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“HIV/AIDS đã làm cho thời thơ ấu của một đứa trẻ khác xa với những định nghĩa thông thường. Chúng bị cướp đi tình yêu, sự chăm sóc, bảo bọc của cha mẹ, cơ hội được giáo dục, những lựa chọn cho tương lai. Ngoài ra, tỉ lệ bị sử dụng lao động và bị lạm dụng cũng rất cao. Trẻ em bị ảnh hưởng bởi HIV/AIDS bị phân biệt đối xử và hất hủi, nếu không thì chúng bị lãng quên hoàn toàn trong hệ thống phúc lợi xã hội. Còn những trẻ em được xác định đã nhiễm bệnh không có cơ hội được điều trị và chăm sóc y tế đầy đủ.”

Chúng tôi hy vọng thông qua những chương trình giúp đỡ về tài chính, giáo dục, đạo đức và tâm lý, trẻ em và các gia đình bị ảnh hưởng bởi AIDS có thể phục hồi lại những giá trị xứng đáng với mình, đó cũng là nhiệm vụ của chúng tôi. Chúng tôi cam kết giúp cho những trẻ em và thanh niên có điều kiện công bằng để tiếp cận với giáo dục, y tế và những dịch vụ xã hội. Chúng tôi giúp đỡ cho những nạn nhân của AIDS hòa nhập với xã hội, nơi cho phép họ sống chung với AIDS như một căn bệnh y học, chứ không phải là một bản án tử hình. Có thể quan trọng hơn nữa, chúng tôi có thể giáo dục xã hội về căn bệnh thế kỷ này, để xã hội có những nhận thức đúng đắn về bệnh cũng như chống lại sự lây lan của AIDS.

Chúng tôi là một tổ chức có cơ sở, hoạt động thực tế và có phạm vi trong nước. Chúng tôi tiếp xúc với từng gia đình và tin rằng đó là những mối quan hệ lâu dài, chúng tôi tự tin là có thể giúp đỡ từng trẻ em, bị nhiễm HIV cũng như những trẻ mồ côi, để xây dựng một tương lai tích cực hơn.

 

TAX SEASON

Dear Friends,

It's tax time again. If any of you actually pay taxes (unlike me !), and you feel like you're handing too much of your hard earned money over to the government, please consider a tax-deductible donation to our association. (SEE INFO BELOW)
For more info on our organization, take a look at our site at:
www.smilegroupvn.org
Thanks for considering it!

Springtime in Vietnam:

How do you keep teenagers like this out of trouble - any ideas? Would you believe that these three girls have lived their entire life in abject poverty?
Tax 1

This week's workshop focussed on Internet safety. On-line trafficking is a serious problem here. And the addiction to on-line games amongst the youth is astounding.

Tax 2

My favorite activity of the week was dance class. We're all in love with the dance teacher and the class is fantastic.
Tax 3
Tax 4

Yoga class is another favorite activity - working on balance, interdependence and friendship.....
Tax 5

By popular demand we've started playing soccer on Sundays. Everyone participates, kids, adults and of course, needless to say, the unbeatable Duoc as goalie!
Tax 6

Two arms, two legs, two crutches and no goals for the other team!
Tax 7
Tax 8

Any occasion is a good one to offer helmets to the children. We've finally got most of the kids protected.
Tax 9

WELCOME BACK SPRINGTIME!
LOVE TO YOU ALL.

Leslie, Elisabeth, Minh Phuong, Duoc
SMILE GROUP VIETNAM

 

FOR TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS:

1. IN THE UNITED STATES:
As we are a small group, we receive funding under the auspices of the LIN FOUNDATION in Vietnam, which offers us this service free of charge.  You can make a donation to GIVE2ASIA in the US for the LIN FOUNDATION and specify that it is for the SMILE GROUP.

For more info on LIN look up:
LIN Center for Community Development
www.LINvn.org

2. IN FRANCE:

"LES AMIS DE THAY HUNG"
SMILE GROUP
c/o Jean Jacques Marty, President
Villat
24350 BUSSAC
Tel: 05 53 03 45 47

"LES AMIS DE THAY HUNG" SMILE GROUP
est une association loi 1901 à but humanitaire N°08/2906/00187685P
Vous recevrai un reçu fiscal.

3. AND FINALLY IN VIETNAM
but not tax deductible!!!

NAME: Smile Group Company Limited
Acct #:  81144829
Bank:  ACB Bank
Swiftcode: ASCBVNVX
Bank address:
Tran Khac Chan  
Tan Dinh, Q1
TP Ho Chi Minh

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUSITY!

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Newsletter February 2011

Dear Friends of SMILE,

Our new Center has not only allowed us to expand our activities but also attracts volunteers from around the world.  It makes for a rich and healthy environment.


This Sunday morning, a group of volunteer dentists came to care for the whole group.  All of the dentists work full time during the week at clinics or hospitals or have their own practice - and on Sunday, they devote their day to treating people who can't afford to pay for care.

Picture1


They travel with a mobile unit, and every Sunday they visit a village or town in the country to treat people for free who otherwise would never have access to dental care. This time, it was our urban courtyard that was turned into a dental clinic.

Picture2


For some of the children, it was their first experience with a dentist and getting them to open their mouths was the biggest challenge!

Picture3


Before leaving, Dr. Vy made sure to demonstrate to all of the children the essentials of dental hygiene.

Picture4


And, while the dentists were pulling teeth in the courtyard, Lex was back doing stretching muscles in the activity room. Yoga is becoming an integral part of the SMILE GROUP and, if observations are worth anything, it seems to be helping many of the children with confidence, equilibrium and concentration.

Picture5


Our friend, Dr. Mai, (a woman to whom I will devote my next documentary film) spent a couple of hours talking to the teenage girls about everything and anything a young girl would want to know. (Dr. Mai is a general practitioner in HCMC, who also, after working all day at the hospital, devotes her evenings to caring for people for free.)

Picture6


Meanwhile the younger children attended a painting workshop upstairs in the classroom.

Picture7


Volunteers tutored children individually....

Picture8


Mothers read books to their children...

Picture9


And the grandmothers prepared lunch in the kitchen.

Picture10

 

A short performance for the dentists to show our appreciation for their visit...

Picture11


and then after lunch and a well deserved nap, it was back to work on our new computers set up to teach IT, filmmaking and photoshop.

Picture12

 

and a second computer station to practice on their own.

Picture13

 

By 4:00 in the afternoon, the kids were ready to work off some steam. A game of tag starts in the activity room and when it gets too hot,

Picture14

 

continues in the courtyard.

Picture15


cooling down with a game of hop scotch...

Picture16


And a "so long, see you next week" farewell.

Picture17

LESLIE, MINH-PHUONG, DUOC, ELISABETH
 
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MUI NE TRIP AT TET HOLIDAY

 

 

Muine extra 1

 

 

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.
Muine 1

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.

Muine 2

 

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.

Muine 3



Whether swimming, playing on the beach...

Muine 4



making and flying our own kites

Muine 5



practicing Yoga by the beach

Muine 6



or dancing around the bonfire

Muine 7



The trip was a JOYFEST for all of us.

Muine 8


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

Muine extra 2