I first heard about Allambie from a friend while living in Saigon and did some research online about it. I got in contact with Suzanne and arranged to meet up for coffee and to discuss possibly helping out. She told me about Allambie’s story and how she came to know each of the kids. Her own personal story is also inspiring to anyone who wants to make a difference in the world. We agreed that I would help out and took it from there. I had been doing other volunteering but this was by far the most welcoming, well-organised place I came across.
The first thing you need to know about Allambie is that it is not an orphanage! It is a family. That for me is the key plus about Allambie. There are only six children but that is purposefully so that each child gets everything they need to succeed. They live in such a warm, fun filled home and all their needs are taken care of.
Suzanne asked me over for lunch a few times at the house and I got to know the kids. Big thanks also to Auntie who made some lovely chicken curry! We arranged that I would take the two boys, Chuyen and Di Dell, out every weekend for an activity. We went swimming, roller- blading, bowling, to the arcade, cinema etc, etc while they practised English and I practised my broken Vietnamese! They’re loads of fun and I really enjoyed spending time with them. My defining memory is of the two of them ganging up on me and attacking me in the swimming pool!
What Suzanne has created with Allambie is a real testament to her vision and perseverance. She has made a home for each of the children and they are so lucky. They have been given a head start in life that very few other Vietnamese children receive. A massive amount of credit needs to go to her.
Finally, thank you so much for letting me be a part of your lives and best of luck in the future. I miss you all. Cảm ơn nhiều Suzanne! Tôi muốn về Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh và Allambie!!!