Tag: orphanages

Orphanage/Underprivileged Children Aid Report: The Philippines

nun&kids (1)childrenschool lunch




by Jennifer Devany | Co-Director of Community Outreach |After searching long and hard, the wait is finally over. On Sunday, July 15, ATG’s Philippines Aid Advisor Stephen Tan, ATG’s Vice President Renea Virata, and Co-Director of Community Outreach Jennifer Devany met and discussed making the very first disbursement to an orphanage in the Philippines. With the assistance of Jennifer’s family in the Philippines, ATG will be providing assistance to Lady Fatima Orphanage located in Iriga City in Buhi Camarines Sur, approximately 20 kilometers away, where Jennifer was raised.

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Orphanage Update: Uu Dam

(translated from Vietnamese, names abbreviated to protect their privacy.)

Dear ATG family,

Yesterday afternoon, PT and the children went to supermarket to shop for the necessities and food for the children at Uu Dam. The receipts added up to 10 million VND. The children were very excited. They always appreciate and have profound gratitude towards the ATG family.

This year, Uu Dam did not have any students taking the University entrance exams. However, there will be two students preparing for University next year. The children of Uu Dam are healthy and study hard all the time. They know that the reason they have cozy living conditions is largely due to the love, care, and support from the ATG family members. PT always reminds them to live a good and useful life in order to repay the donors who have loved and nurtured them.

With this email, PT includes pictures of the youngest children (the Three Musketeers) as a souvenir to ATG. The little boy sitting in the stroller, PH, is now 7 months old. He was only a few days old when he came to  Uu Dam, and he is currently a healthy and good boy.

Once again, on behalf of the Executive Committee of the orphans at Uu Dam, PT wishes to send the members of the ATG family Health and Peace.


DSC04128 3 chàng lính Ng? Lâm

Planting Hope and Magical Outcomes will Harvest



I was born in a remote countryside and grew up in perpetual hardship. The images of the tattered thatched roof and the people’s suffering lives in poverty have become part of my childhood memory.  Back then, everyday, we used studying as a means to escape poverty.  I studied to become a middle-school teacher and came to Da Nang to work – This is a fairly young, energetic and vibrant city for me to to excel, so I thought…

During the first few years in my teaching career, I recognized the difference of the living conditions of the children in this city with those in our lives before.  The difference is so great, as one side is the poor country side with the substandard living conditions from more than ten years ago; the other side is the exciting bustling liveliness of a busy, growing city.  Having the spirit of a young teacher, I put all of my passion into my job with the belief that “My students are the young children who have all of the conditions to study.  Thus, they will be able to come to school with a clear mind to receive new knowledge.  They will not worry about a thing.  Nothing will be in their way to stop them from soaking up the magic of education…” Each time having experienced the real life of my students, especially after I personally visited some of the ones from our school, that belief has gradually changed as I lived a little longer in the city.

We sometimes visited the students in the evening, after classes were over.  Perhaps the changing light between day and nightfall has made the places where our students live seem more empty and cold.  One unforgettable evening in February, when it was raining cats and dogs, a few other teachers and I were on the way to visit one of my students.  Holding the address, we confusedly walked back and forth in the small and muddy alley, asking and searching for my student’s home.  Her house was less than 2 km from our school, but it took us almost one hour to find it.  Her father passed away long time ago.  Her mother has had to go far away to earn a living for her family since my student was only 2 years-old.  During the last thirteen years, she was able to see her mother only a few times.  My student has been staying with her maternal grandmother, who is almost 80 years-old, an uncle, his wife, other aunt and their children.  Nine people live in a little house with a dirt floor and a rusty tin roof full of holes that could not prevent the rainwater from dripping through.  At the brightest corner of the house, there is an old wooden table with a 45-watt lamp – perhaps the studying corner for the children. On the wall around that corner, there are many certificates of achievement of the children.  It was not difficult for me to recognize the certificates with my student’s name, because she has continuously thrived as an excellent student during the last nine years.  Everyone in the family greeted us with the simple, but no less sincere, blend with a little concern.  Her grandmother kept crying from the moment we arrived, the type of cries without sound, only tears coming down from her old blurry eyes.  My student kept sitting behind me, even though I tried to hold her hand and pulled her to my side so that she would have more confidence in sitting with us.  I recognized that her hand trembled, her back pulled back as she wanted to shrink.  Perhaps she was not used to receiving visitors like us at her home.

