Xuan Phu Shelter
“The shelter has 13 girls and 9 boys, 22 in all. They melt my heart. Their politeness and pure joy solidified my reason to be here at this shelter. Their face, their smile, their dimples, their shyness, their skinny frame, their wide eyes, their studious nature, everything about them exude purism. They levitate my soul.
The shelter has minimal. There are two sleeping rooms separated by gender. The rooms are large enough to accommodate the necessary bulk beds for the kids. The girls’ room has beautiful artistic pencil drawing pinned on the wall. There are few stuffed bears on some bulk beds. No AC, several fans are available to help ease the protrusion of the grueling heat.
Downstairs are classrooms with fans equally distributing temperature to alleviate the heat while the children focus on studying for their finals. The rooms have wooden chairs and tables, simple rustic wood with chipped corners. There’s a small music room, equally rustic as the chairs and tables, the piano and guitar have played endless tunes. Like the concrete of the shelter, the heavy clay soil, and the furniture in the rooms, the children have already lived a lifetime of stories, yet they remained sturdy and unbroken.
The house-moms and a team of mentors and teachers in the shelter transcend the meaning of living a life with value. They give their all everyday to enable a better life for the children. The team focuses on every aspect of the children’s growth and development. The children have been through heartache and pain in their journey of life, wounded and abandoned, yet they resonate happiness. The smiles on the children’s faces light the darkest of days. The shelter has provided the children a solid foundation of family environment with a system to support these children’s dreams of a brighter future. The children are beautiful, unassuming, humble, resilient, hard-working, and more. I can go on and add endless wonderful adjectives to describe these kids. But to truly understand the greatness of these children, I need to look beyond the surface and respectfully appreciate the team that paved the way for these children.”
Thuy Truong volunteered at our shelter this past summer from May – July 2014. She spent three months with the children teaching them English and dance. Mostly, though, she loved the children. These long-term relationships nurture our children. Most of our volunteers keep in touch with our children through various forms of social media, and even come back for return visits to Hue!
A special thanks to all of our volunteers, past and present, who have generously given their time and energy to our children at the shelter. We couldn’t have come this far without your love and dedication.