Shincheonji Volunteer Group’s Overseas Volunteer Activities in Vietnam “Eye-Catching”
The social contribution activities of the Shincheonji Volunteer Group (Chairman Man hee Lee), which continued to volunteer works abroad in Vietnam, are attracting attention.
The Shincheonji Volunteer Group, along with 45 volunteers, conducted medical services and wall painting services for children at orphanages and local residents located in Đồng Nai and Vũng Tàu of Vietnam for three days from 8th of March.
The service, co-organized by the Shincheonji Volunteer Group and the Harmony of Mugunghwa with Lotus Association, Inc. (Leader Hong-sik Bang), involved 180 children from Linh Quang orphanage of Buddhist temple, 160 children from Dion orphanage and 120 blind people and residents, along with domestic family medicine, oriental medicine doctors, dentists and local oriental medicine and internal medicine doctors, creating a sense of unity with local residents and friendship between the two countries.
Đồng Nai and Vũng Tàu villages, two hours from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's economic hub, are home to many vulnerable people. Poor infrastructure makes them poorly educated, and dilapidated houses have left local residents and children in difficult lives.
The area where the service was conducted was a village near the hometown of Dean, a 42-year-old migrant woman who entered Korea 17 years ago. Ms. Din, a member of the Harmony of Mugunghwa with Lotus Association, Inc. who helps migrant women of Vietnam, learned that the Shincheonji Volunteer Group usually does various social contribution projects and as she asked for help, the service was carried out on this day.
In particular, the service was all the more meaningful because a retired internal medicine doctor worked at the Red Cross and a local oriental medical doctor participated in the medical treatment after hearing the news of the event while visiting an orphanage on the same day. With the help of Vietnamese migrant women, South Korean volunteers easily communicated with local students, experienced cultural exchanges between local residents and shared solid friendships.
Volunteers carried out cleaning, painting and painting murals on the outer walls of Linh Quang orphanage in the heat above 40 degrees Celsius. The murals featured trees expressing children's dreams and hopes and the Ten Oxherding Pictures (十牛圖) in the process of gaining enlightenment from Buddhism, and presented special and pleasant memories with the completion of the handprinting letters, "We are One" that made the children clapped and cheered.
In addition, a medical team of Door2(to)Door Healthcare examined the health conditions of children at orphanages and checked their teeth and other sanitary conditions. In particular, they examined the health conditions needed in the development of children, such as plaque and gingivitis due to lack of personal oral care and extracted tooth of children who needed it because they had rampant caries. In addition, blind people who use facilities at the Linh Quang orphanage and residents who have been barely surviving on painkillers because they don't have the money to operate on their waist, hip and knee for many years could receive acupuncture treatment and various medical treatment.
After the service, the volunteer group carried out a variety of cultural experience activities including "making bracelets" with beads they took from Korea, snacks sharing, singing and drawing with children from orphanages and delivered school supplies.
The director of Linh Quang orphanage, Phong Thieu Teacher (Manager of Monks, 44 years old), said “The Vietnamese government has no support for students. When children get sick, they need to take care of them, pay for hospitalization, and pay tuition. It is a very difficult situation. So, there was always a wish that people in the orphanage were always healthy and not ill. Treatment and medicine are a lot of help for residents and children” by delivering the local situation.
And "I think the orphanage has more liveliness because you came and painted vivid pictures. It's been a good time for students to go to and come home from orphanage. The paintings are meaningful to the orphanage’s children. Thank you very much. I hope you are always healthy," she delivered to express her gratitude to the volunteers.
Ms. Din, a Vietnamese migrant, said “I was so thankful that I could feel the warm heart of the Korean people again through this volunteer work” and “I was especially impressed by dedicated service of the Harmony of Mugunghwa with Lotus Association, Inc. and the Shincheonji Volunteer Group.”
"It is very sorry to see the difficulties of children's lives and health due to lack of education and facilities in an underdeveloped environment like the 60s or 70s in Korea. It was a great time for our country to come forward and work as a helpful country, not as a needed country," said an official of the Shincheonji Volunteer Group. Also, he added "In the future, we will combine local medical staff and hospitals for treatment, and make progress and develop health care education programs."