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Published: January 11th 2009
KAREN & SINH
The smiles say it all.
Two years ago I wrote my very first blog about a young Vietnamese boy named Sinh. Many of you who have been following my blogs for some time may remember this blog. (For those of you who haven’t read Sinh’s story, please have a read so you may understand the significance of this update: click here... Sinh's Original Blog
Since this first blog, so many positive things have happened in Sinh's life. He has spent a year in Saigon studying with a group of respected artists. He has now returned to Hoi An to immerse himself in the artistic community and continues to follow his passion. Sinh has been mentored under the Lifestart Foundation Jobstart Program and is a shining example of how this program works very successfully.
Recently, a most luxurious new resort has been built in Hoi An, it is called The Nam Hai. Have a peek at their website here: The Nam Hai
. A few months ago, I was fortunate to have a meeting with the former Director of Sales, Mr. Christian de Boer. Mr. de Boer has taken a sincere interest in what Lifestart Foundation is doing in Central Vietnam and is helping to promote an awareness of our work.
SINH & TU
Brothers on holiday visiting the Saigon Zoo together for the first time.
The Nam Hai was so impressed with Sinh’s paintings that they have given him the opportunity to have an exhibition at this luxury resort. This is something that many artists would perhaps only dream of and is definitely a testimony to Sinh's talent. Sinh is very grateful and overwhelmed at the same time.
Sherry, one of our volunteers from Philadelphia has recently completed a fabulous website for Sinh and has given him very valuable professional advice. We are all thrilled with the website and want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to Sherry for volunteering her time and expertise on this project for Sinh and Lifestart Foundation. Please pass the link on to any one who you think would be interested in Sinh's paintings. Take the time to have a look at how his work has developed: click here... Sinh's Website
Orders for any of Sinh's painting can be placed through Karen, either via this blog or by emailing: www.lifestartfoundation.org.au
I am frequently asked how people can help or volunteer, here is a perfect opportunity for an individual or a group of people to get involved.
It would be wonderful to host an annual exhibition / fundraiser featuring
SINH AT THE NAM HAI
Sinh is pictured with one of his paintings that is on display at the Nam Hai Luxury Hotel, Hoi An.
Sinh's work here in Australia. Anyone who is interested in making this a possibility, sponsoring such an event or helping to set this up please contact Karen. Any ideas can be posted via the public comments section on this blog. The workload that I presently have does not allow me to organize such an event so I would need ideas and then the people to make it happen. On a very personal note:
I have formally adopted Sinh and his elder brother Tu. The boys adoption is recognized in Vietnam but not in Australia. This means that the boys could come to Australia for a visit but not to live permanently. This doesn't present a problem for us as both are very much Vietnamese boys and would be much more at home in their country of birth. I also believe that both boys better serve their purpose in life by continuing to be fantastic role models to other young people who have had a challenging start in life and to continue to be productive young individuals in Vietnam.
I rent a house in Hoi An and the two boys and I live together. This is the first
TU, GHI, SINH & KAREN
Ghi is currently on a traineeship in Australia and lives at Karens house in Melbourne. All three boys are great mates.
time both Sinh and Tu have had the pleasure and security of living in a family environment after spending the bulk of their formative years in an orphanage in Hoi An. Despite a very difficult start in life the two boys are quite remarkable and extremely well balanced young individuals. I am somewhat biased of course! It has been a joy to see them both develop and grow with a new sense of confidence and optimism about their future.
Tu is a delight, he is 24 years old. He is also very talented and has trained as a wood carver. There is not much that he can't turn his hand to. He is our regular Mr. "Fix It" , always at the ready to repair anything from the plumbing and electrical problems to wheelchair conversions. Tu also has a passion for cooking, much to my delight as cooking is not my forte! Many of our volunteers have been treated to a feast of endless courses lovingly prepared by Tu.
He is also a popular addition at the Lifestart Foundation disabled womens workshop where he transfers all of the women into and out of class each day and has
OUR MR "FIX IT"
With a lovely sense of humour, Tu has all of the disabled women roaring with laughter as he transfers them from their wheelchairs and three wheel motorbikes into the Lifestart workshop everyday.
them in fits of laughter at the same time. It doesn't hurt that he is pretty "easy on the eye", so I am sure all of the disabled women are quite happy to be carried around by a handsome young guy each day!
I am currently back in Australia after spending several months in Vietnam at the end of last year. The nature of the workload in Vietnam does not leave me any brain space to write blogs. However, now that I am back in Australia for a short while I will attempt to get the stories out to you as time permits.
Lots of Love from,
Sinh's website: www.nonameartgroup.com/SinhWebsite/index.html
The Nam Hai: www.ghmhotels.com
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