IDear Sponsors, Vietnam, Summer 2014.
Once again your generosity will allow Vietnamese children to attend school for 2014-2015. School will start again soon and the children are impatient to discover their new professors’ faces, darken the first lines of their exercise books and buy their school supplies!
Thanks to your generosity, we help children from difrerent ages to have a better future. How happy are we when they finish their last year at secundary school and prepare themselves to enter at university !
As in every year, we visited the children whom you are sponsoring in the Province of Ca Mau, in the southern part of Vietnam. We were a group of four: Father Frederic Rossignol, two aspiring brothers of the Community and myself, a French volunteer. We were warmly welcomed and helped in our mission by Father Hung, the local parish priest. In this province of Vietnam, families are mostly making their livelihood from seafood products, especially crabs, shrimps, eels and squid.
We meet all kinds of children, some extremely poor and others whose parents manage to have a decent life, despite the economical difficulties.
We met the children individually in their r espective parishes. We asked them some questions on their everyday life within their family, at school and with their friends. Some were very collaborative and talkative, others rather reserved and shy for words! During the talks, we encouraged them to continue with school, given that a lot of them give up their studies towards 15 years old. The annual support which you bring to the children, is precious. In the $160 of donation that you make to us: a quarter finances directly their studies and the rest is used to provide for the family’s needs. We hope that when the children graduate from high school they will extend their studies at the university, in the nearest city. Unfortunately, it is not often the case. Families consider the investment too heavy. They prefer that their children work in a seafood company, so that they can bring back a salary every month.
From the children you sponsor, eleven of them live in Dat Mui, in the southern tip of Vieam. To get to the remote place along the Mekong River, we had to take a water shuttle, then a narrow pirogue. Four hours of navigation to be undertaken: a real expedition! Houses and businesses are concentrated mainly on the banks of the Mekong. During the crossing, we saw scenes from daily life and enjoyed the landscape: forests of mangrove swamps as far as the eye can see, which made us forget about the hours of travel! The parishioners welcomed us with open arms, delighted to receive Father Frederic. A Mass was going to be celebrated! They had prepared for us a royal feast: a lot of trays of crabs!
To visit Ca Mau is not just about work, it is also about building relationship and enjoying the beautiful scenery around us !
Many families have ponds where the raise shrimp but due to the lack of skills and technology, the harvest is too limited, not enough to sustain a family.
People who invest a few thousands of dollars and who have a good management of their ponds can make a lot of money by raising shrimp.
In the last days, we visited two other parishes, where we help in the construction of new houses. These houses, compared with those of traditional build, offer to the inhabitants better insulation: brick-built walls covered with concrete, thick coats of sheet metals and roof in composite. Therefore families live in better conditions and keep their feet dry.
Father Hung was proud to show us a path of 1.8km, which was completely redone: formerly a dirt track, it was now concreted. This project allows the families to circulate in bikes and motorbikes and to join their houses more easily.
We thank you very much for your generosity and your loyalty in the support of our projects.
French volunteer within the Community of the Holy Spirit.