Meetings at the end of the year!
On the 2nd of November this year, SCC is 20 years old. 20 years of SCC being in Vietnam; 20 years of SCC providing steps into education for thousands of disadvantaged children. Even though we will not have time to look back too much at the journal of 20 years, we are really happy too that we continue be busy as this means that SCC is still developing and our children are continuing to get the support they need.
20 years facing a lot of difficulties, SCC found it difficult to survive without the care and help from our sponsors, local governments, volunteers, and friends from everywhere.
Two members of the team travelled to Singapore and met a number of our wonderful sponsors there in September. It was like a warm friendly meeting between family members who had not seen each other for a long time. We discussed our work, but everyone felt like we were chatting like friends sharing stories about their lives. SCC has seemed to become a part of everyone there. Therefore, every time mentioning SCC, we feel happy with what we have done and with what we are doing, but worried about what we have not got done yet… everything is for disadvantaged children to get a chance to go to schools like every other child.
A number of volunteers from Credit Suisse in Singapore also arrived with us in Vietnam in October. This is the third year that Credit Suisse has supported SCC through their “Volunteering Day” which we partnered with them in Dong Nai province. Everyone worked really hard - they got dust on their bodies, they shrugged off the hot sunshine and the rain to try to improve the learning environment for the young children at the kindergarten. The children now have, thanks to the hard work of the Credit Suisse volunteers, a better, safer school. Although it was only for a short time, it was enough to make everyone sad when it cam time to say goodbye as it was full of love, fun and laughter.
Another group of “friends of SCC” have also been supporting us through participating in the Charity Cycle Adventure (CCA) in Central of Vietnam in November. Although this is only the third year of organizing the CCA, SCC has been incredibly lucky to benefit from a lot of hard work by people like Craig Eldred and the generous support of our riders. The number of riders this year is 32, which is double compared to last year. The riders are composed of men, women and children too. The children from Australia International School participated in their annual Walk N’ Wheels event which support the overall CCA. The children bicycle, walk, scooter, roller skate their way around the BP Compound here and raised the amazing sum of $3,172. Last year this money was used to help provide a playground for children in the Mekong Delta.
Before starting the ride, every rider worked hard to raise their personal minimum target of $500 per person. This event is not only for fundraising, but also an opportunity for adventurous people to discover the wonderful scenery of Vietnam, and to share the feelings of experience on every kilometer. And we are very happy to announce that, at the time of writing this newsletter, they had collectively raised more than $55,000!
We are also lucky to have friends and volunteers from all over the world who come to help us. Some come straight to SCC’s office, some contacted SCC via Facebook, some worked from home. Each has their own special personality and helps in creating the busy, but friendly atmosphere for SCC. Every December, SCC’s office is always busy with greetings card sales. Especially, to celebrate the 10th year for the card sales, the collections this year have paintings drawn by our children, with a brand new design like a gift to everybody on this holiday.
Painted by Ngo Hoang Tan. He is hearing impaired and studying at Hy Vong Binh Thanh School. For Christmas, he wishes he could be Santa Claus and ride reindeers to give presents to children with disabilities.
Besides that, we are launching, for the first time ever, our Photo book – Saigon The Future. Containing the most gorgeous photos taken by children from 9 to 12 years old from Thang Long School over the last 20 years. The photo books are not only available in Vietnam, but will also be available everywhere in the world through Amazon.com. SCC is really proud of those high quality photos which are the first photos of our kids, promising a talent generation, and a chance to escape from poverty for them and their families.
Another year going pass, the work at SCC has never stopped. The meetings in the end of the year have been more remarkable than we thought. SCC will always remember it, and hopefully you will too!