Teresa helps out in all of the 6 orphanages, especially when westerners are visiting. She acts as an interpreter, as many of the nuns that run the orphanages speak little English. Often when you visit her house there are extra children about from Vinh Son 5, which is only about 3 kms away.
Afew years ago she took in 2 boys that were asked to leave Vinh Son 1, as they were too hard to handle. I suspect all they needed was love. Now there are 6 children in a 1 bedroom house.
Last year Teresa’s younger sister, who lived afew houses away, died of lung cancer. Prior to her death her sister asked her to care for her 2 children, which of course she agreed to. That makes 8 children in a 1 bedroom house.
Two more children arrived at her door step brought to her by the children’s uncle. They came from a village close to the Chinese border. The children’s mother had died & the father actually sold their older sister to Chinese smugglers. The uncle just couldn’t stand by & see the other 2 children go the same way. Now there are 10 children in a 1 bedroom house.
Two years ago on my visit to Kon Tum I attended a wedding party of a beautiful young village girl. She came to Teresa’s house to dress & for the young girls to help with makeup & hair. Great excitement as you could imagine. Just 4 weeks ago she died of throat cancer leaving a 2yr old. Now there are 11 children in a 1 bedroom house.
Actually there are apparently 17 children between the ages of 2 & 16yrs being cared for by Teresa & Dung. They are being helped in their daily work by 2 widowers & 2 women from the local village. They also eat & live there!! It is very hard to imagine.
We feel that the highest priority for the family is to improve their health & sanitation. We have had plans drawn up by a local builder & plumber, for 2 bathrooms & toilet areas at the back of the house. This would also include a water tank & stand, work to improve their existing well & a solar hot water system. This work amounts to $5,200.
We have had 3 very generous donations in the last month & in addition to the moneys already raised will have approx. $3,000 which is a great starting point for this project. We continue to hold stalls at the Community Markets & Garage Sales, where all the proceeds go towards “The Children of Vietnam” & now to this particular project. We have an ongoing commitment supporting a young girl from Kon Tum, who is attending University in Ho Chi Minh City, so some money already raised, must be kept aside for her.
Can you help? Donations are, of course, the quickest & would be most appreciated. We could give them the go ahead to make a start on the project in no time. If you have any ideas & would like to hold a fundraising event or would like to help me anytime, that would be marvellous also. In exchange for your generosity, Ross & I would be thrilled for you to come with us on our next trip to Kon Tum & experience the “Real Vietnam”.
To make a donation go to our web site: http://www.friendsofkontum.com/donate.html
Or contact me on 02 60725252 / 0429725252 (If international use: +61 and remove 0)
Many thanks for your time in reading this & we dearly hope to hear from you.
Regards Margaret, Ross & David Rapsey