Volunteer English Teacher (V.E.T.) Program – Purpose: To teach English to underprivileged children in Southern China. What we can do to help: Go and teach, donate funds, send school supplies and English teaching materials.
Personal note: We taught at one of the schools with the 82 year old leader, Laurie Mackenzie. The children were wonderful and embraced us and English. For many, the ability to speak English is their only way out of the village.
Koto – Purpose: To take kids off the street and teach them useful skills in the restaurant and hospitality industry. What we can do to help: Eat at their restaurant, sponsor a child, donate money.
Personal note – Many of the expat businesses in Hanoi appear to be involved with Koto and their record seems impressive.
– Cafe Smile and the Hoa Sua School – Purspose: To take kids off the street and teach them skills in the hospitality business. What we can do to help: Eat at their restaurant.
Personal note – This organization is being helped by the Japanese NGO Smile for Kids as of late. We ate at their restaurant. The food was good, but their bakery was by far the best part of the restaurant.
Ponheary Ly Foundation – Purpose: To provide education opportunities for children in Cambodia. What we can do: Donate money ($12 allows one child to go to school for a year.)
Personal note – Ponheary was our guide in Cambodia in 2003 and again in December 2006. She lived through the worst of times in Cambodia and works hard to make these the best of times for her community.
Rising Star Outreach– Purpose: A school for the children and grandchildren of the leprosy-affected.
Personal note – We lived with the kids for almost four weeks. RSO is providing their kids with a rare gift. They have pulled them out of hopeless situations and given them an education and hope for a much brighter future. The difference RSO is making in their lives cannot be overstated.
House of Angels – Purpose: Provides physical therapy and afterschool programs for underprivileged kids in Romania. (Formerly a loving home for abandoned infants but no longer permitted to care for them due to a change in Romanian law.)
Personal note – We spent a a day with the kids and they have great teachers and programs to help them break out of a cycle of poverty.