Upon visiting the local school in town to give two scholarships to pupils of one poor family, we saw the principle bring in 7 coats for the orphans but they did not fit the children. During the chat with the principle, he identified that a total of 45 children from poor families required winter coats. We decided to take on that project after costing out the amount of money needed and then consultation with other members of FFV. Each pupils size was taken to ensure correct fit and the coats ordered. Once, delivered coats were sorted and labelled for each individual pupil. A presentation was made the following day at school to each pupil and both the pupils and teachers involved were extremely happy. What made this donation extra special was when 2 of the children who received coats came to Michael and Nham’s house to say a personal thanks for the coats. The coats should last at least 2 years but if they outgrow them they can pass them on to their younger siblings of other needy children in the village. This is when you really realise the difference you are making to the lives of the poor. Below is a breakdown of the coats and costings:
Girl’s coat – size big: 3 x 380.000 VND = 1.140.000 VND
Girl’s coat – size small: 21 x 350.000 VND = 7.350.000 VND
Boy’s coat – size big: 6 x 395.000 VND = 2.370.000 VND
Boy’s coat – size small: 15 x 300.000 VND = 4.500.000 VND
Total: 15.360.000 VND (approximately £512)
The winter months can get very cold in this part of Vietnam – anything below 18 degrees C feels cold to them. Temperatures can drop to as low as 2 Degrees C, which happened last year and results in the children staying at home to make a fire or go to school cold wearing only the thin coats. Furthermore, no homes or school have heating. Most live in traditional wood houses with some structures being very basic with little protection from the cold, wind and elements (please see previous posts). Houses without shutters on the windows, bamboo floors and basic walls with some houses only having partial walls. So this is another reason for the coats, not just to get to school but to stay warm at home and at night.