July 8, 2010 - Thiên Phuoc & Thien Tam Orphanage

Updated: Jan 7

My Trip to the Orphanages

After our trips in Dalat, we also headed out to 3 more orphanages; one in Saigon and 2 in the city of Cu Chi. We went to Mai Am Ba Chieu in Saigon on the first day and on the 2nd day we went to Cu Chi.

Cu Chi is another village that is located out of Saigon with a driving time of about 2 hours. The first location we visited is called Mai Am Thien Duyen. Stepping into this place, it was an honor to meet Ma Muoi. She is the owner and caretaker of over 100 disabled children of all ages. Ma Muoi took me for a tour around the orphanage which consisted of disabled people of all ages ranging from newborns up to people who were 40 years old. Over 75 of them were disabled meaning they are either deaf, have down syndrome, or many other physical and mental disabilities. Walking through the room, I could see crib after crib, and each crib would have a child in there. Some were actually young, while others just looked young because of their disability. They all just laid there and waited to be fed. They knew nothing, couldn't talk, and barely understood we said. Their lives were basically meaningless ever since the day they were born.

My mom and I went to a super market two days before our trip to Cu Chi to buy necessities that are needed in every day life such as oil, shampoo, detergent, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and snacks that would be useful to the orphanage. We donated all of this to Ma Muoi and passed out treat bags to all the children. Some could actually acknowledge us, but most couldn't. We went ahead and left the treat bags in their cribs.

Seeing this orphanage and all the orphans was definitely shocking to me. Sometimes in life, you have to see certain things to believe it; and this was one of those situations. I could not believe my eyes. I couldn't believe that there were children who were even more unfortunate than the ones I visited in Dalat. My mother and I donated $500 USD to Ma Muoi in addition to the things we brought. This is the least we could do to help.

Right after leaving Mai Am Thien Duyen, we traveled to Mai Am Thien Phuoc. This place is very similar to the previous one and contains over 74 disabled children. Walking from room to room, I would play with children who were awake. Even a little touch means something. Although these children are not normal, they can still sense that someone is there. They can see our smile, feel our touch, and feel our love for them. Just in one small city, I was able to see 2 of the biggest orphanages. Both places make me cherish everything I have so much more than before. Seeing situations like this make me realize how lucky I am to have what I have, and that I need to share my fortune with others. It is my job to do what I can to pass this information on, to motivate others to take charge, and to help the unfortunate as much as I can. Before leaving, my mother and I donated $200USD along with other treats and necessities to Mai Am Thien Phuoc.

This wraps up my journey of visiting orphanages in Vietnam. This trip taught me many things that will last a life time, and one thing in particular. I will do everything in my power to come back in the future, to share what I have, and to give back to a small part of the world what I have been given in my life.



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