That moment filled me with emotions.  Many similar visits had changed my original perception, as I realized that not all children of the big city can happily go to school.  Their routes to schools still have many barriers because of the lack of the necessities in material, emotional and spiritual support.  Even then, I still maintain my original belief that “It doesn’t matter how difficult it is, nothing will stop the children from understanding.” Therefore, though they don’t have a clear vision of the efforts and related rewards of education, all of my students always promised me that they will study so that their future will have less suffering,… so that one day they can help cure the illness of their mother… or to help their father raise their siblings, etc…All of those dreams and realizations help push the children to want to live and give them the energy to excel.  Their living conditions may be different levels from one another, but their eyes always look forward to the future, and their feet will march forward with strong conviction.

At the beginning of this school year, our school received happy news that those students who have overcome difficulties and achieved strong academic performances that would be given a chance to receive 11 scholarship/grants from the ATG family, comprised of 11 new bicycles.  The ATG group also supported us during the school year of 2012-2013 with 20 scholarship/grants, also new bicycles.  This year, the ATG family again provided us with these meaningful grants to help the children come to school each day so that their family no longer had to worry about finding the means for them to commute to school.  The bicycles, just like wings, will provide a tremendous support for the children to make their routes to school become shorter and further their abilities to advance in their life ahead.  The greatest outcome of this generous action is that it has helped these children to understand that people care about them and are willing to share.  With your support, the children will have a stronger belief in their studying and their daily life.

My dear students — just keep walking forward toward your future ahead.  We need to accept the differences that came to us in the past.  However, the opportunities of the future can be shared with those who value their life and work hard to achieve them.



Pham T. Thuy Loan (Teacher of Nguyen Hue Middle School)

Visit to Uu Dam

Hi all,

Our volunteers visited Uu Dam orphanage in Hue this weekend and distributed foods, milk, treats and necessary supplies for them.  Our volunteers went to the Supermarket with the director and a few of the older children of the orphanage and let them pick whatever they needed for Uu Dam. We spent about $9M VND and gave  them $3M VND toward the Mid-Autumn festival for the children.  The total is approximately USD$580.
If you notice, the boy in the orange outfit on the left side is the baby boy we first met 6 years ago when we first visited Uu Dam.  He is now 7.  Our volunteers reported that all of the children are very good, well-mannered and appeared to be well-taken care of.
Uu Dam 9 1 2013 pic 1

Letter from Uu Dam Orphanage

Dear Aileen–
Has ATG family been doing well? Over here, the children have started school again. Looking at them happy and excited to go back to school makes me remember the time I was going to school very happy. Dearest Aileen, this is the newest member of Uu dam family. He is very lovely. Six days ago, when the whole Uu dam family was resting at lunch, nobody noticed that someone had quietly put this baby in the living room of Uu dam and left. After the lunch, PT went to wake the children up and discovered this baby sound asleep in the living room. At first, PT was scared and thought something bad had happened to him. So we held him and ran to the backroom and discovered he was breathing normally but wasn’t crying at all. He is very lovely and good looking. Look at him, PT could not hold back the tears. Each child is born with a destiny. He is very handsome and good, especially since he has not been crying at all during the last six days. PT guesses he is about two weeks old. He still has his umbilical cord.
In the occasion of the Vu Lan (Vietnamese Mother/Father’s Day), all members of the Uu Dam Family wish ATG a very full and meaningful season.
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Orphanage Update: Letter from Uu Dam regarding our gift on International Children Day

Dear ATG family,

Two days ago, PT and the children of Uu Dam went shopping for food and supplies with your volunteer using the $10 million VND that ATG sent to support Uu Dam.  All members of Uu Dam truly appreciate ATG very much.

Three children of Uu Dam have finished the high school graduation exams.  They did very well on the exams and hope to earn high marks.  They are now focusing on studying for the University entrance exam.  All the ATG’s love given to these children for all these years will motivate them to study harder on the next University entrance exam.

On the International Children Day, which is also the eighth Anniversary of the day Uu Dam was formed, Uu Dam joined forces with the local college students to organize a celebration.  PT would like to send some pictures to the ATG family with all of our love and deep gratitude.  We pray that God, Buddha will grant blessing to all ATG members and your loved ones with much health and peace.


