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The Return of Thanh's Smile

Vietnam, April 2015

With a mother who struggled with drug addiction and a father who left without saying where he was going, Thanh’s life was absent of the love and nurturing care one expects from parents. She and her older sister Huong lived a meager existence with their grandmother, often having to beg for food. At times they had to drop out of school because their grandma was old and weak and couldn’t earn enough money to keep them in school.

Thanh and her sister arrived at a Vietnamese orphanage in September 2009 looking sad and feeling scared. She was wary of meeting others and did not want to communicate. However, as she integrated into life at the orphanage, she warmed up to others. Little by little she would ease into the lifestyle there and become more of herself.

The lines on her face eased as happiness soon emanated from her. The staff had never known her to have such a bright smile until the day Thanh learned that she would be sponsored. Her eyes glistened with love, faith and hope! It was the spark that allowed her to dream again.

Today, Thanh’s happiness is fueled by the letters, cards and gifts she receives from her Sponsors. The gifts are small but contain lots of tender loving care which warms her heart and fills her with gratitude. Communication between Thanh and her sponsor is a wonderful and powerful bridge of love which motivates her to live well and study hard. The gift of sponsorship has returned her dreams to her and most importantly, allowed her to live the life of a child that she is so deserving of.

A fifth grader, Thanh is obedient, agile and smart. She is fond of learning and does well in school. She is well-loved by the Housemother and the other children at the orphanage. They admire her zest for life and energy. Last year she was awarded a scholarship for disadvantaged children who overcame difficulties to study well. Every year she is recognized as being an excellent student. Thanh also excels at music. She can sing and dance and is an active member of a musical performance group at the orphanage. She and her musical group feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment when performing.

Currently, Thanh has a burning desire to become a teacher so she can help disadvantaged children like her. She is preparing for a future living independently from the orphanage by saving her monthly monetary gifts from her Sponsor to use when she graduates.
Thanh is very happy to get the support from her Sponsor which greatly reduces the difficulties in her life. But most of all, the gift of child sponsorship gift wrapped motivation, dreams and hope for a brighter future which all can be seen radiating from the smile on her face.

Thanh's smile has returned. The smile on her face translates

into happiness, joy and gratitude.


Vietnam Success Story - Thanh's Smile