December 25th, 2009: Birthday party in the Village
Yes indeed, the Village is 35 years. A bright blue skye, that was a magnificent day. Our Village was filled with colored flags, posters and banners. A cloud of playing and speaking children was invading the Village.
Nevertheless and above all, that was a few days earlier that the happiest atmosphere was prevailing in the houses with the arrival of the Village's alumni, their spouses and children. Three generations were present: Grand-mothers, parents and grand-children. Seemingless never ending stories were told during lunch and dinner.
Mr. Helmut Kutin, SOS Children's Villages International Federation President, was specially visiting the Village for this birthday that was attended by many Dalat companies' and Lam Dong province's delegates and representatives, as well. During the one hour and thirty minutes ceremony, a report on the Dalat Children's Village creation and development, and its associated projects, was read. At the same time, danses and music were performed by the children.
With this ceremony, our children were lucky to express their gratitude toward Aid to the Children of Vietnam (ACVN), SOS Vietnam and SOS International. That was also for them an opportunity to carry on with the Village tradition.
ACVN, only just founded, embarks on Dalat Children's Village construction. Greeting cards are distributed, house's shares are proposed and sponsoring of the futur Village's children is launched thanks to the founders' enthousiasm, a help committee and volunteers!
From 1974, more than 100 children live in this Village, under the care of 12 SOS mothers, inaugurated on april 8th of this same year in the presence of Hermann Gmeiner, Helmut Kutin and two ACVN representatives: Misses Dang Ba Pho and Hélène Catroux.
In 1978, the governement shuts down the Village and this is in 1989 only that SOS Children's Village action will be able to resume in Dalat. Renovated and enlarged with two more houses, the Village may now wellcome 14 families.
Beginning of 2012, we had 121 children living daily in the Village, and 16 children living outside of the Village for training purposes. All Village's children go to school.
A favourable environment for children's studies and opening up:
The Village is located on Dalat heights within a large pine forest. This gives to the children a pleasant and healthy setting, surrounded by great pines which gives to it a particular charm.
Closeby are a kindergarten, a community clinic, a primary school and a secondary school. The children's Village have priority to join these facilities that are open to the local population as well.
In the Village, three instructors assist the mothers and coordinate for the children different educationnal, cultural, sports and leisure activities. They follow each child and teenager individually, as well. A greenhouse allows the children to get accustomed with rare flowers plantation techniques.
The future is opening to them:
The teenagers may follow a professional or university education in Dalat or in other towns in Vietnam. One instructor helps them and they come back to the Village for the holidays. We help them to find the right education for them, so that they may become independant and get what they expect from life.
Since 1989, date when the Village started again, about 50 children, who became grown-ups, work in Ho Chi Minh City or Dalat. Some keep on getting help from the Village at the beginning in their professional life till they become completely independant.
Another reward to all the investment and love brought over all these years by the mothers for the children: Several of them get married!