QTTN        QTTN2      QTTN3     QTTN4   QTTN5     QTTN8    QTTN9     QTTN6    QTTN7     QTTN10    QTTN11      QTTN12    QTTN13   QTTN14

ATG Gives to Baan Fuengfah Orphanage in Bangkok, Thailand

ATG is proud to announce the extension of their efforts to support orphanages in Asia to Bangkok, Thailand. Last month, our ground representative, Ewe Wee, gathered a group of friends and visited Baan Fuengfah Orphanage to deliver lunch and lots of love. We served lunch, dessert and milk to 272 boys and 160 girls. We look forward to continue our support to more orphanages in Bangkok in the near future. We had a volunteer photographer capture the afternoon.

Check out our photo gallery on Facebook, click here.

Many thanks to Ewe Wee and her amazing team for making this all happen.

To support our orphanage aid efforts and make a donation, visit our Donate Page. 

Orphanage Update: The Summer 2012 Tour to the Orphanages


By Aileen Nguyen

Another year has passed.  I packed my bags and came back to Vietnam on another mission to visit the orphanages.  Because of my new job, I scheduled this trip later in the year as compared to the last one.  The weather in June is quite hot and humid in Vietnam, but I was so ready as ever.

Danang Red Cross-Orphan Center:

From the guidance of my friends in Vietnam, I paid my first visit to “Danang Red Cross Association-The Orphan Center.”  This center used to be supported by the American Adoption Agencies.  As the relationship between the government of U.S. and Vietnam deteriorated on the adoption issues, this center was mostly abandoned by the agencies and left with a small funding from the Red Cross.

The children at this center are mostly severely handicapped and/or affected by illnesses and therefore were left unwanted by potential adopted parents.  Some children are in their teenage years yet have never left their crib.  The child in this below picture is ten years-old.  He is blind and could not walk.  He has a certain illness that causes his stomach to be really big, but his legs are bared bone.  He is as big as a four year-old child.

There are thirteen children that are bedridden like this child.  The director told me that some  were affected by Agent Orange.  I visited each of the children, and thought of my granddaughter back home.  I thought of all of the love and attention that she receives every day and felt sad for the children.  Most people will not know his name or remember his face.  He is not a cute, chubby, bubbly, or talkative and not a baby anymore.  What is the chance for him to be touched, loved, and hugged by an adoptive parents or anyone?  In fact, when I slightly touched his hand (which was wrapped in a piece of cloth, because he constantly scratched his eyes with it), he seemed to be scared until I spoke to him softly.

The child at the bottom in the below picture is seven years-old.  Her head is abnormally big because of a rare neurological disease.  The child next to her is four years-old.  She also suffers a neurological disease that caused her body to bend like a shrimp.

The Director told me that she was left at the hospital where she was born.  Her parents, who live in the countryside, used to come and visited her when she was little.  They stopped coming a few years ago.  May be they have other children and have gone on with their life.  Or may be they could not afford the visits anymore.  Whatever the reasons, the child did not choose to be born and abandoned this way.  Again, I thought of my grandchild, and my heart sank.

To the right is a happy child, though.  I could not hold my tears when I saw her smiling face.

There are seven other children with Down syndrome.  One girl, who was born with one ear missing and has no speech.  She kept following me everywhere and wanted to be hugged. Her face was slightly defected, but she kept smiling.   She would not let go of my hands when I was leaving.

We brought milk, treats, foods, and supplies of approximately VDN$9,000,000 or US$430 for The Orphan Center.  The Director of the Center was very appreciative of our help.  This was our second time helping the center.  My friends brought supplies and treats on behalf of ATG in March.

Uu Dam (Hue)

My friend and I left Danang for Hue around 5 am the next day to avoid the heat.  We contacted PT, the nun who is the director of the Center and met up with her and the older children at Co-op Mart to shop for the foods and supplies for the center.  After spent almost two hours at the market, we drove the car filled with foods and supplies back to Uu Dam.

The center has finished with the library and filled it up with the books purchased with the fund from ATG last year.  The center still has around forty children.  I am happy to see the baby boy who was only eight months when I first met him.  He is now a healthy five-year old boy.

I also learned that the center now has 4 children who have completed high school and will compete for entrance to University this year.  XT and TX, the twin girls, are now in their second year in University.  They go to the University during the day and come back to the center to live and be the big sisters for the younger children.  The center now has 3 younger children ages 4, 3, and 2 years-old.   Besides food and supplies, we have helped Uu Dam with funds for tuition and books.  Every year when I come back, I look forward to see the progress that the center has made and the impact of our help.  I was so happy that I was able to see the baby boy who was eight months and the twins, the youngest and oldest children of the center when I first met them.  They represent the progress and the impact that ATG has made to this orphanage.  I felt encouraged and joyful when I looked at the boy’s eyes.  PT really does a good job of raising these children.

