Vietnam Part 4 of 5: Minh Tâm Orphanage

As I stated in my last blog, it was ridiculously difficult to take photos of these kids because 1. they always wanted our cameras, 2. they would fight over the camera, and 3. they were too young to be trusted with our electronics, so some days we would just go here without it. We could never take pictures during play time because they would just go crazy over it, so the only opportunity was after we taught and they ate lunch 1 day.

Minh Tâm Orphanage

Eating after class

The girl on the left was always like a sweet old sister and was really smart. The girl on the right, we called her princess because she would never get into any trouble, but at the same time she never played with anyone else and do her own thing. Both so cute!

His name is Su. He was always smiling and waving his hands at us, plus he rarely cried. If he did, the minute you waved to him he’d smile =]

These back row boys were really smart! the one on the end with orange was always a bully though >_< The first 2 are bothers.

She did that on her own!

Minh Tam Orphanage was a place that had a lot of stories behind it. There would be numerous of reasons for why the children were there, for example, some of the kids were either given to the place, abandoned, or in other cases, them or their parent has HIV. If a child has HIV, they cannot go to public school, and if the parent has HIV they will not be employed in almost any place, which resulted in them going to this orphanage because there was no were else to go. At Minh Tam, you would occasionally see the mother working at the orphanage while the kid was also there, and you would also see sets of siblings. All the kids we taught/played with ranged from the ages of 7months – 5 years old I believe.

In the mornings we would go to the orphanage where the children were all seated in their desks ready to learn, but since they were so young, we mostly just taught numbers, other volunteers did the ABC’s, and we all did a lot of songs like “Head, shoulders, knee’s and toes”, “Row your boat”, and etc. The kids LOVED the songs! We would also have time for them to draw whatever we had on the board and such. A lot of the kid’s did their own thing and rebelled though…it was quite rewarding when they actually listened! but then again..they were super young and it’s not like they’re growing up in a disciplined kind of environment either. Most of the girls were good, but the boys on the other hand! they would put crayons up their nose, steal other kids crayons, draw on the other kid and etc. lol, I feel like I’m making this sound like a terror zone, but in all honesty, it was a lot of fun and since there were a lot of us volunteers (5 of us or more usually), it was easy to spread out and tend to each kid.

After class was over, it would be lunch time! We would stick around and help them eat and once they were done, we would walk back to the Peace House (which was 15minutes away) and then get lunch. Around 2pm, we would return to the orphanage and just play with the children. The kids LOVED sitting in our laps, getting carried around, and just cuddling =]

As for the Minh Tam Orphanage in general, the staff is mostly women that work REALLY hard. After just the few hours of class and playing, I was exhausted by these active kids..but for these women, they had to tend to these kids the ENTIRE day! And although I love that a place like this exist, the orphanage still has a long way to go I think..but I guess it can’t be helped because of certain circumstances. Let’s hope for a bright future for these children =]

Also, if we ever do this again, we will definitely fund raise. A few of the other volunteers did that and would buy materials or give money to the 3 sites and it was beautiful. As for us, we could only supply a few things. Next time we do this, we’re going big.

For more photos of these sweet kids, click >>HERE<<

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3 thoughts on “Vietnam Part 4 of 5: Minh Tâm Orphanage

  1. Hi!! I’m volunteering for the first time in Vietnam through the same program! I read that volunteers donated money and materials. What materials do you think they would need? hopefully you could get back to me about this as I’m leaving in September and I’d really like to bring back something for the children. my email is nguyen.bee@gmail.com.

  2. Hello,

    I am in Vietnam now, I really would like to visit this orphanage. Could you tell me what the address is?

    Love reading your blogs about your volunteer experiences.

    Thank you

    Mandy

    1. Hey Mandy! Thanks for stopping by. I’m actually not sure of where Minh Tam Orphanage is. I only went once, and was following my group leaders..plus they’re not exactly good on business cards haha if you’re interested in Chua La (Leaf Temple) though, it’s in District 7 in the Nha Be town.

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