps along the path. Big boys look smart and behave well. Big girls show gentleness and love to adorn themselves, now they are very good at doing housework. Small kids are very cute and pretty. Love among mothers and kids can go a long way in maintaining relationships and creating a bond that can only become stronger with time.

Academic performance

Enjoying the happiness of all students in the country, our children have come back to school on September 5 2009. They are eager to welcome a promising school year ahead. Kids love to go to school to meet their old friends and tell what happened to them during summer holiday. Typically, some kids attending to school for the first time, tend to be quite at fault, because it is the first time they go out and stay in a new environment. Mothers encourage and help small kids quickly be acquainted with their school. Mothers taught them how to read and write in summer 2009. In sum, our kid have been refreshed after two months of relaxing.

In the school year 2009 – 2010, 52 children from our village are students of primary school and 41 ones are of Secondary school. Three children move to study at High school.  The result that three children achieved today acknowledges enthusiastic teaching of volunteer teachers and above all their own effort. Among them, two children are in Public High school and the left is in semi public high school. Children’s achievement is regard as great comfort to mothers, aunts as well as co-workers in the way of rearing and educating children.

In the comparison with previous academic school year, children’s results seem more optimistic. All of us are deeply grateful to students from Quang Binh gifted High school and students from Quang Binh University for teaching our kids daily. This year, some from English Department and Primary education Department are assigned to tutor kids in odd houses while students from High School are in charge of even houses. Volunteer teachers renew the method of teaching. Keeping in touch everyday creates more opportunities for children to ask whatever they do not understand.

Festive activities

Summer 2009 is really an effervescent holiday attaching to non-stop entertaining activities. Our kids have a nice time relaxing after a stressful and hard school year. Launching series of summer programs is the ceremony welcoming International Children’s Day on June 1st . Children have had pleasant festival filled up warm love and enjoyed a unique fashion show entitled ‘Four seasons’ designed and showed by 12 family houses. Lovely costumes are creative products of mothers as well as nursery teachers. The fashions show brought a new color and original shape in children’s festival. Costumes made from paper, newspapers and clothes were cut and pasted and colored by mothers, turned to be pretty ones. Small models perform confidently and lovely.

In order to encourage the spirit of practicing sport and forming health for children under appeal of Uncle Ho ‘Be strong to labour and study’. SOS Children’s Village Dong Hoi organized sport games for the first time with the participation of more than 30 athletes in four contents including athletics, badminton, chess and Ping-pong. Sport game called each one showing their love to sport, enthusiastically compete, fair play to get highest result. This is one kind of traditional cultural sport activities. It not only enriches spiritual life but also creates good habit of practicing health for our kids. After of two day of competing in all subjects, sport games were successfully taken place. There were 33 awards for great effort made by athletes. Especially, enthusiastic cheering of supporters in 12 families brought exciting environment.

In this summer vacation, our children went swimming on Nhat Le beach. We made a detailed plan to ensure the safety for children when they play in sea. 110 children were divided into two groups and went to the sea in two days. This is also the first time children were allowed to go swimming, so, they are happy to join. They played some formal games such as sailing on sand, blowing balloons then smashing, tug of war as well. All of children ardently volunteer to participate with hope of win. The most eagerness was to sink their bodies in cool seawater; to play with waves and most of all was to build wonderful sand castles together. Kids had nice moments beside the sea and sang songs loud on the way back to our village.

Recently, our village has been received care and support from many companies and organization outside and inside province. Vietnam Danone Company – product Dumex, co coordinated with social network to hold charity program named after ‘Compassionate summer campaign’ at our village on August 23. Children were checked and delivered free tablets, particularly they were granted gifts and scholarships. Mothers were consulted about nutrition, normal diseases and some effective methods of prevention.

If special music performance of Children’s day began an interesting summer holiday, ‘Mid autumn night’ programs made an unforgettable impression to our children when saying goodbye to summer 2009. In this festival, kids made big applause to hear gentle voice from a solo flute performance of Quang Binh University student and laugh out loud with comedy ‘Legend Moon’ performed by some students from the Gifted High School of Quang Binh province.

