Going Against The Grain came from the idea that what you are born into doesn’t dictate the rest of your life. This aid expedition marked 10 years since Against The Grain’s first aid expedition. During that trip, we visited 3 orphanages and realized how little it takes to make a significant impact and change in a child’s life. Since that first trip, we have since grown to help support multiple orphanages and several underprivileged facilities across several countries. And the impact of our donations continues to help and encourage each child no matter which country they’re from.
During this Vietnam aid expedition trip, we helped over 300 underprivileged children across 21 different schools, and over 200 orphans and handicapped children. We were able to provide a year’s worth of school supplies and several months food with just $6,500 USD. $5,000 was used to cover for back-to-school needs (uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, milk) and $1,500 for the 3 orphanages we visited. With the additional help and donations from our ATG Founding Board Member/Ambassador Aivy Nguyen’s company Golin PR, she along with our much appreciated volunteers were able to spend the week with the different schools and orphanages and get to know how they’ve all progressed in the past few years since ATG’s first visit.
The first day of the expedition was to Quan Chau, which provides a home for about 120 orphans, many of whom are small children and babies. This year, we were able to supply baby formula for expectant mothers who seek refuge at the center, as well as food and supplies for the orphans to have more nourishing meals.
The second day of the aid expedition was a visit to Ưu Đàm, one of the first orphanages we visited 10 years ago and cares for approximately 50 children outside Hue. PT, who leads the orphanage said that the continuous donations and support that ATG has given to Uu Dam during the past several years has contributed to making our home increasingly happy, and she feels that it has also encouraged the older kids to remember to be just as generous as they continue on their path to their own success.
The next four days of our expedition encompassed visiting almost 20 different schools in the Quang Tri Province. Many of these children live on the outskirts of the city and travel several miles to go to school. Whether it means walking in torrential rains or the blazing heat, many of these kids push through each day for the opportunity to learn, even if it is just a few hours of their day. And for most of these kids, having a new uniform, a nutritious meal or new school supplies is a luxury. ATG was able to distribute backpacks filled with milk and new school supplies and uniforms to over 300 students in the region.
Our ATG Founding Board Member/Ambassador Aivy Nguyen reports,
“The best part over the four days was that no matter what the situation each student came from and no matter what their story was, the students who received our packages were so resilient and had such an optimistic outlook on their future.”
“The last and final day of aid distribution was the most emotional. Maybe it was because the last day after a long week, but most likely because that it was place that showed me that you don’t have to have a lot to give back.”
Hướng Dương is a center in the Tam Ky province, and houses handicap children or children with mental disabilities. The director of the center is also blind, and built the center as a refuge and safe place for children with their own disabilities to still be able to have the opportunity to learn.
ATG not only provided the center with food and supplies for each child, but also with a new musical instrument. The center thrives on helping children learn in different outlets that best suit their needs, and have found that music provides the most help.
“Though many of the faces have changed over the years, one thing that hasn’t changed in 10 years is the impact that is felt from the donations. PT, one of the leaders from Uu Dam, told me ‘It isn’t merely the donation that we are grateful for. It is that you still remember us year after year.'”
None of this is possible without the support from our donors, sponsors and volunteers on the ground. And for that we thank you for your generous support in our mission to help these children in need and allowing us to make a direct impact in their lives and futures. If you would like to continue helping our cause, please donate here.