. . . a charitable organization working to improve the lives of children living at St. An's Orphanage in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam
Trip Report - Nov. 2012
It is wonderful when two groups can combine efforts to make a difference for those needing assistance. PBT and the University of San Francisco Vietnam Nurse Project joined in a much needed visit to give the children and staff of St. An's medical exams. The Vietnam Nurse Project team was able to examine all of the children and most of the staff at the orphanage. They also held training sessions for the staff and children on health and hygiene topics.
We delivered new backpacks and school supplies for the children and new shoes for the coming winter months. Another exciting gift were new scooter boards for two of the physically handicapped girls, Thom and Ha. They were both thrilled to have transportation again. Another project for the visit was building window screens for the children rooms. Mike and Van did a great job and were able to install 17 new screens.
We very much appreciate the San Francisco group and their work at the orphanage. We also thank our wonderful translators, Lam, Van and Hien for their help.
We always look forward to our visits to St. An's. We miss the children and cannot wait to see them again.
Waiting for our next visit,
Tracy Foster & Mike Pierce
PBT Board Members
Trip Report - October 2011
We recently returned from a visit to St. An’s orphanage in Nam Dinh, Vietnam. We had a wonderful visit with the children and the orphanage staff. We pretty much “hit the ground running” and started working and playing with the kids soon after we arrived. Our team was composed of six volunteers from the US and our two interpreters from Hanoi. We stayed at the orphanage in the dormitory and enjoyed our meals with the children and staff in the orphanage dining room (you will note a few pictures of our tasty meals).
Our goals for the trip (other than to give as many hugs and kisses as possible) was to hold mini-camp activities with the kids, do a bit of clean-up and painting around the orphanage, and complete vision screenings on the school age children. We are proud to announce we accomplished all of our goals!
As you view the pictures from our trip you will notice children aged from infant to young adult, including the normal developing and special needs children. They were all happy to have a bit of fun and enjoy a few treats between activities.
We painted (with help from orphanage staff/workers) seven rooms and had excess paint for future projects. The staff and children were all excited to get a “facelift!”
Traveling to Vietnam is never an easy process but the effort is repaid a hundred times over by the smiles received from the children. We leave each time with a renewed commitment to ensuring they are given an opportunity for a happy, productive future. We leave them with tears our eyes and pain in our hearts. As we travel home, we focus our emotions to use as our inspiration for continuing the work we love.Type your paragraph here.
Trip Report - MAY 2014
The PBT team has completed another great visit with our kids at St. An’s. We planned our visit to correspond with the end of the school year. There is more fun to be had when the kids are not in school!
Mike Pierce, our PBT Secretary, let a trip of four volunteers. We called them the “Arizona ladies.” Yes, they were all from Arizona. Nancy (who took the beautiful pictures seen on our website from the trip), her daughter Olivia, and their friends Dawn and Lynn joined Mike in Hanoi and traveled with him to St. An’s.
Last year we implemented a vitamin program for the children at St. An’s. The diet at the orphanage is limited and not well balanced. We felt that everyone’s general health would benefit from using health supplements. We were very fortunate that the Arizona group donated a year’s supply of vitamins for the orphanage. Wow! We were thrilled. Adding their donation with the current supply should get us through 18 months of supplements. Not only did they bring vitamins that also brought shoes, games and left a donation to assist in purchasing paint for the new dining room being built at St. An’s.
As mentioned, we planned our visit in order to have extra time with our kids over their summer break from school. We planned a field trip day for the school-aged children to Hanoi. Research has shown that enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into well-mannered young men and women who possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical thinking skills, and have a better understanding of their culture. Children from rural areas and less-advantaged backgrounds generally show even greater benefits from the experience. Our day consisted of a mix of art, culture, and just a fun time for the kids. There were many first’s - restaurants, buses, museums, shopping mall, escalators and simple leaving the orphanage and Nam Dinh and traveling to the urban city of Hanoi.
We wanted to make sure the younger children had a bit of fun too. Mike and the Arizona ladies arranged to take the younger children out for a night of Pho (noodle soup) and ice cream at a local restaurant.
We planned our field trip activates for the three days Mike’s “extra hands” were at the orphanage. There were a few difficulties, but overall the kids had fun, we had fun – everyone was happy. It takes a “crew” to get the job done and it was a great crew of volunteers. We plan to make this an annual event. The kids need the exposure and it’s a good incentive for them to work hard in school.
