Off We Go Again!
Once again we are anticipating another trip to Vietnam. Although we do not depart until September 20th we are already thinking about shots, mosquito repellent, and the right clothes for both sunny, hot, humid weather and possible monsoon rains.
Over the years we have seen some amazing progress in Vietnam, a developing economy, more advanced infrastructure and greater awareness about the environment. But sadly as the country moves full stride from a developing world to one of greater stability and wealth and as a strong middle class develops, the disenfranchised become more destitute. Greed and corruption lead to more severe problems. Child trafficking is on the rise, village people do not have access to education for their children and the number of people of disability does not diminish.
We are working with several organizations whose purpose is to prevent child trafficking and rescue children, both boys and girls who are lured into slavery in sweat shops, mines, the fishing industry, prostitution or as child brides.
- Blue Dragon: Hanoi https://www.bluedragon.org
- Ethos: Northern Vietnam http://www.ethosspirit.com/ethosgiving.html
- Go Philanthropic: Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal http://gophilanthropic.org/gophil-expands-trafficking-work-vietnam/
- Children's Education Foundation, Vietnam http://www.childrenseducationfoundation.org.au/programs.html
- Vietnam Education Society: http://vietnameducation.ca/about-ves/
The biggest change that we have seen over the last 18 months is the trend towards networking amongst the above organizations. We share information, stories, heartening rescue stories and developing relationships with police and authorities.
All the proceeds from Bruce' latest book, Finding Lien are being donated to these organizations.
There is so much work to be done and the costs of rescue and rehabilitation are high.
We are also working with Ong Vang, a Vietnamese organization, dedicated to building new schools in ethnic villages high in the mountains of Vietnam. This is the latest school facility that we have learned about and we are contributing to the financing of materials for the volunteer labourers. All these materials are hauled up the mountain by the young teams.
Poverty and lack of education are the most frequent reasons that children are trafficked, therefore providing schools and teachers and funds to sponsor education are critical. Children do not attend school for many reasons: distance to school by foot, lack of money to pay for uniforms, parental insistence that the children work on the land, disability and lack of accessibility in the school facility.
When we deliver gifts from an American sponsor to "her" student we can see the wonderful results. Van can now read Liz's letters in English. She knows all the names of her family members. Just look at the proud Grandma! This sponsorship is through Children's Education Foundation Vietnam.
We are still working with the aged also and look forward to seeing our old friends at the Hoi An Home for the Aged. This home is also a beneficiary of fund raising that continues with our group of former Tours of Peace participants.
If you would like to support our work, please send a cheque to:
Journeys of the Heart
#10-115 Upper Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, BC
We are happy to deliver your gifts!
You may also choose to donate directly to any of the organizations listed above.