Happiness house (HH)
Why was it initiated?
Happiness house is a small community of blind children with behavioural and intellectual disabilities cared for by nuns. We were told about it by one of our interpreters. Meetings on-site and discussions with members of the DaLat community confirmed that they got very little support and were considered genuine, hardworking and with an enthusiasm for new ideas. The nuns get no relief from their face-to-face involvement with a very challenging group of children.
What were its aims?
Provide equipment to assist with income
Provide “relief time”
Provide limited food and supplies
When did it run?
Who has been involved?
Happiness House Sr Quyen, Sr Nha
MESCH Narelle Cassey (and a number of other MESCH members and guests)
Donated items: a clothes dryer (providing income by taking in laundry from neighbours); a refrigerator (to store extra food given to them through the Nhóm Tình Thương/ Vn Harvest food redistribution project initiated by MESCH); magnifying goggles (to assist with their income from production of woven woollen hats) and various coloured beads and wool to make little trinkets to sell. A small number of time-saving kitchen appliances were also bought and we transferred a donated guitar to them for use by Phou (one of their members who loves to sing).
The relief time was greatly appreciated by the nuns and the children loved the games and interactions (including “parachute”, dancing, shopping..).
Limited shopping runs provided clothes, some food and some toys.
Income streams are diverse and limited and our assistance both improved these and allowed a greater interaction with the community – with subsequent, unexpected, increase in support from the community.
It was obvious how much the children enjoyed themselves. Moreover, the nuns told us the children were both much happier and more motivated during our visits and slowly became more interactive and less shy in dealing with strangers.
Over the five years, and particularly following improved food supply with the Nhóm Tình Thương/ Vn Harvest food redistribution project, the children had far less illnesses and became more robust.