I first heard about Allambie Orphanage from a friend who is a local volunteer. I did some research online and contacted Mark, the acting manager and arranged a meet and greet with the Allambie children. I was a bit nervous the first time I went to the orphanage as I didn’t know what to expect, or if the children would like me, but those nerves soon evaporated upon meeting the children.
Allambie is quite a small orphanage, with 9 children altogether. I have had the pleasure of meeting 7 of them, but on my first day I met Sa, Truc and Mung. We went to the local juice bar and chatted over a drink, they were lovely girls. I immediately felt comfortable with them and we arranged to meet the following Saturday morning, which we have repeated every week since.
My role at Allambie Orphanage is to do activities with the 2 girls, Truc and Mung. Every Saturday morning we spend a few hours either going bowling, to the cinema, for a meal, to the arcade or just playing games. Occasionally, if a lesson is cancelled I will go round to Allambie and take the boys, Chu Chu, Bear and Long, out as well for Ice cream or candy etc…, and the first thing I noticed about the children is how well-mannered, friendly and polite they are. Always smiling, laughing, chatting about what has happened that day at school or telling me funny stories about each other. I soon began to realise that Allambie wasn’t just an orphanage, it was like a family. The warm, clean and friendly home always welcoming, and the children are very well taken care of and receiving a good education. That is what I like the most about Allambie, that family feeling, and it was why I chose to volunteer here rather than other orphanages.
It has been a pleasure to get to know these children, and a massive credit has to be given to Suzanne, a wonderful and inspiring woman, for giving these wonderful children a new start in life and a chance that so many children will sadly, never get. There is no doubt in my mind just how lucky the children are for meeting Suzanne, a self-less role-model to all. I see how the children look at her with huge smiles and love in their eyes when Suzanne is near them and it is lovely to watch.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Suzanne, Mark, Auntie and most of all, to all the children of Allambie orphanage, for making me feel so welcome and part of the family since the moment I met you all. It has been my pleasure to get to know you all, and I hope it will continue for many years to come.