Donor Service Director SOS Children's Villages in Vietnam
photo: © 2018 Stefan Lechner Photography
"Mum, wherever I go, whatever I do: You are forever my Mum"
I would like to share a story with you about a child who has grown up in the SOS Children's Village of Viet Tri, Vietnam.
Light of his life
One day in February 2001, a heavily pregnant young woman between the ages of 18 and 20 came to the health station and introduced herself without bringing her identity card. She wanted to give birth at the health station for the reason that the baby was going to be born out of wedlock.
A day later, after finding out that the pregnant woman was having difficulties giving birth, she was rushed from the health station to the general hospital of the province. She was diagnosed with a breech birth. The medical team decided to perform a caesarean section.
A week after giving birth, the young mother wrote a letter to the health station giving up the custody of the child. She wanted the health station to raise the baby or send him to the SOS Children's Village of Viet Tri. She left the health station without any information. The health station sent the baby to the SOS Children's Village in March 2001.
The SOS Children's Village of Viet Tri took him home and proceeded to register the birth certificate for him. He was named Tuong An . Since then he has grown up in the loving care of SOS mother Hung and in perfect harmony with his SOS siblings.
Tireless efforts in achieving a childhood dream
Tuong An was tireless in his efforts to attain a high level of academic achievement. His favourite subject at school was mathematics. He also took an interest in biology. The laboratory experiments always fascinated him and, in time, Tuong An developed a love of biology. He always made an effort and studied very hard by reading many books. He was awarded many prizes in the biology competitions for excellent students at the municipal and provincial levels.
Thanks to his efforts and determination, Tuong An successfully passed the entrance examination to the prestigious high school for talented students in the Phu Tho province. He ranked second in the special class majoring in biology. He was even awarded second prize in the biology competition for 11th graders at national level. Given his high achievements, as an exception, Tuong An has been accepted at Hanoi University while attending grade 11 of high school, without taking the university entrance examination.
It will take him one more year to finish high school. However, his goal is to gain entrance to the medical university. Tuong An tries his best to achieve his childhood dream.
"I like most sports, but football is my first love!"
Tuong An is one of four children from SOS Children's Villages taking part in the Cityzens Giving Young Leaders Summit being held by the Manchester City Football Club right now. Tuong An and other friends from around the world have been equipped with the coaching skills and confidence to deliver football sessions.
As the World Cup gets underway, Tuong An, joining other "Young Leaders", will be hosting a World Cup themed party and football tournament for the staff at the Etihad Campus in Manchester, United Kingdom.
"Mum! Wherever I go, whatever I do, you are forever my Mum!"
It was his SOS mother Hung who kindled his interest, courage and determination to set himself short-term and long-term goals. Her love for him remains unconditional and unchanged. And Tuong An has made all possible efforts to pursue his goal of becoming a doctor.
Nguyen Thi Huong Lan
is the donor services director in the national office of SOS Children’s Villages Vietnam in Hanoi.
Huong Lan has been working in sponsorship since she joined SOS in 1993. Together with her sponsorship colleagues, she tries to tell the stories of children and young people in the care of SOS programmes to sponsors to make them feel connected to the work they are supporting. Huong Lan was born and grew up in Hanoi. She shares the house with her family and feels happy to see her niece and nephew growing up in the good care of their grandparents, parents and aunt. She enjoys her role of being an aunt that is almost like a friend. Huong Lan lives in Hanoi. In her free time Huong Lan enjoys going for walks. She also likes to work in her garden, where flowers and orchids grow. She loves the city because of the quietness of summer noon, the narrow alleys and the bicycles carrying flowers for sale in the early mornings. She loves the way mothers teach their children. Nowadays Hanoi has changed significantly, but she tries to carry on the life she loves.
Video Harvesting Workshop 2018