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« Le VIH et le SIDA redéfinissent le sens de l’enfance, privant les jeunes de l’amour et de la protection de leurs parents, de l’éducation et des options pour le futur et de la protection contre l’exploitation et les abus. Trop souvent, les enfants touchés par le VIH/SIDA sont stigmatisés et victimes de discrimination ou rejetés du système de protection sociale. Les enfants qui sont déjà infectés sont en manque des traitements vitaux et des soins médicaux. »

Notre Mission consiste à rétablir la dignité et l’espoir aux enfants touchés par le SIDA et leurs familles, grâce à une aide financière, éducative, sociale et un soutien psychologique.

Nous aidons les victimes du SIDA à adopter un style de vie qui leur permette de vivre avec le SIDA comme avec une maladie chronique plutôt qu’une condamnation à mort. Et peut être, plus important encore, nous instruisons la communauté à propos de cette maladie pour combattre la discrimination et empêcher la propagation du SIDA.

Nous sommes une association locale, agissant sur le terrain. Nous sommes proches des familles et pensons que c’est par les rapports à long terme et la confiance que cela permet d’installer que nous pouvons aider au mieux chaque enfant, VIH+ ou orphelin, pour construire un avenir plus positif.

 

We are proud to announce that the SMILE GROUP is now supported by the ACCOR Foundation. We look forward to our partnership with everyone from ACCOR GROUP VIETNAM.

 

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MUI NE TRIP AT TET HOLIDAY

 

 

 

 

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Dear Friends,

Last weekend, we went on our annual TET trek to the sea. God knows, I never thought I would quote George W. Bush, but I call this trip the "No Child (nor adult) Left Behind" trip.

Nga, 8 yrs old, whom some of you may recognize from my film, takes time in the train to practice writing. 4 years ago the doctors had deemed her case hopeless and sent her home to die. She has since had access to ARV medication, physical therapy and special education.
The old grandfather with the cane (in fact he's just 2 years older than me!) hasn't left his home in years, usually confined to a wheel chair. But in Mui Ne, he accompanied us everywhere. By the fourth day, the frozen frown on his face broke into a broad smile.
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Visit to the sand dunes: The whole group hiked up the sand dunes. When the incline got to steep, we all helped each other up to the top.

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Duoc has become the heart and soul of the SMILE GROUP. There is "no mountain too high, no valley too deep nor river too wide to keep Duoc away". His will is an incredible example for all the struggling families, including myself.

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Whether swimming, playing on the beach...

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making and flying our own kites

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practicing Yoga by the beach

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or dancing around the bonfire

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The trip was a JOYFEST for all of us.

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Thank you especially to Anh Tong and Jules who offered us this wonderful vacation.

LOVE TO ALL AND HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR,
LESLIE, ELISABETH, MINH-PHUONG, DUOC AND THE SMILE GROUP

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NEWSLETTER IN JANUARY 2011

Dear Friends,

First of all, we all want to wish you endless reasons to SMILE in 2011. And thank you for your interest and support which keeps us going day by day.

The New Year began with a the wedding of a young friend of ours who had grown up in the streets and then lived at Thao Dan, the shelter for street children founded by Thay Hung. It's always rewarding to see one of the street children grow up and start his/her own family in better conditions than they ever could have imagined.

Dressing for the wedding, the boys from SMILE GROUP were excited to wear a suit and bow tie for the very first time.

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And the girls looked like the icing on a wedding cake. Not my style but very adorable.

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Early the next morning, meeting at the ZOO for games, sports and finally swimming, an activity everyone loves.

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Quy (left) is a new boy in the group. He's quite small as are most of the children on ARV medication. He has been coming for about a month and had no trouble making friends. His father tells us that it makes him cry to see his son so happy.

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Acquaintances that formed in the group over two years ago, have grown into strong friendships. On the left, Truc, one of the twins, lives with her grandmother who collects garbage to provide for the girls. Their mother is sick and back on heroin, and steals everything the grandmother manages to obtain, including food. Tuyen, right, is the oldest of four living with a single mother who has AIDS and supports her children (one of whom has AIDS) cleaning houses. Their friendship has been a great comfort for the two of them.

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After building up a good sweat in the Zoo, everyone was anxious to jump in the pool, especially Vi, the twins little sister.

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Alaina, our friend and swimming teacher from the US is back living in Vietnam. The children couldn't be happier and neither could we!

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Before ALaina came to the SMILE GROUP, all the kids were afraid to put their head under water. Now they're competing in swimming meets.

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And that all happened before lunch! Post nap, dancing with our gracious dance teacher, singing and....

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....a ferocious game of hopscotch, won hands down by the Olympic hopscotcher, Minh-Phuong.

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and just a little post-script... Linh, SMILE GROUP's first newborn, now about 15 months old, is healthy and flourishing.

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LOVE TO ALL,
Leslie, Elisabeth, Minh-Phuong and Duoc

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MERRY CHRISTMAS 2010
AND
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011


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Christmas event on 18th Dec 2010

 

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