I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam in late February with a 150 hour TESOL Certificate and an extensive training background in the RAF and Essential Skills adult learning, I was looking forward to restart my teaching career and quickly applied for Native English speaking jobs with various private teaching Organisations.
I quickly found that without a Bachelor’s degree, I could not proceed down that path. I quickly decided that I still wanted to teach and therefore volunteered to help out as a Native English Teacher at Thang Long English and Vocational School for the underprivileged in District 4. I really enjoyed the School and the Staff and pupils were great. However the work was only for a couple of evenings a week and I still had loads of time on my hands.
What Happened Next
I therefore researched the internet and found Allambie Orphanage, a small Orphanage in District 1. Having little experience of Orphanages, I contacted the Owner, Suzanne Hook and she agreed to meet me. I took my impressive portfolio of Certificates, jumped on a bus and met Suzanne at a Coffee shop not far off the Orphanage. All the Certificates in the world could not have prepared me for what happened next.
The Family Home
Suzanne give me a background into the way Orphanages in Vietnam are run, where children are a commodity, and the harsh truth that the more desperate the children are perceived to be, the more money will be donated. She also told me about her own story:
Suzanne is an Orphan from the Vietnam war. She had a very successful business in the UK. She knew she could do better so she decided to do that. She sold her Businesses and set up Allambie.
Her drive to ensure that all the children in Allambie are loved and cherished is clear to see and that was the condition that I was accepted into the family Home (pending interview by Chuyen and the rest of the family).
If I passed my interview, I would be teaching Chuyen with additional English. Chuyen is a 14 year old teenager with a great sense of humour and a fantastic attitude. Dinner was delightful and most humbling. It was a family table with people breaking bread together, laughing and joking. We played cards after dinner and if it wasn’t for Truc, I would have been a few Vietnamese Dong lighter. When I left that evening I was completely overwhelmed by the experience.
Suzanne had created a home with a well-nourished family and a table full of love and devotion.
Simply the best job ever…………………………….Fantastic