New year new change; the past 4 months have been a rollercoaster of activity. In December we had 2 volunteers from England a married couple called John and Sue who spent the whole of December with us, they were amazing and so funny and they were a huge help to me and the children. Christmas at Allambie in December was very special we shared the day with very close friends and our lovely volunteers Sue and John; in fact there was 20 of us all together. One of my friends treated us all to a whole turkey which was cooked and delivered to us on Christmas day piping hot on the back of a motorbike!!!! At the end of December the new changes were put in place and the biggest change was moving Allambie orphanage to new premises. I knew it was going to be hard but my god it was exhausting and so physically demanding and I would never have got through it with out John and Sue’s help. Trying to move 8 children into a new place and move everything by a small van attached to the back of a motorbike plus leave the old house spotless and undamaged and get the new premises ready and sorted for the kids in less than 2 days felt a times near impossible. The children were great and it was very much a family affair with everyone Because some of the children will be moving up into senior school in August the new premises is near their new school which is in walking distance which means that they won’t have to bike to school in August, plus the new premises is still close to the British council and their present schools and colleges.
In February Allambie orphanage took in a new child his name is Le Hoang Nhan aged 14. Le Hoang Nhan was originally in another orphanage that was over crowded and badly run. In November 2014 he ran away and returned to his countryside but sadly his father could not support him and he returned to the city and got a job working in a butchers. On his first day he got his hand got caught in the meat-mincing machine and sadly he lost his right hand. This young boy was brought to Allambie attention at the start of January 2015 whilst he was in hospital. I made the decision to step in and help this young boy and Allambie has been looking after him and supporting him ever since. We are hoping to get him into a rehabilitation centre on a daily basis, which will help him, emotional and physical over come this terrible event in his life and help him get used to using his left hand. Le Hoang Nhan is very small and under-nourished for his age. When I first met him, he was very scared and his eyes were dead. Since being at Allambie Le Hoang Nhan is now smiling and eating well and laughs and he has sparkle in his eyes. He has fitted in well with the other children.
In February I organised a surprise bowling night with our full time volunteers based in Saigon. The children had no idea and when we turned up at the bowling alley and there shouts of delight as the children saw all their volunteers together, there were over 20 of us and we had a brilliant fun evening. By the end of the evening every one was getting very competitive and everyone was trying to sabotage everyone’s games by deliberatly throwing the balls into wrong lanes and trying to put people off their games. It was great to see our new boy having fun and the other children and volunteers helped le Hoang Nhan, but by the end of evening he was happily bowling with his left hand and he did very well. It was very funny to watch and see the children and the volunteers all having fun together and hearing their laughter’s made me realise just how lucky Allambie was to have such an amazing group of volunteers supporting these children and me and to see how far these children have come along.
In February we celebrated the Vietnamese lunar New Year and the children went to their countryside’s to visit grandparents for 10 days which is very important to them and to the children’s culture, the children had a great time. During March the children had to go to the dentist for their check ups and between them they had 4 teeth removed and 3 fillings. I would like to say big Thank You to European Dentist surgery who for the last two years have been looking after the children’s teeth for free, this has been great help to Allambie and the children’s teeth are now being repaired and looked after; after years of neglect.
Christmas day, the big move, getting the paper work done and putting the new changes in place sadly took a toll on my health and in the middle of Jan I was very ill and had to spend a week in bed recovering. I knew then that I had to really take control and after a lot of soul searching I booked my ticket home to England. January and February I worked hard putting the right team of people together that would take over the running of Allambie once I had left. The team that I have put in place I trust completely and the kids know them well and I know the Allambie children are in good hands. On the 4th March I left Saigon and said goodbye to the Allambie children that I have nurtured and watch grow over the last 5 years. The children know that even though I may be in England they know that I am only a Skype call away. I hope to return by the end of the year but we will have to see how my health is. The new team and the children are doing well; Le Hoang Nhan is learning to write with his left hand and is trying hard bless him. I thank you for your continued support and because of your help we have been able to help a new child who desperately needed a safe haven. Allambie now has 9 children that we support and we could not have done this with out your donations, fundraisers
Thank you xx