The chance to meet sponsored child ‘a day I will never forget’

World Vision child sponsor Darren recently travelled with a friend to Vietnam where they had the opportunity to meet Van, Darren’s sponsored child. As you also sponsor a Vietnamese child, we thought you might like to hear from Darren about his experience.

My visit to the Tra Bong project to meet my sponsored child, Van, his father and little sister was indeed a day I will never forget.

We were privileged to be invited to join staff from the Tra Bong project for a special lunch with a huge array of traditional Vietnamese foods. On behalf of myself and my friend (also named) Darren, I would like to thank the Tra Bong project staff for facilitating our visit and being the most gracious of hosts.

After lunch we moved on to the local school to meet the kids. We presented Van with a rugby ball and some other gifts, as well as the deputy principal with some stationery supplies for the school and an Australian flag.

It is truly inspiring to see the tangible difference that World Vision sponsorship donations are making in the Tra Bong community, in particular the “Disaster Mitigation Training Room”. The room is designed to educate the children on the environmental dangers of the region they live in.

The school and surrounding community is in a highland area with very real danger of landslides and flash flooding, so it is critical to ensure that the kids and their parents are fully aware of their environment to prevent any serious incidents during the wet season downpours.

A truly memorable moment for me was when asked his age, Van’s father replied “I’m not sure”. He didn’t know how old he was and it didn’t matter.

Life is much simpler in Tra Bong. Maybe we can learn something from these people too.

Coincidentally, Van’s father farms a type of paper bark tree to supply the raw material for paper manufacturing and we happen to work for the world’s largest paper supplier. Sometimes the world is not so big…

This day had such an impact on my friend Darren that he now plans to sponsor a child from the Tra Bong project too. Through our visit he feels a true connection to the community and is already planning a return trip with his own family next year.

Visiting Van was most definitely a highlight of our trip to Vietnam and we do look forward to returning in the future.

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