Mission Trip 2017
This year, VABAA embarked on its first ever Mission Trip to visit a few of the places we have previously donated to in Vietnam. Although only a few team members were able to join the trip, the places we visited, the people we saw and the memories we made were enough to create a meaningful and worthwhile experience.
The first part of the journey started in Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, where we met Fr Thien who had been working with the local villagers for 7 years. The Quang Binh region is prone to flooding and last year seen one of the most damaging flood seasons for the area, with more than 70 families losing all their livestock. VABAA donated livestock to these families, hoping to give them a small head start as they rebuilt their lives. During the visit, we met almost every family we supported, they were so grateful to see us and welcomed us into their homes to show us how they have been caring for their new livestock animals.
Kien Giang was the next destination we visited where Sr Loan runs a small charity organisation helping some of the most disadvantaged people in the community such as the elderly and sick. Sr Loan also helps run a small preschool and seeks donations to sponsor the yearly school fees for the local students. VABAA has supported educational scholarships to the students in Kien Giang over the past few years and will continue to give our support to ensure the young children have a chance at education. At the visit, VABAA organised some small packages containing everyday items such as rice and oil to give to about 40 families in the local area. The locals were so happy and so grateful to receive the gifts.
Our last stop was also our focus for the Mission Trip, to visit the medical facility in Gia Lai, Kontum. The rebuilding and expansion of the medical facility has been one of VABAA's biggest projects and one that would benefit so many people so to have the opportunity to see the renovated centre and see firsthand the positive impact on the local community was truly incredible. The medical centre is run by Sr Ha, a practicing doctor who provides free check ups and medicine to the locals, many of whom, are impoverished ethnic peoples. The centre now has a sheltered waiting area, a kitchen to provide free meals to patients and enough space for overnight stays and future physio and acupuncture treatments.
VABAA's first Mission Trip was a meaningful and rewarding experience. Although there were moments where we felt helpless and as though we could never help enough, we know that the work we do is valuable. Seeing the people we have supported and how our work has helped them, gives us motivation to continue our charity work here.