It was wonderful to see members of our staff at BVIS living up to the vision statement that we set for our students for community service; leading by example they volunteered their time on Sunday to help out at the Friendship Village located in Van Canh commune, Hoai Duc district, Hanoi.
The Vietnam Friendship Village provides therapy and medical care as well as educational and vocational training for 120 children with a variety of mental and physical conditions from the effects of Agent Orange. In addition to the children up to 60 veterans at a time also receive residential treatment services.
It was lovely to see such happy and warm smiles from the children when we entered the village.
The chairman kindly took the time out of his busy schedule to graciously welcome everyone and thanked BVIS for volunteering to help and hoped this would be just the start of a successful community partnership.
We then took possession of some work tools and set about clearing paths and roadsides to keep them safe and clear for the children and staff of the village.
After a break for lunch we had the privilege of meeting the veterans’ currently staying at the village. It was thought provoking and moving to chat and hear about their experiences, thoughts and feelings. We were also lucky to hear a couple of songs and all joined in by clapping our hands in time with the tune.
I would like to say a special thank you to Ms Giang Tran for liaising with the chairman on my behalf and to Ms Thuy Quan and Mr Long Nguyen who helped with translations on the day. Of course a big thank you to everyone else who volunteered their time to make it such a successful day.
Mr. Kevin Halpin - Community Service Officer