Kids Without Borders Ivylish Partner Go Vap Orphanage

1)    Kids Without Borders  

Founded in January 2001, Kids Without Borders is an all-volunteer non-governmental organization based in Seattle, Washington.  It was first launched as a school service projects for students to sort clothes and donated items for children in the community. Today, the organization supports and works with children in more than 30 countries, attracting volunteers worldwide, providing opportunities for youth and benefiting and changing thousands of lives around the world. Some of their signature programme includes Teach Me to Fish, Humanitours, The Miracle Baby, Helmet for Kids (in partnership with the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation)
Long before Kids Without Borders was founded, Son Michael had a vision of an "all kids, one world" world one day. He inspires and encourages children to give of themselves through service to others in their communities and worldwide. He believes strongly that by involving children in helping other children, they will recognize more similarities than differences in each other. “Chu Son” (or Uncle Son – the forever-young name that all of the children and our Ivylish staff have been dearly calling him) has been an advisor and supporter from the start of Ivylish.


2)    Go Vap orphanage:


Address: 45 Nguyen Van Bao Street, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Visit us: http://www.facebook.com/GoVapOrphanage?fref=ts

The orphanage is located approximately 20-30 minutes (with traffic) from the city center. The Go Vap orphanage was founded more than 100 years ago and used to be managed by Catholic nuns until the end of the war. There are approximately 250 children in this orphanage, from newborn to 17 years old. More than 80 percent of the children have some physical or mental (such as developmental delay, down syndrome, …) disabilities.

The orphanage has limited space and children are divided into different age groups and stay in different wards. The newborn ward is always a favorite stop for visitors and volunteers. Even in this ward there are some children with medical conditions and often some would arrive born pre-mature. The very sick children who need 24-hour care are cared for in the special need ward, and there are some with terminal conditions. There are kindergarten classes, school classes, and vocational training classes (making arts and crafts). There are also physical therapy sessions by caretakers and medical staff. Recently the orphanage opened an intensive care (ICU) room. The ICU can provide 24-hour care for newborn babies (especially the premature born) and handle some emergency treatments. This ICU saves many lives. Typically in the event of a medical emergency, a baby/child would be rushed to the hospital by two caretakers using motorbike going through heavy and dangerous traffic. It would take between 30-45 minutes or more to get to the hospital, then the long line, precious time lost due to the wait.

About the staff of the orphanage: the director of the orphanage is Mrs. Loan, a caring and loving woman who has devoted most of her life caring for orphaned children. Many of the staff at the orphanage were orphans themselves and quite many of them grew up in this same orphanage and now work there as caretakers, teachers and staff. These former orphans are the best caretakers coming from how they grew up themselves. Ivylish staff has worked with our partner organization, Kids Without Borders to provide support and mentoring to many of such staff through our Teach Me To Fish program.