Friday, January 20, 2012

Celebrating Tet

Saigon (Viet Nam) - January 15, 2012
Tet (Lunar New Year) is coming soon (starting on January 23, 2012), and one of the great Vietnamese tradition is to send off the old year with some good deeds - helping others.
It's my last day in Viet Nam (my flight back to Seattle will leave at 3:55pm) and this morning I joined my friends and colleagues from the Viet Horizon Club in a charity event.
We met at the supermarket at 7am, loaded up several shopping carts with boxes of cookies, candies, toys, milk, ... Everyone got involved with wrapping each gifts in festive papers, and stuffed the red envelopes (known as li xi) with new money bills.
Our group headed to the children ward of the Oncology Hospital (Benh Vien Ung Buou) and we distributed the gifts to 190 children and families. The sad condition of this hospital (which is very typicl in Viet Nam) is beyond any description. You have to see it for yourself (you can view some photos posted on Kids Without Borders Facebook page). Every rooms are jammed with wall-to-wall beds and straw mats, one child to each bed, and one on the floor space under the bed. The hallway on this foor is also filled with patients along the two walls on each side of the walkway.
After the visit, we were mentally exhausted but glad that we were able to cheer the 190 children (most are treated for cancer and some with terminal-ill conditions) even though only for a few minutes.
Wonderful work by our partner organization Viet Horizon Club and Ms. Minh, the founder.
May the NEW YEAR (of the Dragon) bring you and the many suffering children happiness, health, and success.
Son Michael Pham

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Never too young to make a difference

January 3, 2012 - HAPPY NEW YEAR
A big THANK YOU to the Alcott Elementary Student Leadership for their huge collections of toothpaste, toothbrushes, and hygiene supplies. These donated products will be packed, and carried (as checked luggage) by the participants of the Washington AGForestry Education Foundation International Seminar to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The group will visit many of Kids Without Borders programs and projects in Viet Nam. Follow their trip on Kids Without Borders Facebook page.