News & Learning

25 Feb 2023
Stories | Viet Nam

The gift that lasts for generations

“Back to work after the 2023 Lunar New Year holiday, I feel that there is still a lot to do to help disadvantaged communities in Vietnam, especially after the first trip of the year with Sven and his family, a donor of East Meets West Foundation (EMWF) resilient compassion homes project.”, shared by an EMWF staff.

It has been more than 10 years since Sven traveled to Vietnam and supported to build a house for Hoang Ngoc Truong, a beneficiary from Tay Giang hamlet, Binh Sa commune, Thang Binh district, Quang Nam province through EMWF. Returning to Vietnam this time, Sven not only brought his then-girlfriend, now wife but also his two lovely daughters, he said they are the gifts from his last visit to the country.

Today Sven clearly saw the changes in Truong’s family compared to his first visit in 2013.

“Back then, there were 6 people in Truong’s family, including grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, and brother living in a temporary 30 square meters house. The family was the poorest family in the neighborhood with a total income of about $50 per month to support 6 people including sick elders. Every stormy season the whole family had to evacuate to find shelter elsewhere almost every other week. Since having the new house, they could settle down and no longer have to worry about safety issues when the rain and flood come. Truong is 24 years old now and works as a driver in his hometown. He is happily married with a soon-to-be-born baby.”, Sven listened attentively to Truong’s mother talking. He smiled continuously and was pleased with the positive changes for Truong’s family. Sven also highly appreciated the close relationship and collaboration between EMWF and local partners to sustain this meaningful contribution and program for the community.

I could feel Sven’s happiness through his tight handshake right after the trip. Sven asked if EMWF could send him information about new families who need support so his family could consider together, to let his daughters understand the value of sharing.

Looking at the two daughters, although I didn’t understand German which their mother was whispering to them, it was hard to miss the pride and admiration in their eyes when they gazed at their father.

I believe that Sven and his family will soon be back to Vietnam, and that someday when their daughters grow up, they will continue to share and spread their compassion to our world.

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