Volunteering at the orphanage in Vũng Tàu was our first experience with orphans and working on a humanitarian project. We spent three weeks in Vũng Tàu during July 2011.
During that time we mostly played games with the children and did craft works. At P center, we managed to put up a little play with the older children. We made them make their own costumes a nd accessories – such as crowns, swords and magic sticks – and they were very excited and concentrated in order to have the best accessory! They were well disciplined and that helped us teach them a little choreography! We also took the children on outings to the park, cable car, and to the seaside. Each time we had a great time and it gave us so much happiness to see the children filled with wonder every time they were taken out.
N center children had more social needs, rather than the affection that P centre children so much wanted. This wasn’t easy at first because we didn’t speak a word of Vietnamese. Nevertheless, struggles from both sides were brought up, and we managed to establish a sort of sign and were able to communicate in simple ways. We tried to learn some Vietnamese words with a dictionary, but whenever we spoke Vietnamese, we made the children laugh a lot because of our bad pronunciation! It was lot of fun trying to know a bit more about each child’s interests and tastes!
At Long Hai center we did some craft activities in which children made Christmas cards for their sponsors. The children were eager to make the most beautiful card. We also organized a dental healthcare lesson in which children were taught how to clean their teeth. The children were so sweet trying to memorize each move of our demonstration. My Huong organized gift packs for each child with the items that we bought. Each child received a new toothbrush, toothpaste, pencils, notebooks, biscuits and a drink. Seeing the smiles on their faces was very beautiful and each child was so excited and happy to have a gift.
We were touched by the children’s reactions towards us and that is why we became so attached to them. They want attention and affection, especially the little ones, and are always enthusiastic to play any game! They always had smiles on their faces, eyes filled with joy and rarely complained.
A special thanks to My Huong and My who showed us around and taught us a little about Vietnamese culture and food.
Our time in Vũng Tàu was such a life lesson for us. We were so grateful to have had this experience and will never forget it.
Aida Bigot, Margaux Delagarde, Laetitia Boudot, Jeanne Cielsa and Laetitia Teisseire
Guy de Larigaudie Scout Group