Thị Nghè orphanage and Go Vap orphanage

This post in the 2nd part of “Volunteering in HCMc, Vietnam“.

General info:

Full name in VNese: Trung tâm bảo trợ trẻ tàn tật mồ côi Thị Nghè
Thi Nghe disabled orphan patronage center.

Address: no. 153, Xo Viet Nghe Tinh street, Ward 17, Binh Thanh district.
In VNese: 153 Xô Viết Nghệ Tĩnh, Phường 17, Quận Bình Thạnh.
– Phone no: (84) 38.996.563
– They take care of: disabled orphans, disabled children, cerebral palsy children
– Quantity: 388 children (Male: 220 – Female: 168).
– Age: 4 – 7 y/o : 96 children; 8 – 11 y/o: 132 children; 12 – 16 y/o : 160 children

I helped LS – a French girl to apply to volunteer at Thu Duc orphanage, but Department of Labor, Ward Invalids and Social Affair made a mistake, so LS was approved to volunteer at Thi Nghe orphanage instead. It’s worth a try, so we went there in the morning of June 18, 2015 together with my two VNese friends.

How did we commute: We rode bus no. 152 to grand bus terminal near Ben Thanh market, then rode bus no. 44, stop at no. 138 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh street, then walked back to the orphanage (no. 153 XVNT).

On the way, LS showed me her notebook which she wrote some songs she prepared to sing for the babies. I can see how excited she is.

Upon entered the gate, we were asked by the guard to submit our IDs. For VNese, we can submit ID, student ID, driver license, … Foreigner need to submit passport and need to be accepted to volunteer in advance. Then we were lent Volunteer IDs.

Pic: Approval Letter of LS: Ho Chi Minh city people’s committee sent to DLWS and Thi Nghe orphanage.

Doctor H. Lan was assigned to instruct LS. We met her in medical room of the orphanage. It surprised me a lot when I heard Doctor H. Lan spoke French with LS. She spoke it very well.

Pic: Doctor H. Lan talked with LS

LS was assigned to “Khoa Nhi I” (Children Department I), to take care of 2 children. A baby girl quickly jumped to her and she carried the baby girl.

LS spent time with another girl, played the balls and toys, but she quickly found out that the girl likes something makes sound (like her bracelet) rather than other toys.

Although LS tried, she still finds herself not suit in this orphanage. She didn’t work with disabled children, she only has experiences with normal children (specially babies).

Luckily, Ms. Phuong, officer at DLWS was there so we went back to administration building to update Louise’s volunteering letter. And she’s now applying for Go Vap orphanage. When we were waiting for the letter to be updated, I heard some stories from Ms. Phuong and the secretary of the orphanage. When they got an orphan, since the orphan doesn’t have a name, so they have right to name the child, whatever name they want. Normally, they will either select last name of the person who found the child, or last name of director of the orphanage as last name of the child. First name can be name of anyone: the guard, supervisor, boss, any name they can think about.

Beside disabled orphans, the center also take care of disabled children.

We met Doctor H. Lan again and LS explained her case of how is she not suit this orphanage. Doctor H. Lan understand for it and even gave us her contact information in case we need help.

médecin Hương Lan et Louise Spicq à Thị Nghè orphelinat

By 10am, the children here are started to being fed. Some volunteers helped to feed the children.

Volunteer spend time to play with the kid

Volunteer take care of the kid after feeding him:

Physical treatment for the kid:

Drinking dragon fruit juice:

Food of the children:

Lunch time is almost done

This orphanage is functioned the same as Mother Teresa Missionary of Charity in the Philippines.

LS was approved to volunteer at Go Vap orphanage. So we went there in the morning of Jun 25, 2015.

At first, I got a wrong address, and at first we went to Go Vap SOS orphanage. (We went there by bus no. 18 from Ben Thanh market). Address: no. 697, Quang Trung street, ward 12, Go Vap district (số 697 đường Quang Trung, phường 12, Quận Gò Vấp)

Then we went backward 5kms (by bus no. 18 or bus no. 24) to get to Go Vap center for cultivation and sponsorship of children (Trung tâm nuôi dưỡng bảo trợ trẻ em Gò Vấp).

Address: 45 Nguyen Van Bao, Ward 4, Go Vap district, HCMc.

Tel: (84) 8 3895 5581 – 3894 1880.

We waited for a while, since people in the orphanage were busy to accommodate other volunteers. LS then had to fill up Volunteering Application Letter and submitted 2 passport sized pictures to make Volunteering ID.

We met two Vietnamese interpreters for French volunteers here.

LS looked so happy when she’s finally covered with babies.

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