Van Lang University brings Tet to connect community

(Van Lang, Jan 16, 2020) - Small gifts full of love and sharing from officials, lecturers and staff of Van Lang educational system were sent to the unfortunate people at Thien Phuoc and Thien An shelters during the charity trip “Joining hands for the community" on January 15, 2020.


The "Lucky" Children at Thien Phuoc Shelter

(No. 140 Do Dang Tuyen Street, Hamlet 6, An Nhon Tay Village, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City)

vlu brings tet to connect community aThe starting line-up in the charity trip "Joining hands for the community" in early 2020 of Van Lang University

After 1 hour to move out of the city center, we arrived at Thien Phuoc shelter in Cu Chi District, where children born with birth defects, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, etc. are nurtured. Whenever seeing someone getting out of their vehicles, the children ran to hug them tightly and led them into the shelter like welcoming their relatives home.

vlu brings tet to connect community bHaving just got off the car, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thi My Dieu - Rector of Van Lang University was welcomed by the children with hugs and led into their shelters.

We had a chance to meet and talk with nun Chi, who has been close-knit with the shelter for many years to look after the children. She told about the children living at the shelter with happiness sparkling on her face like a mother telling about her own children. The only wish of the nuns at the shelter is that the children would no longer have to suffer from the pain and could have 3 sufficient meals per day.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thi My Dieu, the Rector of Van Lang University and also the initiator of the “Joining hands for the community” program in the Emulation Group 23 (including 7 universities: Saigon Technology University, Van Lang University, Hoa Sen University, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, Hutech University, Huflit University and Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine) was touched when listening to nun Chi's stories about the children and the nuns' hardships. Ms. Dieu hopes the nuns will always be healthy, keep their enthusiasm and tolerance so that the children will always have their mothers by their side to take care of them.

vlu brings tet to connect community zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzLecturers in the universities in the Emulation Group 23 inquired about the health status of the children and the nuns at Thien Phuoc shelter.

More than half of 60 children at Thien Phuoc shelter cannot move around and do personal activities by themselves; all their activities during a day from drinking, eating, bathing, and toilet needs are all supported by the nuns.

vlu brings tet to connect community mThe second floor of Thien Phuoc shelter is the place to take care of the paralytic children who cannot do normal personal activities by themselves.

In a corner of the small room, when everyone was paying attention to the other children, the feeling of self-pity appeared clearly on the gaunt face due to illness of a boy called Vu. Having lived here for long time and understanding well the character of each child, nun Chi gently approached him, rubbed his head and patted his crooked back: “Are you feeling self-pitying because no one cares about you? Don’t worry! They will come to play with you now." Upon hearing that, everyone in the group came and cheered him up, and his innocent smile reappeared on his face.

vlu brings tet to connect community pVu sulked when the group members did not care about him.

In the courtyard of the shelter, the members of Spring Volunteer Campaign of Van Lang University, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine and Saigon Technology University played with the children who have better health and can walk normally. Some kids also showed their ability to be singers. The usual quiet atmosphere of the shelter was replaced by laughter, shouts of encouragement, and the happy Spring music.

vlu brings tet to connect community s The members of Spring Volunteer Campaign cheered as the children showed their amazing ability to sing.

As soon as the lunchtime came, the nuns asked the children in for lunch. Some of them could eat by themselves, but most children need the nuns to feed. On seeing that, each group member gave a hand to help them, so the lunch finished faster than the other days. Nun Chi joked, "Only if you were here every day, the children would not only have fun but also eat faster and more obediently".

vlu brings tet to connect community dEveryone in the charity group helped the nuns feed the children at lunch time in Thien Phuoc Shelter.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thi My Dieu represented Van Lang University, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine and Saigon Technology University to give 30 million VND to the shelter so that the nuns could have better condition to take care of the children. Nun Chi thanked the group and hoped to see everyone in the near future. Waving goodbye to the shelter, we know that the children here are unlucky because of many painful diseases, but they are also lucky to receive the dedicated care of the nuns at Thien Phuoc Shelter.

vlu brings tet to connect community uAssoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thi My Dieu - Rector of Van Lang University and representatives of Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine and Saigon Technology University offered 30 million VND to Thien Phuoc Shelter.

vlu brings tet to connect community eStudents of Van Lang University were playing with the children to relieve their pain of illness.

vlu brings tet to connect community fThe members of Spring Volunteer Campaign of Van Lang University and the nuns were massaging arms and legs for paralytic children.

vlu brings tet to connect community yPictures of children at Thien Phuoc Shelter were taken as a memory by the nuns.

