Monday, January 25, 2010

A big day out with Chipmunk Punks.......

There is no doubt that the children of Friendship Home benefit from our weekly donation of rice, protein and other food products. And it’s important that we provide blankets, scarves, gloves and other essentials to keep them warm throughout the winter.

But we also firmly believe that along with basic material needs being met, children should be allowed to be children. They should get to play, to be silly, to enjoy their childhood. A vital component of any childhood is laughter and joy. The long term benefits of nurturing little souls are without question. One
source of childhood joy comes from the excitement of those fun filled excursions out into the world. Those childhood memories are so important, we can all recall a couple of them pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, such memories are scarce for the children of Friendship Home. Having fun is not a regular part of their lives. We try to balance this a little and take them out for an occasional fun day.  This time our big day out was “off to the movies”.

Being the holiday season there were a few of the latest releases from Hollywood on offer, lucky for us the animated Chipmunks had released “The Squeakwel!” (oh yay). We pre-bought all the tickets and headed off to Friendship Home to collect the troops.

It was with great excitement that they rugged up in their new scarves and gloves. We try to make a point of giving the children individual items so they can enjoy a little ownership. Rather than buying 18 identical scarves we chose quite a few different styles. The kids were hilarious as they opened up the scarves, checked out the design, did a bit of a swap with each other, and then worked out just how they would wear it to make the most drastic fashion statement. Looking sharp and grinning away, they were ready to take on the Chipmunks!

We ordered a number of taxi’s to ferry us all back and forth. I shared a taxi with one of the older girls. Hang has lived at Friendship home since she was just five years old. She mentioned that they were all so excited because they had never been to the big shopping centre let alone to the movie mega-plex. It’s a different world.

The movie was great fun and the kids were glued to the screen. You know the Disney routine, cute little cartoon characters who sing, dance and save the day, they were hilarious. Okay, I admit I enjoyed it, just a little.

But what I really enjoyed, a whole lot, was watching the kids squeal with delight and laugh out loud as the very predictable story unfolded. Even the most serious of the kids were heard belly laughing.

We then went on to a local soup kitchen and a bunch of very happy children fed their little bodies. For a brief moment in time, these kids were totally content. With lazy smiles they returned to Friendship Home for a nice afternoon nap.

Some lovely childhood memories were made that day.

Kind regards
Alison & Rose


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beauty and the Beast........ supporting ACCV

If you're available this weekend, and you live in Hanoi .......

Hanoi International Theatre Society presents;

BEAUTY & THE BEAST Directed by Amy Cherry

Hong Ha Theatre, 51 Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem District

Performance times are;

Friday January 22nd, at 8pm

Saturday January 23rd at 2pm

Saturday January 23rd at 8pm

Sunday January 24th at 2pm

The January 2010 production of Beauty and the Beast is based on the 1991 animated feature film by Walt Disney Productions. The show centres around a beast who is really a prince who had a spell cast on him and who keeps a beautiful young woman named Belle in a castle. The beast must win Belle’s love or he will remain a beast forever. Through beautiful music, choreography and entertaining characters, the story tells of how Belle learns to love the Beast, while teaching him how to love in return.

Tickets available at Green Mango, Oasis Deli and Bookworm (or an hour before the performance at the Hong Ha Theatre Door)

Suggested donation: 150,000 VND

All proceeds will be donated to the Australian Charity for Children of Vietnam.

An added very special bonus is that H.I.T.S. has also donated tickets for the children of Friendship Home to go along and enjoy their first ever live theatre performance.

That's so wonderful for them and wonderful for us.

Thank you H.I.T.S.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ring out the old, sing in the new.....

This year, we decided to spend New Years in Hanoi. It was a lovely way to begin 2010. On New Years morning, we headed off to the Blind Association to meet up with the students and staff at the centre.

We dragged some of the family along with us to enjoy the festive cheer and to see first hand what it is Rose and I do when we head off on our trips to Hanoi. And why their wife/mother is attached to a computer 24hrs a day.
We received a very warm welcome, including a lovely spread of fresh fruit and sweets. Everyone was immediately at ease. The students proudly announced that they had a gift for us, and promptly broke into song! They had rehearsed and practiced “Jingle bells” in English, it was really special!

The positive environment that has been created here is really wonderful. It's quite a privilege to be a part of it all. The students are all very happy with their new lives. I think the social aspect to the classes has been even more beneficial for them than the academic side of things. Cheerful banter and sing song amongst friends was the order of the day.

Our teachers weren’t present this visit, both Birgit and Jennifer were off enjoying a very well earned Christmas break. But the results of their dedication and hard work were clearly present for everyone to see. The students are really progressing well. This time the English greetings flowed very naturally. They are all very keen to continue with their studies and made a point of asking when they can start their English classes again.

And the answer is very soon. Classes will begin again within the next couple of weeks. These students are on their way, there's no holding them back now.

Toan and our wonderful Teachers aides, Khanh and Trang were on hand to help out and enjoy the fun. They gave the students a good prod and told them to really practice their English language skills while they held a captive audience. And they did indeed.

I’m sure I don’t need to explain the joy involved, as I watched my own children chat away to the students. Some of my favourite people on the planet, getting to know each other. Quickly bridging huge gaps and just being young people, having a laugh together.

It was a great first day of the year!

Kind regards
Alison & Rose


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy New Year!!

ACCV would like to thank you for your kind support and wish you all the very best for a safe and happy 2010

Another year over....... and a new one just begun..........

Thank you so much for your ongoing support. The work we do at ACCV would simply not be possible without your financial assistance. We will continue to spend your money in the best possible way and keep you informed of just where it’s going. Please remember that 100% of your donation goes directly to the children of Vietnam, nothing is lost in administrative charges.

Kind regards

Alison & Rose