Reflection on 2013
December 29 2013
Dear Friend of the Vietnam Children’s Fund:
We hope this finds you celebrating the close of a prosperous and healthy 2013 and looking ahead to a brand new year!
For the Vietnam Children’s Fund 2013 was a year of ups and downs. We are honored and proud to tell you that Sam Russell, our engineer and in country director was awarded the Huân chương Hữu nghị Việt Nam. Known as the Friendship Medal, this is the highest honor accorded by the Government of Vietnam to non-citizens. This medal is in recognition of Sam’s work as the Vietnam Children’s Fund’s representative in Vietnam for more than two decades.
On the down side, our construction work has slowed dramatically. This is due to the unrelenting down economy we are experiencing and the difficulties of fund raising. It is little consolation that many non-profits are experiencing the same as well. We are, however, looking forward to our spring project when we will renovate our first school in Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province. This school was dedicated to the late Lew Puller who founded VCF in 1993.
As you know, for two decades the Vietnam Children’s Fund (VCF) has been building elementary schools in Vietnam—often in the most remote and neglected locations. To date we have completed 48 projects which serve thousands of children. We have been able to provide clean modern facilities for these children who otherwise would be trying to learn in mud huts and crumbling shacks. Many of those young students have gone on to secondary education and universities. They have become teachers, engineers and medical professionals. We are very proud of them!
We would not have been able to do this work without the support of individual and corporate donors who have given so generously to better the lives of children. There are no words to express our gratitude.
There have been extraordinary changes in Vietnam in the course of 20 years. Yet with all the success Vietnam has had there is still no way the government can afford to build the schools it needs. Every one of our schools exists where none would if you hadn’t helped us make it a reality.
We are deeply grateful for your past support and now we ask for your help one more time.
With all good wishes for the best to you in the New Year,
Terry Anderson and Kieu Chinh