Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Helping the Kids of Vietnam

Three little ones at the orphanage

A few months ago when Celine and I were travelling through Vietnam we came upon an orphanage in a town called Kon Tum. There are many orphanages in the area and most have little or no support. We were directed to a particular orphanage on the outskirts of town. It took us a while to find the place but we finally did, up a dirt road on a small piece of land. There we met Teresa and a bunch of the kids at the orphanage. Teresa looks after the kids 7 days a week with the help of three sisters. She herself grew up in an orphanage in the area and is now dedicating her life to helping out others in need. She is a wonderful person. The kids are great too. They are happy and for the little they have are well looked after. This orphanage is not written about in any of the guide books and Teresa said we were only the second lot of foreigners to visit in the past year.

Teresa teaching away

We gave the orphanage a few small things; a bit of money and some food which is what anyone would do in the same situation. Celine and I left the orphanage wanting to help out; not just in a small one off way but over the long term. We have been thinking of ways to do this ever since.

Playing a skipping game with the kids

Why do they need help

There are currently 73 kids at the orphanage with only 58 beds

They eat two meals a day. They eat rice and vegetables, many grown in the fields. They don’t eat fish or meat. They are sometimes given food from the market but this is the old stuff that is generally unsalable.

They are often running out of medication. Recently many of the kids had an eye infection but they didn't have enough medicine.

The kids sometimes go to school, mostly by foot because they don't have enough bikes. The few bikes they do have are old and run down. Teresa, when she can, teaches them subjects like English and Maths at the orphanage. She has a blackboard in the main room that she uses.

The kids have one school uniform, a T-shirt for at home and a set of warm clothes. When we visited most of the kids were wearing dirty clothes.

Structurally, there are a lot of things that need to be done around the orphanage. They have a well that someone made for them but it is very unsafe for the young kids running around. The storage room that hold the rice and other important things is in bad shape. They have electricity but they can't afford to use it.

Hanging out with some of the kids

How to help

I have been in contact with an NGO operating in Danang who has been supporting disadvantaged kids for a number of years. After discussions with them it looks like they are going to work with me to start a project working with the orphanage in Kon Tum. For me this is great news. I want to put in place a long term solution, one that continues when I leave Vietnam. I am confident that we can work together in helping the kids have a better quality of life. If I can provide funds for the project they will source and distribute everything that is needed.

How can you help

The first and most obvious is to donate some money to the cause. A few dollars from everyone I know would easily cover the most needed things; that being a decent meal, adequate medicine and quality clothing. That is what I want to achieve first but I have many ideas for the future. I am still finalising the best way to collect the money so for the time being this post is to create awareness. I want people to know what I am doing and why I am doing it. Forward this post onto your friends and get people involved.

If you would like to help out please leave a comment on this post with your email and I will soon provide updated information. If you want more information, please get in touch with me and I can answer any questions you have. If you think this is a good idea please send this onto your friends and use social media to get my idea out there. Anyone that has been to Vietnam will know that many are living a hard life. These kids are born into this life and deserve our help. I have heard some terrible stories about the plight of young kids, often newborns in this area. This orphanage has provided a chance at life for many of these kids; a chance many before them never had. They have this chance because of wonderful people like Theresa who dedicate their life to helping others. I want, in a small way, to help too.

Get involved guys. A little help can go a long way. I will send an updated post once I have confirmation from the NGO on how we are going to proceed. In the meantime, tell others about helping the kids of Vietnam.

For my previous post of the orphanages of Kon Tum CLICK HERE


  1. Hi Dan,
    I am thinking about several options. Right now I am in Europe but I am going to travel to Vietnam with my wife next week. Do you have Theresa’s email or post address?


  2. I have the address of the orphanage and her email and phone number. She has good spoken and pretty good written English. If you have a chance to visit you can see the conditions of the orphanage and why they need some help.

    Address of the Orphanage:
    Thon Kon Klor2 Xa Dak Ro Wa - Thanh Pho Kon Tum

    Teresa's email address:

    Any questions, let me know

  3. Dan,

    can we continue via email? Pls. mail me floatzen@gmail.com.


  4. Dan, I am so proud of what you are doing and it is just the sort of thing I need to do to feel I am contributing something important again instead of just subsisting. I can get in contact with people here who may be able to help financially, maybe essential medicines through the pharmacy and the pharmacy guild. Maybe links to major agencies or maybe this is something we can work on and then reproduce elsewhere. I want to go back to
    Vietnam with David next year so would love to go with a mission in mind. If you can seek out places like this and perhaps I can work with you to make a positive difference, it would make such a difference. I am trained for this stuff and could maybe even spend time on the ground helping out. I would love it. Let me know what you think.
    I do realise this is your thing, but if I can help in any way it would be great.

  5. Hi Dan,
    I was looking up orphanages in Vietnam and came across your blog. I am going to Vietnam next week into rural Dalat areas to talk to some schools about sending a team of medical / dental personnel there for a mission. I don't know if your contacts in Kon Tum would have any addresses / contacts of orphanages in the Dalat area that we can visit and hopefully help out while we are there. Our first stop is Dalat, after reading your blog, perhaps we will go to Kon Tum as well. But in truth, I suppose every VN area could use donations / gifts / medical attention. Please let me know storm@comic.com
    Thank you.