We had several projects for the week other than the field trips. One project was to build Tien a new scooter board. This is the fourth board we have built for the kids at the orphanage. They provide transportation around the orphanage for the children who are either non-ambulatory, or in Tien’s case, a double amputee. She was thrilled to have her wheels.
Another goal for the trip was to visit the four students who are in training in Hanoi. Trang and Mai are attending Koto, a training center that teaches culinary arts. Hein is in an IT training center learning web design. Linh is in a center where she is learning the art of paper curling. Each seems to enjoy what they are doing and are working toward their goal of independence. Linh needed a bicycle in order to get around town. We are happy to say she is pedaling her way to work today.
A few of our older girls could not go on our field trip to Hanoi because they had to take round one of the 10th grade exam. We took them on a smaller trip to the Big C (aka, Walmart of VN) for a few “teenage” supplies and fun stuff. It was not the fun day in Hanoi but they seemed to have a good time and enjoy their day.
Once we had the field trips completed we focused on getting the children to the dentist. We found a good dentist that was a short taxi ride from the orphanage who was willing to work with us to give then an exam, cleaning and any other work they needed. We were able to get 27 sets of teeth cleaned for around $13 a child. We still have more children who need to be seen and will plan their exams on our next visit.
Lastly, thank you for your donations for our formula fund. We purchased 216 cans of baby formula for the babies at St. An’s. They use one can of formula a day so we have provided them, 216 days of food.
Too soon, Sunday arrived and it was with a heavy heart we left the children at St. An’s Orphanage. We are committed to the children with a long-term mission to address their needs as they grow, age and change.
Thank you for the support you give us in accomplishing our goals at St. An’s. It is through your donations of time, supplies, and your finances that enable us to do our work. When you read our posts and reports, please consider yourself a part of the group. You may not be there physically, but certainly in spirit. Please share with your friends and family, church groups about the great work we are doing at St. An’s Orphanage.
The PBT Team
Trip Report - JUNE 2012
I traveled this June to St. An’s for a short visit. As always, I was truly blessed by the opportunity to visit St. An’s. It is such a pleasure to see how the children have grown and changed in a few months time. Everyone welcomed us with open arms. It has become our home away from home!
Our Goals for the Trip:
To follow up on the vision screenings we performed this past October - and take the children and sister who had problems to the eye doctor for a more comprehensive eye exam
To celebrate Anh’s high school graduation and to continue discussions about her future
To investigate further the water usage and ways we can help improve the purity of the water
To determine the best resources available to heat water for cleaning
To visit, play and love the children
I believe we accomplished all of our goals and we enjoyed our time with the kids. It is always hard to say good bye, but this time was different knowing that we would be back in November; it was more like “see you later.”
Volunteer and Secretary for PBT
Trip Report - NOV 2013
Once again we were happy to team with The Vietnam Nurse Project team on our visit to St. An's Orphanage. The VNP group have become good friends and share our love for the children and workers at St. An's. The evaluations revealed a variety of recommendations. We have a couple of children facing surgery this coming summer. Another will be fitted with prosthetic legs. Dental care is also a continued area of need.
We brought new backpacks filled with school supplies and other goodies for the children. We restocked the medical cabinet with band aids, Tylenol, bandages, antibiotic ointment and other wound care supplies. This year we delivered multi-vitamins for the children. This is a new ongoing project at the orphanage. We will be supplying the orphanage with vitamins supplements throughout the year. The vitamins will aid in improving stronger immune systems and promote better health.
We delivered a new walker for Thu, one of the children with cerebral palsy and a larger scooter board for Ha (at her request). They were both happy to have new and better transportation.
The orphanage added a new computer room this past year. We added a new computer and printer for the children to use. Naturally, the kids love technology and are always happy to get new and faster equipment.
Mike and Van continued our window screen project. A few of the screens needed repairing from last year. They had a many "little" helping hands!
We had three rooms at the orphanage that had not been updated with new paint. We provided funding for the rooms to be painted so everyone can enjoy new and fresh dorm rooms.
There is always so much to tell about our trips to St. An's. We think our pictures tell a better story than our words. We feel, and we hope you do too, that these kids are our family. Is there anything more enjoyable than hugging the ones you love!
Thank you for your care and support of our St. An's family.
Tracy Foster & Mike Pierce
PBT Board Members