Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Farnham Catholic Charity Reaches Special Needs Children in Vietnam

Maura Rawlinson (right) being presented with a checque from Arcaid by Mary Nolan of St. Joan’s Parish.
Tony Tunstall from St Joan of Arc's parish, Farnham reports:
Arcaid is a small charity, based at St. Joan of Arc Church, which funds specific projects for the relief of poverty overseas, in places where it has reliable contacts. At its recent AGM, Maura Rawlinson, a former Farnham resident and teacher, spoke of her experiences as a special needs teacher in Vietnam with the VSO, where she worked at the Huong La home for disabled children and adults in Bac Ninh, Hanoi. During the presentation Maura told of how disabled children in Vietnam are often hidden away by their families for superstitious reasons and how many of these children never receive an education.

The Huong La home is run by a small number of nuns, some of whom work in the fields to grow produce which they sell to support the home. The nuns are very caring and look after the children with love — some have been abandoned by their parents or are so disabled that the parents cannot look after them. The presentation, which was accompanied by beautiful slides, gave those present a small insight into the day to day difficulties at the home, and the selfless work done by the nuns and volunteers for both children and adults with a wide range of needs.

Maura explained the problem the home has in maintaining a clean water supply throughout the year and how Arcaid has supported a project to provide large tanks to help improve the long-term water supply. This clean water supply will improve the quality of life for all the vulnerable children and adults at the home. At the end of her talk Maura was presented with a cheque from Arcaid to further support the home at Huong La.

Although Arcaid is made up of volunteers it can respond very rapidly to urgent needs. To find out more about how you can support projects like this one, please contact us through

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