Thien An Shelter - The Refuge of the Lonely Old Lives

(93/6, street 8, Quarter 5, Tam Phu Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City)

We continued to look for another shelter in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City. Also having unfortunate lives and carrying many illnesses, more than 100 elderly women with lonely life are cared for and nurtured in Thien An Shelter.

As soon as we entered the gate, nun Bich, the Vice Chairman of the shelter, welcomed us with a radiant smile. She led us into the living room to drink tea and chat for about 30 minutes while waiting for the elderly to read the Bible after lunch. The nun told us about the past year of the shelter: many elderly women came to seek the refuge for the last days of their lives but more than 10 elderly women passed away because of their old age and weakness.

vlu brings tet to connect community wThe meeting of the charity group of the Emulation Group 23 and Thien An Shelter's elders took place in a small room but full of warm joy.

Thien An Shelter is often called in a fun way as a four-direction house where the elders from the North to the South of Vietnam are cared for. They have no relatives and no shelters; some used to collect cans and bottles, sell lottery tickets, and beg; at night, they slept on the roadside or in the park; when they were no longer able to earn a living by themselves, they came here to seek the care from the nuns. After the elders finished reading the Bible, we were led by nun Bich into a small room with about 50 elderly women; the others stayed in their room due to poor health.

vlu brings tet to connect community zzzzThe radiant smile of the elderly women at Thien An Shelter when meeting the charity group from Van Lang University, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine and Saigon Technology University.

On behalf of the whole group, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thi My Dieu - Rector of Van Lang University thanked the nuns of Thien An Shelter for their wholehearted care for the elders. She hoped that the elders would always keep the optimism and good health to enjoy their life every day, so that when returning to the shelter in the following years, Ms. Dieu and the rest of group would meet them again.

vlu brings tet to connect community xThe elders of Thien An Shelter gave the charity group "Joining hands for the community" of the Emulation Group 23 surprising by cute dances.

In order for them to have more joy and excitement when Tet comes, Van Lang University, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine and Saigon Technology University sent many gifts to the shelter such as clothes, milk, other essential items and 10 million VND. Each elder woman was given a red envelope of 200,000 VND as lucky money for their good health. The group also came to the rooms of the weakers who could not move around to ask about their health status and gave them lucky money.

vlu brings tet to connect community zzzzzzVan Lang University gave 10 million VND to Thien An Shelter in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City.

vlu brings tet to connect community zzzzzzzAssoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thi My Dieu - Rector of Van Lang University came to the rooms of the elderly women with weak health who could not move around to wish them good health and give them lucky money.

vlu brings tet to connect community zzzzzzzzHappy smiles of the elderly women at Thien An Shelter when receiving lucky money envelope for the New Year of Metal Rat 2020.

vlu brings tet to connect community zzzzzzzzzThe students of Van Lang University helped the elderly woman to her room after meeting the charity group.

vlu brings tet to connect community zzzzzTalking with the elderly and asking about their health status is a way to help them forget their pain, sickness and enjoy their life every day.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thi My Dieu held nun Bich’s hands to thank her and promised that the group would visit the elders in the shelter regularly; the group would also introduce the shelter to everyone so that it would be known and helped for its fund, so that the nuns would have better conditions to care for the elders.

A early-year trip of Van Lang University and the other fellow universities in the Emulation Group 23 helped us feel the different meanings of spring when we put ourselves beside everyone and felt more sympathetic to the others in the community.

vlu brings tet to connect community zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzThe charity group of the Emulation Group 23 took a photo with the nuns and the elders before saying goodbye to Thien An Shelter.

 

Source: Hoang Luan
Translated by: Ha Thu
Edited by: Nguyen Thi Huynh Loc


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