On July 10, 2013 we held an outdoor camp for the children of the Loc Tho Charity School and Orphanage. The Loc Tho pagoda lies in a peaceful setting west of Nha Trang, and has taken in 30 orphans over the years. Their primary mission has been providing free primary schooling to poor youngsters in the area, and teaches over 100 children in grades K-5. In Vietnam the fees for books, uniforms, and other school costs keep many children from poor families from receiving an education. Places such as Loc Tho give these children the gift of learning in a loving environment, and also provide free breakfast and lunch for the students.
An annual custom in Vietnam is a campout for the students, and many schools set up tents in the school courtyard and teach the children outdoor skills while having a fun bonding experience. Loc Tho and other charity schools rarely have the funds for these excursions, but this year was different. Richard and Marjorie of the USA provided an amazing opportunity for the children to have their own campout on the Loc Tho grounds. The children learned to set up their own tents, cooked their food barbeque–style, and played games during the day. There were stories told in the evening and the children slept under the stars.
Everybody had a great time, and we and the children thank Richard and Marjorie for their continued kindness.
Organizing everything was our Team Leader, Hiep, and also joining the fun was Jenny Ho of Texas, who contacted us several months ago about volunteering at an orphanage when she came to visit Vietnam. She has been teaching English at the school and doing other volunteer work. Thank you everybody for making this wonderful day possible!