Upgrade dormitories CamLy Minority Children's Hostel 

Why was it initiated?

Cam Ly Minority Children’s home (CLMCH) functions as a hostel for 50-60 minority school students (primary to high school ages). All students are poor and from difficult social circumstances: single parents, an ill parent, low wages and so on. Because of that, the children would not normally be able to attend school and, in some circumstances, not even taken care of, without the aid of this institution. Four nuns take care of them – supplying food, clothing, study facilities, books, medicines, care and support. We had previously supplied shoes, some new mattresses, food, cooking pots, a freezer and 3 new PCs. We had also tried to establish a sister school project with a primary school in Australia.
At the time of our first visit, sleeping quarters were on the top floor underneath an old iron roof. It was cramped, very hot in summer and the roof leaked in the wet season. Given the impact on learning and as part of our assessment of future educational involvement, we agreed to consider funding part of a restructure of the conditions

What were its’ aims? 

To re-do the roof and/ or extend the dormitories to provide more appropriate sleeping conditions for the children. 
For us, this as a stepping stone to further negotiations regarding involvement of MESCH in supplementing the children’s English language education

When did it run?


Who has been involved?


MESCH Narelle and John Cassey
Other Phillip Taylor (engineer, Australia)


What happened?

Discussion was face-to-face and by phone.  Sr Dao engaged a builder and MESCH provided 500 AUD Two extra bedrooms were built. They were airy and spacious. Sr Dao reported that the children were sleeping better and did not fall asleep in their afternoon classes. It also made supervision of them easier


The infrastructure aim was achieved at a very reasonable price. 
The anticipated further engagement with CLMCH regarding education did not eventuate. This is likely due to Sr Dao’s poor organisational skills, narrow vision and, perhaps, her unfamiliarity in dealing with western groups with development as opposed to welfare agendas. Our relative inexperience at that time in handling this situation resulted in a prolongation of effort for an unattainable goal.


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