New Bicycles for Orphans in Vietnam
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New Bicycles for Orphans in Vietnam

OAT travelers provide older children the means to get to school

Since its founding in the early 1980s, the Minh Tu Orphanage/Duc Son Pagoda has grown from five children to more than 200. Run by two Buddhist nuns, the orphanage is funded entirely by private donations, with no government support. Grand Circle Foundation partnered with the institution in 2002 and is proud to have made life more comfortable for the children.

Upon visiting the orphanage, a small group of travelers on OAT's Inside Vietnam adventure learned that the older children had to walk a long distance to the secondary school, in a region where no local bus service is available. And they were inspired to do something about it. They submitted a proposal to Grand Circle Foundation to raise the funds needed for 40 local Martin bicycles, which would enable 80 students to commute to the school.

The Foundation team approved the proposal, and over the next several months, subsequent travelers who visited the orphanage donated the $5,300 needed to purchase 20 male and 20 female bicycles.

Purchased in Saigon, the bicycles were transported to Hué by truck, arriving on a day that OAT small travelers on the Inside Vietnam adventure were visiting the orphanage. According to John Cuong, OAT's regional general manager in Vietnam, "When the bikes were delivered, not only Nun Minh Tu got emotional, but all children were so happy. They ran around the bikes, touched the bikes, and even tried to cycle around the yard."

The children offered their thanks, and Nun Minh Tu, founder and chief manager of the orphanage, also expressed her gratitude that the bikes would help to keep the children safe and healthy.

Featured in our December 2011 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.