Translated from Vietnamese version of Ms. Dang Tran Ngoc Ngan.
"Early Sep 2010, while helping an Japanese friend doing her thesis on street children in Vietnam, I came to know about Thao Dan Safe house.
Prior to that, in my thought, street children narrowly included those who are homeless and wandering on the street while selling lotery tickets, shining shoes or salvaging garbage for living. Thao Dan has truly changed my view on the matter. Street children are also those who actually have a family, but being denied and kicked out - or ignored - by various reasons, most notably economic ones. Each has its own stories, but along the line, there were one thing in common: they all lacked love and care.
At first time contacting Thao Dan, I made my own researches and understood a lot more about the kids' lives. They might be mischievous, disobedient, lazy in learning and some even had very hostile attitude toward every people; they are ready to jump on a fight over anything, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. Deep within their eyes, however, I found something recurring; something created by daily and too early for their ages; thinking on ways to find a living; something in their wild and distrustful behaviors to survive homeless life; something made me unable to hold my tears: they lacked hope, dream, belief or whatever make a life a life. Why had they be like that at the ages where they should have been learning and enjoy discovering the world? How can the society, or to be true, a group of people, bore them and then kicked them to the side of the life? Isn't that my generation duties to fix that?
Got in touch with them over time, The more I loved them, the more I wanted to aid them in the most crucial aspect of a child: learning. That was when the idea of teaching knowledge and behaviors as well as inspiring them to pursue their own dream was crafted within me.
About this time, I get acquainted with Thao - a fellow schoolmate at Foreign Trade University. As for her, Thao knows about Nhat Hong shelter through several visits of the university's Social Work Club, but the impression never left her since. Thao got sympathized with the super-diligence of the children over Braille books. Despite many difficulties in daily life, the children are still innocent and trying their best to get the best out of obstacles. Feeling the same about disadvantaged children, we figured out what we could do to change the situation.
Thus, the Dong Hanh Uoc Mo Program was founded, with a burning desire to be a place, where children can be loved, aided and flew into their own sky by learning to be a civilised people; also, the place where motivated and heartful volunteers can be connected to contribute and share their love."
Dang Tran Ngoc Ngan
Founder - president of the Dong Hanh Uoc Mo Volunteer Group
Started from 10/2010, the project named Dong Hanh Uoc Mo was initiated at Thao Dan Safe House and Nhat Hong shelter, co-founded by:
- Ms. Dang Tran Ngoc Ngan
- Ms. Do Ngoc Thao
together with the contribution of volunteers from universities around the town.