We bought foods, treats, and supplies for Uu Dam in a total of VND$9,861,700 or USD$473.  We also gave the cooks and other poor helpers of the center  USD$50 to encourage them to continue to help PT and the children.




Center for Disabled Children Hoa Khanh

We visited this center in the past.  Like the Red Cross Orphan center, this one used to be sponsored by the American adoption agencies.  Once the adoption from America stopped, so was the funding.  The center has several severely handicapped children (about 30) and a few mentally challenged young adults who need a lot of support on their daily lives.  The center heavily relies on assistance from volunteers and private donors/charitable foundations like us.  Most of the children without disabilities were able to be adopted by foreign and Vietnamese parents.  However, the children with severe disabilities were not adopted by anyone.  In fact, the nuns told me that some of the physically challenged children had parents to begin with, but they were ultimately abandoned by their own parents for lack of economical means.

These two children, though alert at times, were born without the ability to walk.

This one could not either.

This seventeen year-old boy, who has been in the center since he was seven, has severe epilepsy.

So does this one…

Too many for me to remember their names….

This baby was born blind and without one hand.

Will he ever be able to see and feel the touch of a loving parent?

We spent VND$15,106,000 ($725) on food and supplies for this center.

Thanh Tam Center for Disabled Children

This place has about 70 children, half of which came from poor families, but they get to go home to their parents at night.  Most of the children were born without the ability to hear or speak, thus the school teaches them sign language.  Some children were born with Down Syndrome.


For some reason, Danang has many children who were born with neurological birth defects.  These children cannot walk.  Some have severe epilepsy problems. Some also could not even talk or hear.   Their families were not well-to-do to begin with, ultimately forced to abandon the children to the center because they could no longer afford the costs to care for the children.  The center, headed by a Catholic nun, aims at providing them with special education that enable these children to follow academic programs as much as they can.  However, most of the children who stay in the center were not able to pass the middle school or high school graduating exam, thus the center has been looking for the alternative vocational careers so that these children may be able to find the way to make their own living once they reach adult age.  The center received some funding from the Catholic Diocese.  However, because of the special needs for these children, the center has to hire a lot of caregivers to look after them. Thus, our support came in handy.

We purchased VND$10, 233,000 (USD$491) of foods and supplies for the center.


I contacted the Danang center for the Street children and learned that the children were allowed to visit with their relatives during the second and third week of June, thus we could not visit with them.  Since I have to go back to the US, I left USD$300 for my friends to purchase foods and supplies for these children.

On the long flight back to Dallas, I remember the voice of the child that sat next to me on the last trip to Vietnam who asked her Mom what did an orphan look like.  I could not help but felt very sad that most of the orphans I saw on this trip could not function normally like the children of Uu Dam or Son Ca orphanages.  Being without parents and/or without the appropriate economic means are difficult enough for anyone.  However, the orphans with disabilities will have even lesser chance to be loved and cared for by the adopted parents or other guardians.  They will have a lot less chance to have an independent lifestyle as they become adults.  Their journeys in life will be difficult, if not short.   I am glad that ATG could lend a hand to provide them with the much needed support on their journeys.  We hope to be there along the way to ease their pains.  I am also very glad to have friends in Vietnam likes HP to help me with transportations and deliveries of the goods to the orphanages on this trip.

To support ATG’s orphanage aid program and make a donation, visit our Donate Page.

Orphanage Update: 2012

ATG recently received this email from one of our supported orphanages in Hue, Vietnam:

Dear ATG Family,

Sister and the children really appreciate you.

We just received another orphan who was left at the hospital when she was 1 day old.  We hired a wet nurse to take care of her until she was two months before we could take care of her.

Right now, we have three babies who are 19 months, seven months and two months, in addition to the other girls at the orphanage.  We would like to introduce the new babies to you.  We have not obtained birth certificates for them yet.

We will use your recent donation funds to buy milk and supplies for these three new babies.  All three were left at the hospital.  Two of them were from mountain people, and one came from the city.

On behalf of the orphans, we would like to express our gratitude to the ATG group.

– Sister T.

To help support our orphanages, please visit our Donate page. Any amount, great or small, is appreciated. 100% of your funds will be distributed to these children.