Kim Anh Nguyen Thi was being oriented to the Vietnam Friendship Village four years ago by four outgoing young residents. While being lead around the peace garden and the playground they came upon an argument. Two residents were arguing over a favorite toy, and one of the children was crying. This wasn’t Kim’s first visit to the village, but it was the moment she saw and understood what the friendship village is really about. The six children were able to quickly address and solve the argument verbally, and soon were all laughing and playing again.
“That moment, I understood that they are real human beings no matter what kind of disabilities they have. They live in a family with their siblings, they also argue, tease, play, cry, and laugh together as we do, but upon all of those things, they do know how to care and love others. I want to be a part of their love, too”
Kim’s position with Vietnam International Volunteer Placement Service (VIVPS) kept her visiting each week, translating for foreign volunteers, visiting with the children, and enjoying the love of the friendship village and its residents. She now works with the international NGO, Plan International, where she works with some of the most marginalized and vulnerable children in Vietnam on projects ranging from early childhood care and education to disaster relief.
Although Kim’s visits to the Friendship Village in her native Hanoi only come once a year now she is still touched by the energy of reconciliation present there and still wants to support the residents how she can.
“I found the residents of the VFV have been well looked after and they do live in a healthy environment. What I concern about is besides getting material supports at Vietnam Friendship Village how the VFV’s residents will be supported further after graduating or leaving VFV to live on their own.”
To that end, Kim has made a generous holiday donation to the George Mizo Fund! This special scholarship fund has been established by the international committees to support older residents in goal setting for their personal independence and to have the means to start the journey. Funds have already been raised to help one resident pursue a tailoring internship outside of the Friendship Village!
Donating is easy, just visit our donation page and designate your donation to the George Mizo Fund. VFVP-USA depends on volunteers to help with our fundraising efforts. We hope Kim’s story will inspire other Friendship Village supporters to consider what they can do in the life of a resident this holiday season.