Thursday, July 13, 2017

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Tien Phuoc. I love coming out here, where it feels like I am in the middle of nowhere. It was about 45 degrees on the days I ventured out here to donate cows to some very deserving struggling families. A mission indeed!

I first started coming out here in 2013 and to date, we have purchased 17 cows! That's over $10,000 of cows!

It's great to go visit and see the families who were the first recipients of our cows, living a better life. Glenda, our first cow is onto her third calf! Purchasing cows for these disadvantaged families has proven to be a worthwhile project and a sustainable way to provide for these families.

Meet Mr Cuc. He had a disease in the spine which has left him paralysed from the chest down for the last seven years. His wife is the main labourer farming and selling odd things for an income. She lovingly takes care of him and his daily needs with the limited things they have, as well as try earn an income, keep house and look after their 10 year old son. A true love story.  'Brooke' the cow was donated from Rotary West Pennant Hills and Cherrybrooke Club. We hope it makes a difference to their lives.
#rotary #centralvietnam #helpingthepoor #truelovestory #missionnampossible #charity #sustainablecharity #donatingacow

His bathing and toileting chair is so old, unstable and broken that it broke my heart when I saw her struggle with it. For $80, I went and bought him a brand new one the day after.

Secondly, meet Mr Thanh and his family. We really had to walk through the 'jungle' to get to his place. 

He is a builder who has an unstable income earning less than $50 a month. His wife has agent orange complications, a vestibular disorder and has had two operations on her throat. She is often bed ridden. They have three daughters and a leaky house. 

Little Mai has never had a toy before and was quite excited at her new bag of toys (thanks to donations to mission:nam'possible). 

The two eldest daughters aged 16 and 17 travel to the nearest big city over four hours away on their school holidays to work as waitresses to earn money for their school fees. These kids only get one three month holiday a year. Working as a waitress means they are there from 6am until 10om, 7 days a week. They would earn about $90 a month for this.
"Audrey Pooh Bear" was bought with donations from House at Pooh Corner and donations from Gerard & Maree Salkeld. Thank you so much!!!!!!

Thirdly, Meet 'Cherry'. Mr Hoe and his family were the recipient of this donation. 
they really live out in the 'sticks'.

Mr Hoe does not have a stable income. He has been physically disabled since the war and now sells lottery tickets in the nearest big town over four hours away for the last 5 years to provide an income for the family. He earns 50,000VND a day. That's $2 a day.

His wife is at home farming when she can but she is also weak and sick and affected by Agent Orange. She has had two operations in her throat. They have 3 boys in year 11, 10 and 8. Although both parents are illiterate, they are adamant to try and earn an income to send their boys to school. All three children are top of their classes. The oldest one works as a builder during the school holidays to gain income to pay school fees. It's a tough gig. The second eldest goes to the big city during his only school holidays once a year looking for an income. The youngest one was scared to meet a foreigner and hid most of the time I was there. 

'Cherry' has been donated by the Rotary club of West Pennant Hills and Cherrybrooke. Bonus! Cherry came with a calf!!!! #donation #missionnampossible #charity #rotary #cow #sustainabledonation #sustainablecharity #twodollarsaday #helpingonefamilyatatime #agentorangevictims #resultsofwar #howtheotherhalflive

Next, we went and saw Grandma Hien. She really broke my heart. 

Her daughter at the age of 30 had a stroke whilst working in a factory in Ho Chi Minh and died. Her husband disappeared, leaving behind their 5 year old daughter, never to be heard from again. Not wanting her to end up in an orphanage, Grandma Hien has been battling to provide for Truc for the last 3 years. Grandma Hien was working looking after children in Danang. After her daughter's death, she moved back to her hometown of Tien Phuoc with Truc. She was so poor, she could not even afford to bring her daughters body to their hometown to bury her. Some Buddhist nuns heard of this and helped her transport the body back to give her a proper burial. 

The poor help the poorer in this community and I was humbled to see the other poor families help her by giving her food and their children's outgrown clothes for her granddaughter. The other kids take it in turns to put her on the back of their bikes to take her the 3km journey to school. After meeting her and hearing all this, we have also purchased her a bicycle so she can get to and from school.

Truc has never owned any toys before and she was stoked at her collection we brought to her. 

Meet "chúc may mắn"- the 'Good Luck' cow. She most certainly has brought good luck as she is already pregnant!!! Altitude Capital and John Tchetchenian donated her to Grandma Hien. #missionnampossible added a bicycle, food, her first ever toys and school fees also. May she be blessed with good fortune. #charity #donations #helpingthepoor

Today I also met 'Penny', the fifth cow we have donated this trip. Getting here was a challenge on this 45 degree day.

Penny was donated to Mrs Nhung and her family. Her husband became paralysed when a huge tree fell on him at work out in the fields and broke his spine. 

Mrs Nhung is the main labourer trying to make ends meet and they have two children in primary school to take care of. 

The little girl is a great artist who was so excited by all the art supplies we donated to her. 

'Penny' (who also came with a baby!) was donated by The #rotary club of West Pennant Hills & Cherrybrooke. #missionnampossible #charity #cowdonation #sustainablecharity #centralvietnam

Lastly, we went back to visit Mrs Phi.
Some of you may remember 'Zarzar' donated by Emanuele from Zarzar Real Estate & Rotary Norwest. Her full story can be found here: 

Alex and Emanuele from Rotary Norwest generously donated further funds to complete building her house so they have a kitchen and bathroom. 

Their joy at these basic necessities was pure magic to see. So much excitement for a toilet, something many take for granted every day. 
#missionnampossible #charity #rotary #basicneeds #toilet #kitchen #centralvietnam #basicnecessities #disadvantagedcommunities #payitforward

Six months ago when we donated Mrs Phi a cow, I brought her two youngest girls Luu and Lai some toys. Visiting again now, I saw the dolls and the #pretendplay set still in their boxes, unopened. When I asked, they said they didn't want to ruin them and so they just look at them so they can keep them forever. Never in my life have I met two little girls with such self control. Six months. And they still had not opened their new #toys. It's the only toys they have. Needless to say, I cried when I saw that and tried to tell them to open them and I'll bring them new toys again next time.
#missionnampossible #charity #centralvietnam #disadvantagedcommunities

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