Can Tho, the Kansas State of the Mekong

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January 12th 2008
Published: January 12th 2008
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Ngat's Mother and Sister, Sister MaryNgat's Mother and Sister, Sister MaryNgat's Mother and Sister, Sister Mary

Ngat's Mom was visiting Thien An when I was there.
Cán Thơ, the Kansas State of the Mekong
Thien An Orphanage

Cán Thơ is about three time larger than Vình Long and the home of the agricultural university of Việt Nam. They were host to Rotary District 5690’s/Heifer International’s Orphan Life Skills Project. It is now closed. From that project though, I became acquainted with “Aunt Rose” the leader of now Thien An Orphanage. It is the best project I am acquainted with in Việt Nam unless you count Trang our Rotary Exchange student a project.

District 5690, Kansas and Oklahoma has made its impact on this orphanage. Two years ago we drilled them a fresh water well and installed their water system. We also bought them a computer for office work and English software. One year ago the Rotary Club of Overland Park KS bought them another computer. They did this with the idea of being able to talk to the orphans and practice talking English. Since that time, Sister Mary of the orphanage staff has been dutifully practicing her English getting ready for the big moment when some Overland Park Rotarian would contact them through their computer and webcam. So far that has not happened. So one of my missions to the South was to actually work this system and get the full story. From my laptop in the city to Thien An which is in the country outside of the city I was able to contact Sister Mary and her face appeared on my computer. She was not able to see my face. I had a computer expert with me and he said the problem was with yahoo because I was definitely broadcasting.
I intend to try this again when I return to Cán Thơ in a few days.

The story does not end there. Sister Mary told me that they can not get hooked up to ADSL (high speed internet), so they are on dial up. She said it was too expensive for them to take calls to chit chat. It cost them one dollar for every six minutes. If someone is sponsoring a child and they want to talk to them for six minutes a month they could afford it. But no more than six minutes.

While I was at the orphanage, I just dropped in unexpected to them; I marveled how clean the place was. The kids were eating lunch and I was invited. It was soooo good. They really have a great cook/s at Thien An. The kids were so friendly and happy. It is just like a big happy family there.

They are also all business at Thien An. I have never asked to see their books but I am sure they would be willing to show them to me. They have to keep meticulous records for the government. Sister Mary did show me a record of the meeting with the Library Project of Vietnam. I didn’t ask to see this but I believe Sister Mary was trying to prove to me how serious they were at doing what they said they would do and what was promised to them. I believe they even had Chuck Thuesch sign the document.

They are looking for sponsors for these children. If you would like to participate, send me an email.

Additional photos below
Photos: 61, Displayed: 24


A new Church in the countrysideA new Church in the countryside
A new Church in the countryside

On the way to Thien An
Thien An LibraryThien An Library
Thien An Library

One of the few places I saw a globe and several maps.
Only goats,Only goats,
Only goats,

The orphanage used to have rabbits, pigs, cows and chicks. The government bought those animals and disposed of them because of the SAARS outbreak a few years ago. Nevertheless, the children still have chores around the area.
Water WellWater Well
Water Well

Supplied by Kinsley, Newton and Pratt Rotary and a DSG of District 5690

22nd March 2012

A helping hand for Thien An Orphanage
There is a new website,, just launched in hope of helping poor children all over the world. Right now it has a lot of orphanages including Thien An as its targets for people to donate gifts to those places. Please visit the site to see what I'm talking about and spread the word if you can. Thank you!

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