In 2015, a group of us international volunteers were living in northern Vietnam when we were introduced to a struggling orphanage for ethnic minority children who had been orphaned due to human trafficking, abject poverty, and other tragic reasons. Despite their terrible situation, these kids captured our hearts with their beautiful smiles and friendly personalities. At that time we decided to start a gofundme page and try and do whatever little thing we could do to help out.
Fast-forward to 2018, and through the generosity of friends, family, and kind-hearted people around the world, we had raised over $5000! We used this money to buy the children clothes and shoes, blankets and bedding, books and pens for school, sports equipment and toys, and animals and fruit trees for their farm. We also helped clean and renovate the old buildings they lived in, conducted English classes, and did a bunch of other activities from karate to friendship-bracelet making.
Present day, and the orphanage is doing much better. However, a lot of those same kids we met back in 2015 have now started to leave the orphanage, and no longer have the safety net it provides.
Without a support network of family and friends to help them get on their feet, these orphans have been pushed out into the world to fend for themselves. In their search for unskilled labour work, some of them have travelled as far as 2000kms (1250 miles) to get a job on construction sites, factories, and sweatshops.
The problem is that because they have no money to begin with, they can’t afford a safe place to stay - or even every day basic necessities. Being in such a vulnerable situation means that it is easy for unscrupulous people to take advantage of them, and for them to suffer similar fates as their parents did - the very reasons why they were orphaned in the first place.
This is why we are starting this second fundraising campaign. If we can help this first group of orphans get on their feet, then they will be in a position to help their younger sisters and brothers still at the orphanage when it is their time to leave as well. We know that people may not be able to give much, but anything you can give (or even just sharing our cause!) will be much appreciated.