Thursday, July 9, 2009
I had the pleasure of visiting the Kon Klor 2 Village Orphanage outside the city of Kon Tum in the central highlands this week. The orphanage is run by Theresa and her sisters (ethnic Bahnar women), who all grew up in orphanages themselves. The facility currently receives no government, church or outside organization support. Because the orphanage is not listed in any guidebooks and located outside the city, it rarely receives visitors. The sisters fund the orphanage, which presently cares for 35 children, by growing rice and cassava (tapioca) on too small plots of land, and working the fields themselves. The money they raise is barely enough to care for the children, and they desperately need support. If you would like to make a difference in some impoverished children’s lives, this orphanage represents an excellent opportunity. If you’d like to visit, donate or volunteer for this orphanage, please contact me and I’ll be happy to put you in touch with Theresa.
To reach the orphanage, head west out of Kon Tum, over the suspension bridge, take the left fork, then cross this stream.
Park your motorbike at the bottom of the hill. The driveway is washed out, so you'll have to walk up the hill.
The orphanage is back in the trees.
The uncovered well is typical for Vietnam, but not very sanitary, and the water far below must be drawn by hand.
Pigs are raised behind the kitchen.
The kitchen is small and dark, without modern facilities.
The dining room doubles as the study room, without enough tables and chairs for all the children.
The boys bed room is barely big enough. The roof leaks so the children get wet when it rains.
The girls bedroom is likewise cramped.
Therese has a plan. She has a plot of land in front of her house where she would like to build a kindergarden to care for the village children, so their parents don't have to take them to the fields where they work all day--sometimes staying in the fields the whole week. The children in the orphanage would be given jobs taking care of the younger village children. Funds are needed to build the kindergarden.
The neighbors have cut off road access however, so a small plot of land must be purchased here to build a road to her property.
Contact me if you are interested in visiting or helping, and I'll be happy to put you in touch with Theresa.