04/06/2020 15:35 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

A journey of love in Vietnam

 The orphan care, nurture and education center in Can Giuoc district, Long An province is the result of a long journey filled with love that Marc De Muynck – an old French soldier, took for Vietnam.
The first trip Marc De Muynck made to Vietnam lasted for 3 months in 2001. He traveled to many places including southwest Vietnam where he made a lot of new friends. Marc De Muynck realized that the S-shaped country still had adults and children living in poor conditions. These concerns motivated him to return to Vietnam in 2006 when he took action to help the disadvantaged.

Because of a soft spot for the southwest locals, Marc started his journey to that region to support people in need. He does not remember how many times he has gone back and forth to survey, plan and hold charity events. These events included digging freshwater wells, building schools and charitable houses, providing water purification machines and giving scholarships to poor students. His help can be seen in many provinces such as Ben Tre, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh and Long An.


Because of a soft spot for the southwest locals, Marc started his journey to that region to support people in need. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


The orphan care, nurture and education center at Can Giuoc district
can care for about 100 children. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP



Children in the center are well taken care of by Marc and the center’s employees. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


Marc De Muynck takes care of a child before his naptime. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


Marc plays with the children and feeds a girl in the center. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


On birth certificates, all children in the center have the same family name as Lien and their middle name is Minh - Marc’s Vietnamese name. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


Marc De Muynck and his secretary and intepreter Nguyen Thi Hong Tham, who has been working with Marc at the center since its launch. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


Marc De Muynck and Duong Kim Lien with the solar water heating system donated
by a French non-governmental organization for people in the southwest of Vietnam. Photo: Files



 Marc De Muynck and his friends distribute scholarships and bicycles to the poor students in the southwest of Vietnam. Photo: Files 

Marc and the humanitarian non-profit organization Les Enfants du Dragon
donate a house for poor people in Soc Trang province. Photo: Files

After receiving a land lease from the Long An authorities, Marc called on domestic and foreign sponsors to jointly build an orphanage. At the end of 2016, the orphan care, nurture and education center at Can Giuoc district was established. The 2,000m2 center consists of three floors and can care for about 100 children. Currently, the center has 11 employees and volunteers who are taking care of 11 orphans. Among them, the youngest child is 5 months old while the oldest is 2.5 years old.

As a partner with Marc on the journey of love, Duong Kim Lien - co-founder of the center, has a role that is critical. Having known Marc for many years before joining volunteer activities, Lien assisted him in his charity work in Vietnam. "Taking care of the children at the center is like taking care of my children at home," said Lien.

Marc and Lien are considered parents of the orphans in the center. On birth certificates, all children in the center have the same family name as Lien and their middle name is Minh – Marc’s Vietnamese name.

“I received a smile from a child when I donated school supplies, the glittering eyes of strangers when I gave them medicine, and sometimes tears of happiness from a poor family when I built a house for them”, Marc replied when asked what he received from his charity work.
 
Story: Son Nghia - Photos: Son Nghia & Files