Friendship Village



During two of my four weeks in the Hanoi area I volunteered at Friendship Village--a residential, educational, and medical village that helps victims of Agent Orange 


I first learned of the village from my Olympia friend Dan Ryan, who is on the board



Today the village houses 120 children, and treats veterans and other victims of Agent Orange



My liaison at the village was Ms Ha (left), the volunteer coordinator


Here with Hien, one of the house mothers


Ms. Ha assigned me to help in two special education classes


In the first class, the children are severely developmentally disabled


Much of their day is taken up with singing, simple art projects, 




and physical activity



ably taught by Ha, teacher extraordinaire



The second class can do simple arithmetic, 



mostly with the help of counting sticks

Here's Hoa

"Mot hai ba bon"

"One two three four"



presided over by Huyen



Then there is the computer class, with many of the kids doing lovely Powerpoint projects



and an embroidery class



and sewing



with Thuan



and a medical facility, well-staffed



with a well-equipped physical therapy room




During my time there, only two other individuals came as volunteers

But several groups came

A dozen or more students from the International School in Prague spent a week at the village, visiting classes, playing with the kids, staging festivities, ...


...and painting this lovely mural just outside the classrooms



Another group came from a nearby university--again playing with the kids, adding energy to the village



Yet another group came and painted lovely murals in the classrooms



My first day at the village I was privileged to dine with the administrative staff

On my immediate left is the director of the village, Dang Vu Dung


This ends the more formal section of this blog segment

On the next page is a compendium of photos from my time at the village, in no particular order, and will be of more interest to people closely associated with the village than it will be to the casual visitor

Nevertheless, you're welcome to browse


Friendship Village Photo Gallery, Part 1

Friendship Village Photo Gallery, Part 2


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