Tân Thiết hamlet is part of Tân An district in the city of Long An with a population of 812. The principal business is farming with an estimated average family income of USD500/month. Electricity and town water are yet to be fully provided. The main forms of transport are motorbikes and canoes. There are no local schools so children must travel to Tan An district everyday, via an old bridge.
The old Tân Thiết bridge was flimsy, narrow with no handrails and had been damaged in several places. In September 2017, Vietnam Foundation was approached by Đồng Tâm Charity to jointly fund the construction of a new bridge. The total cost was 260 million đồng with a contribution of 100 million đồng (about AUD 6000) from Vietnam Foundation.
Tân Thiết Bridge (also known as Đồng Tâm 92 Bridge) was officially opened on the 28th of January, 2018. Tân Thiết bridge is 35 metres long, 3 metres wide with a maximum capacity of 5 tonnes. The new bridge will facilitate the passing of ambulances, small buses and trucks and provide more safety for young children going to schools.
Vietnam Foundation successfully organised a joint fund raising dinner with Blue Dragon Children’ Foundation on the 25th of August 2017.
Blue Dragon was founded by Michael Brosowski, an Australian teacher at the time, to help Vietnamese street kids. Michael has spent the last 15 years sending thousands of street kids to school and in the last few years, has saved hundreds of trafficked children and helped to rebuild their lives.
The fund raising dinner attracted about 450 guests from a wide community. As well as hearing from Michael, the patrons enjoyed good food and entertainment from various performers, from traditional dances to ball room dancing.
In total, $32,885 was raised of which $16,926 was allocated to Blue Dragon and $15,959 to VNF. In addition to the financial benefit, this event has been a wonderful vehicle to raise awareness of Blue Dragon and Vietnam Foundation in the community.
All this was made possible by a number of generous donors and many hard working volunteers to whom we are truly grateful.
The money raised for VNF will be used in the next project which is currently being evaluated. Watch this space for our next exciting news.
Followings are some of the photos of the event:
Michael giving his talk at the fund raising dinner
$45 will help to recycle one bicycle and bring smiles to one bright child.
You can help one, two bikes, or as many bikes as you like.
Our target this year is to raise $18,000 to deliver 400 recycled bicycles in central and southern Vietnam where the refurbishment will start in early June 2017 for distribution around the beginning of the school year in September 2017.
Please click the link below to read the appeal letter.
To make a donation:
Mail cheque to: Vietnam Foundation,
137 Lancelot St, Blacktown, NSW 2148, Australia.
Bank transfer in Australia: Vietnam Foundation Account No. 900626631
ANZ Bank: BSB 012-226
(Please note the new BSB number and quote your name for identification)
Overseas transfer: Use the SWIFT/BIC code ANZBAU3M
In 2016-2017, Vietnam Foundation funded and supervised the construction of Hương Sen Kindergarten in Hòa An village, Phụng Hiệp District of Hậu Giang Province. The new kindergarten is a three-classroom building with modern toilet facilities. It was built on the site of an old two-classroom disused school. The site area was enlarged with additional lands donated and acquired by the local people. Construction was started in 2016 and the kindergarten was in full operation in January 2017, providing education facilities to 60 infant children from poor local families.
Site of the new Hương Sen kindergarten: an old, disused school
The new Hương Sen kindergarten under construction
Hòa An village is in a remote part of Hậu Giang, poor and riddled with problems such as effects of Orange Agent, lack of basic infrastructures etc. Most of the villagers derive income from agriculture: rice cultivation, sugarcane growing and fire-based farming.
As at 2015, Hòa An village’s education facilities consisted of one high school, four primary schools and two kindergartens. The total number of kindergarten classrooms in the village was 13, of which 7 was located at the main campus and 6 temporarily used primary school classrooms in satellite campuses in faraway locations.
The total number of 3 to 5 years old children is currently about 715. Due to lack of classrooms 33% of them do not attend kindergarten. As a result, some parents have to give up employment to look after young children at home, leading to losses of family income.
The new Hương Sen kindergarten at completion
The kindergarten is to be managed by Vietnam Foundation’s local partner, Vietnam Red Cross – Phụng Hiệp branch. Its funding application was introduced to the Foundation by a Vietnamese Charity Group, Hành Trình Yêu Thương (HTYT). Vietnam Foundation’s funding to the project amounted to AUD 40,000, which was possible thanks to the generous bequeath of our late Judith Iltis. The local Red Cross contributed approximately AUD 20,000 for the purchase of additional land and site preparation work. The construction was supervised by Red Cross Phụng Hiệp and the Foundation’s local representative, Dr Lưu Thái Danh.
Unveiling the commemorative plaque during the opening ceremony in March 2017
Recycled Bicycles has been an ongoing aid project of Vietnam Foundation, commencing in 2012 (see this page). The aim of the project is threefold:
to provide high-quality, used bicycles to some poor and bright school children in Vietnam,
to provide employment to local businesses, and
to promote environmental sustainability in Vietnam.
From 2012 to 2015, the project was confined to poor areas in central Vietnam. In 2016, for the first time, the project was extended to the southern Vietnam. In conjunction with its partners, Scout Chief Trần Văn Hồng (in Huế) and the Hành Trình Yêu Thương (Journey of Love, or HTYT for short) Group (in Saigon), Vietnam Foundation distributed 200 and 100 recycled bicycles to school children in central and southern Vietnam, respectively.
To promote awareness of the project and writing skills of recipients, the Board of Vietnam Foundation decided to hold an essay competition amongst the 2016 recipients (grades 6 to 12). The competition was announced in early December 2016 and the closing date was 10 January 2017. The topic of the competition is “Xe Đạp Yêu Thương – Cùng em đến trường” (Beloved Bicycle – Cycling with me to school) and the participants were encouraged to write about their experiences subsequent to receiving their bikes. The selection panel consisted of Dr Lý Gia Nhẫn (President of Vietnam Foundation), Mr Trương Quang Minh (Vice President of Vietnam Foundation) and Ms Nguyễn Mỹ Loan (Coordinator, Hành Trình Yêu Thương Group).
First prize entry by Nguyễn Văn Hồng
Second prize entry by Phạm Thị Mỹ Nhiên
A total of 100 school children participated in the competition. The five essay winners were:
First prize (US$ 60): Nguyễn Văn Hồng, Class 11A4, Long Xuyên High School
Second prize (US$ 50): Phạm Thị Mỹ Nhiên, Class 7A4, Châu Lăng Middle School
Third prize (US$ 40): Nguyễn Thị Vàng, Class 6/2, Dân Thành Middle School (Trà Vinh)
Equal fourth prize (US$ 25): Lê Minh Nhựt, Class 4/4, Mỹ Lợi A Primary School (Tiền Giang)
Equal fourth prize (US$ 25): Hồ Hoài Bảo, Class 8/4, Mỹ Lợi A Middle School (Tiền Giang)
First prize winner Nguyễn Văn Hồng with his mother and his award – photo by HTYT
Second prize winner Phạm Thị Mỹ Nhiên with her teacher and her award – photo by HTYT
Third prize winner Nguyễn Thị Vàng with her teacher and her award – photo by HTYT
Fourth prize winners Lê Minh Nhựt and Hồ Hoài Bảo with their teacher and their awards – photo by HTYT
The winning entries together with other essays for the competition are stored here.