THE POWER OF COMPASSION!
The Lotus School Foundation is honored to take on this special project to build a traditional Hmong Compassionate Home to benefit a needy family residing in the remote mountainous area of Sapa – Lao Cai – Vietnam.
The newly 80m2 Hmong style-inspired constructed house will be divided into 4 areas, which includes a living room, 2 bedrooms, kitchen, and a bathroom to accommodate seven people in the Giang’s family. Building materials and supplies are scheduled to be transported by next week. The family lives up in the mountain as high as 8,530 feet from the Sapa center. The estimated cost is $6,413. As the weather in the mountainous area is ever changing, we anticipate the home to be completed by December of 2020.
We are deeply grateful to our sponsor, Mrs. Tran Boelsterli
LSF was approached in February to help with this project. After hearing Tran’s story, we were so touched and inspired by her determination to help this family. Read Tran’s inspirational story below:
Please share with us how you came to know of the Giang family, who is currently residing in the remote mountainous area.
My family visited Sapa in 2006, 2015, and 2019. Both times in 2006 and 2015, we were heart-broken by how they live and were able to help a little along the way in the villages. In July 2019, we came back for the first charity effort helping two schools in Thanh Kim village, that was when I saw little So, a 3-year-old baby girl selling little trinkets on the streets at 9 PM. She was wearing her beautiful exotic Hmong costume, but I could tell her hard life by her hands, feet, and uncombed hair. When I returned to the U.S. in August, I asked some friends in Sapa to find her and the search was fruitful, as she was found in December 2019.
While the search was going on, Augustine and some other friends suggested that I should create some charitable calendars to raise a cause to help the children in Sapa. I really did not think of using So’s photos (attached) for the calendars, but others thought she was too cute! In October 2019, with other artists’ artwork, I created the charitable 2020 calendars – the very first charitable set of calendars from my artwork. Many people had supported it and it was a total success! The reason was they understood the impact of the cause and that they were very pleased to be able to join the effort.
What motivated you to go out of your way to sponsor a compassionate home for little So and her family?
When the school teacher recorded the video (link below) in December, I was so heart-broken and so were other sponsors. You know there’s a saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” There is no need for word, as you can see her house covered in leaves with holes from the roof to the sides, the floor, the rooms, the yard, etc. Her parents have 2 daughters, So is the older daughter of the two. The four of them live with her grandparents and aunt.
It has been a long wait to rebuild a new home for the family due to Covid19. I used the fundraising of the charitable calendars to support the school in Thon San village where So goes, the goods were delivered in September 2020 just in time for the start of the school year. Now, I am so thankful that LSF has accepted to manage this project, where we would like to build a charitable home for So, as every child deserves a stable home and bright future.
HOUSING CHANGES EVERYTHING FOR A FAMILY AND CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY
After several delays due to poor weather conditions and government-issued lockdowns to contain the Covid-19 outbreaks in Vietnam, LSF is very happy to finally share the exciting news regarding the completion of the Giang family’s new house. The new home will give the family a new start, the beginning of a life with safety, security, and stability as a foundation.
Building this home was not without its challenges. Due to the rural mountainous poor infrastructure and to keep the building cost at an economical budget of $6,413, the building supplies and materials were transported by motorcycles and on foot. Over 3 tons of cement, 14 tons of sandbags, and more than 8,000 pieces of bricks were transported up the mountain at more than 4,921 feet high. Regardless of the challenges, this project was a labor of love for many people involved. We extend our deep gratitude to the team, Father Peter Binh, Khiet, Mai, Thom, Huy, for joining hearts and effort in seeing this project to its completion. Most importantly, this compassionate home would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of Tran Boelsterli and her supporters. As highlighted from her interview – Tran’s long journey to find the little So and her determination to make a difference in this little girl’s life by rebuilding a new home to give the family a better life is very touching and inspiring.
Thank you for your compassion and for making a difference in the lives of little So’s family, Tran!