SOS Nursery

SOS nursery admitted 195 kids in the school year 2009 – 2010. 11 children from our village are at the age of going to Nursery. Quality of children rearing and educating creates its prestige in localities. Nursery highly pays attention to upgrade teaching quality; invests infrastructure; encourage teacher to improve informatics quality to meet the demand of education in coming years. Nursery also coordinated with Parent association to buy more computers to update new curriculum. Kids are updated new and suitable method of education.

A story about the mother and the daughter

In this newsletter, we would like to give you a touching account about the mother and the daughter. September is the month of school’s drums echoing that stops sweltering summer days. A new door has been opened. It is the door of mature and growth. September comes. Her daughter says goodbye to trousers and shirts, wears white long dress in curl hair, and goes to school by bicycle. Now she is stubborn no more.

Her daughter has grown up. The girl is a student of High School now. Seeing her shadow disappearing behind village’s gate, memories of previous days came to the mother when her daughter was still in dark complexion.

Her daughter was in the same family circumstances with other children in our village. The mother welcomed her in a blazing summer morning. Her eyes were swollen and red due to crying. Later, the daughter told the mother that she asked herself she should try but it was difficult to stop tearing. Homesick and strangeness made her throat bitter and burst into tears. From then, here her girl began a new life in a new family with a new mother and new brothers and sisters. Knowing that difficulties came ahead, but time left her nice memories of being an SOS mother.

The girl is the big sister in her family. More than a month had passed, but she told a few words. The girl did not want to be close to the mother and other children. She was old enough to be aware of her thoughts and her actions; however, there was an invisible distance between the daughter and the mother. The mother often comforted herself that time would be the best dose to remove unfriendliness. The most thing he worried about was that her daughter seemed not integrate in new environment while the final examination of secondary school was coming. Her daughter’s life and future depended on this examination. She could not study and looked thinner and thinner although her teacher said to the mother that the girl was able to learn well because her ability of quickly understanding the lessons. Looking her sad and homesick caused the mother’s hurt. The mother’s instinct and experiences of caring children did not help her in this situation. Time passed by and her daughter still missed her family and she was very worried about her integration.

The girl asked the mother for a permission of going out to to practice biology with her classmates at school on one rainy Wednesday afternoon. The mother told her to come back home soon because it got dark in rain. It rained heavily but she did not go home. The mother was anxious to see her as if there was a fire burning in her soul. It was 6.00 pm, the mother could not wait anymore and took bicycle riding to her school. The mother passed many roads and paths but did not find her. The mother was frightened out of herself, then, she came back to village to inform to the village staff in charge. Suddenly, someone looked like her girl sitting in the tree. The mother went nearer to see. It was her daughter. She ran towards the mother, held the mother’s hands, and cried.

In that evening when everybody in her family went to sleep. The girl came to the mother’s room and said sorry for her behaviour. She said that she told lie in order to meet her elder sister and that she wanted to leave village and us. However, she recognized she was loved here. She knew that if she left the SOS family, she would loose mother once more.  The mother nodded and smiled. Her mind was pleasing. Both of the mother and the daughter looked at each other, but did not say anything. Maybe there was sympathy between them. The mother urged the girl to sleep so that she had to go to school next morning.

The days  after and later on, her daughter has changed. She is active in all duties; especially she pays much attention to study. She learns well by nature, so it is easy for her to keep pace with others and absorb new lessons. She is a good example for other kids in my family. Fortunately, she got high marks in final examination of secondary and moved to a public high school. Her achievement is not only her own happiness but also of our village and the mother. Above all, the girl has integrated well into new life and be really closed to the mother. The mother know that her daughter has grown up.
Above mentioned information is what has happened in SOS Children’s village Dong Hoi during the year 2009. Christmas Season is just round the corner, we wish you and your beloved ones a Merry Christmas and may the festive moments bring abundant joy and happiness throughout the New Year 2010!