As a very first event organized by External Relations (ER) department of Hanoikids in 2013, in January 26th, 2013, ‘Tet yeu thuong’ came with the participation of about 30 members of Hanoikids.

‘Tet yeu thuong’ is a charitable trip in which we went to Vietnam Friendship Village (VFV) to bring some fun and warmness to the unlucky children there when Tet holiday is coming.

If you haven’t known, VFV is a residential facility working for humanitarian and friendship cause with the support of Vietnam State, Vietnamese social and economic organizations, non-governmental organizations, the dedicated individuals and the veterans from some nations such as German, America, France, Japan, Canada, England. Its duty is to take care of and give the treatment and rehabilitation for the veterans’ children and veterans affected by Agent Orange/Dioxin in the war in Vietnam who are facing many difficulties in their life, according to their homepage.

Arriving at 8.30 a.m, we were warmly welcomed by some kids from the Village. We then came in every “house” in the Village and asked the children to come out to the big yard in front of their dormitory to play some games and to talk with them afterward.

hanoikids member plays with VFV's kids

Calling all of them ‘kids’ is not really precise. Their ages vary from 3 to 30s, but most of them are young. They suffer from mental handicaps, physical deformities, sensory limitations or a combination of all as result of Agent Orange exposure generations before.

Our hearts skipped a beat when we saw those less fortunate people. It is really unfair when they are just children, having no idea about the war and the world, yet both treated them harshly.

Most of the ‘kids’ were open minded, friendly and willing to talk to us first. But some of them were naughty, or refused to join with us. Realizing that their socks were old and scratched, we bought them some new ones as a gift. Talking to them, we knew more about their lives. They came from many different provinces, some of them were sent here because their families couldn’t afford their livings and health treatment. About once a month, they are visited by their families and maybe taken back to their homes for a day. And according to their level of disability, they are separated into different occupational classes: flower making, embroidery, special education class, etc. or go to school to learn basic knowledge.

Little gifts from Hanoikids members

One of the most memorable moments in our event was the time when two disabled kids taught us how to sing a song in sign language. Although it just lasted for a while, we felt closer to the kids in this place because at least we were connected with them in the same language.

Saying goodbye to VFV, we all had so many thoughts on our mind on our way back. All the things that we have done for the kids in a morning were not enough to make up for their suffering but we did bring them some happiness for the Tet holiday and this encourages us youngsters to keep on giving what we have got to society. Thanks to ER Dept. for organizing such a meaningful event, we are waiting for your next one.

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Written by Công sờ Mông – PR Department

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