Dear Members and friends,
We would like to share with you the latest developments of the activities of Eurasia since our last Newsletter from Summer 2011.
The Peaceful Bamboo Family
Our Centre (Tinh Truc Gia or TTG in Vietnamese) is growing and developing very well. We have constantly new activities and initiatives to improve the daily life of our youngsters. For instance there is now a yoga and meditation class every morning and a choir every week and they all participate with great enthusiasm to these events.
The garden is still a high priority and we want to emphasize ecology and sustainable development. We plan to offer the opportunity to one of our gardeners, Mr. Hung, to follow a training course in Biodynamic agriculture in the Philippines. Marc Blachère, a gardener from Copake, a Camphill village in the US, who visited last year, will be coming again with his family for several months to help improve our organic garden and try and develop a medicinal plant garden.
The vocational training workshops are becoming more and more efficient and we had the honour to organize an exhibition of our products in the French Cultural Centre in Hue.
Many young people wanting to have a practical experience in the field of humanitarian and development work apply to come to TTG. We get many more requests than we can accommodate, but we make our best efforts to accept as many interns as possible. We feel that it is part of the mission of TTG to be a place of learning and also of intercultural dialogue, in a spirit of respect of diversity. We also welcome students from Hue University who want to acquire practical experience next to their academic training.
The new Garden
Building phase two
We have transformed both attics so that two large additional rooms are now available. These two halls are pleasant and we use them regularly.
The new garden is now being planted. It was an ambitious project, we had to build two-meter high walls on both sides of the garden because the two small streams that border our land become wild rivers during rainy season, and the rushing water carries the soil away.
We have finalized the plans for the new workshops and the tearoom, but it took us longer than we had hoped to get the building permits. But Lisi and the TTG team worked hard and we now have all the necessary permits and we plan to start building in March, after the end of the rainy season.
PACCOM and Camphill membership
Eurasia is now accredited as an official NGO on national level (until now we only had provincial agreement) with PACCOM: the People's Aid Co-ordinating Committee. This gives us better possibilities and more autonomy in our work, including hiring staff, getting visas for foreign interns or experts and developing projects. Mr. Tran Minh Khanh is the official representative of Eurasia in Vietnam.
Moreover, the Peaceful Bamboo Family has been officially admitted as a member of the Camphill Movement, an international organization of over 100 communities worldwide serving people with disabilities.
The School of the Beloved
We have enhanced our involvement in the School of the Beloved. Eurasia, in collaboration with Marthe Tromp from the Netherlands offer a stronger pedagogical support for the education of the children with severe disabilities. The new director, Ms. Van is very engaged and has developed many improvements: regular children case studies, supervision of the teachers, parents meetings, vocational workshops for the older students, social insurance for the teachers.
Basic and ongoing training is and has always been a high priority, as we are convinced that our people are not only our strongest, but also actually our only asset, and that all our projects depend on the competency, the human qualities and the engagement of our staff. Three of our teachers, including Ms. Van, the director of the School of the Beloved attended a training session in curative education in Thailand.
The old Ladies from Tinh Duc Pagoda
We had written about the destruction of the houses where the old ladies lived, due to very bad weather last March. With the help of Lord Michelham of Hellingly Foundation, we were able reconstruct before rainy season and the houses are now stronger and more comfortable than the previous ones. How wonderful we were able to build in time, because the rain in November has been very heavy and we don't even want to think what the consequences would have been if the old ladies had not have a proper home. Lisi inaugurated the new building in October under pouring rain.
Lisi’s mission in Hue in October
Every fall, Lisi, the director of Eurasia Foundation spends some time in Hue. She had a busy schedule, assessing the members of the team, negotiating with government officials to receive all the necessary permits for the next building phase and supervising our various projects. Each time she comes, our Vietnamese colleagues tell us how much they appreciate her visits and that it boosts their energy to continue with their tasks.
Fundraising dinner for Eurasia
Two students from the Lausanne University of Applied Science in the field of social work organized a fundraising dinner for Eurasia on November 12. It was very well organized, in a beautiful setting, with a delicious Vietnamese meal, a lottery, a presentation of the work of Eurasia and a display of handicraft made by our youngsters. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Carina and Sabine, for their enthusiasm, their energy, their engagement and the wonderful event. We are looking forward to welcoming them in Vietnam next summer.
We are fundraising to setup an early intervention practice in TTG and we hope to begin first quarter 2012.
We are pursuing the idea to create an inclusive kindergarten in TTG and we have found a Vietnamese kindergarten teacher willing to start this new adventure. The beginning will depend on the building of the new workshops, as we plan to open the kindergarten in one of the rooms that is now used as a workshop.
For the coming year, the main project will be the construction of the new workshops and the tearoom, we hope that the inauguration ceremony can take place in October 2012.
We also plan our usual annual Curative education and socialtherapy conference in April 2012. Hue University has asked us to organize a seminar for their professors on academic learning methodology. Tho will also be the keynote speaker for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Hue University.
Please note in your agenda
On May 12, 2012, we organize a big fundraising event for Eurasia in the Fondation Perceval in St Prex, with concerts, lecture, Vietnamese food, handicrafts and many other surprises. Please reserve this date in your agenda, further information will follow later
Dear Friends and Members, over the years, your faithful support and engagement has been a key factor for the success of Eurasia, all these wonderful projects are also your projects, without your strong and generous support, nothing of this would have been possible. We are thankful for all contribution, idea, suggestion and initiative. Please help us to build together a vision full of hope and deep human values, and help us implement this vision in a way that brings happiness and alleviates suffering.
With our deepest gratitude
Lisi & Tho Ha Vinh on behalf of the members of the Board Eurasia Foundation and Association and the team in Vietnam