Store room at Vinh Son Orphanage
Reported by Graham Sijben
Vinh Son 1 orphanage houses 206 ethnic minority children. As you can imagine, they need a lot of space for food storage. They have been using a few different rooms for this. One large room for their rice storage, and a couple of smaller ones for other things such as noodles, sugar, salt, fruit, etc., etc. Unfortunately, Vinh Son 1 orphanage also has a problem with rats, who can’t seem to keep out of these supplies.
After witnessing a few visits from these unwanted residents, we came up with the idea to renovate and rat proof a neighboring room which was not being used. The room was pretty run down, as were they all, but because it was already empty, we decided it would be the best room to start with.
We sat down together and made a plan of what needed to be done.
This was the plan:
Break out the old floor. Break off a concrete structure that jutted out into the room. Break out the door and doorframe leading into the neighboring room. Break off the front wooden slat wall and door. Remove the roof tiles, replace the wooden slats, and then re-lay the roof tiles again (this needed to be done over the complete length of the building (+/-20 yards). Pour a new concrete floor and tile it. Make a new down-pipe. Build the new steel framework for the front wall and doorway. Build in the new doorframe leading into neighboring room. Fill any holes in the walls and close of the windows. Re-plaster the walls. Line the room with wire mesh. Build a wood paneled ceiling. Construct rat proofed cupboards and place them in the room. And finally, hang new steel doors into the frames.
|Original state of the room|
We asked the Sister in charge if she could give us an estimate of what it would cost to carry all of this out. After consulting a couple of builders, she came back to us with an estimate of 13,179,000vnd or US$740,00. They had decided to let the orphanage do what work they could, then for the more difficult jobs, they would hire some local builders to do the work. This seemed a good plan and we looked over the estimate. After some more discussion, we said that the estimate was good and that they could go-ahead and start. As soon as we had agreed, they were in full swing, breaking out the floor and walls. One of the novice priests was leading the way and the older boys working away beside him. Even the younger kids were pitching in where they could, helping to carry away the rubbish.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stay around to watch the rest of the renovations, as I needed to get back to HCMC. I hoped that they had understood my idea and left them too it. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was all going to work out as planned.
2 months later, on my return to Kontum, I was eager, but nervous, to see how they had got on with the room, or if they had managed to complete it at all. Arriving at the orphanage, I was met by a big smile from Sister Imelda, who was very excited to see me back and wanted to show me their new storage room straight away. I followed her through the building to the new room and…there it was. The new storage room was completed. They really had done a fantastic job and the new room had surpassed my expectations. I was very impressed at what they had managed to do. The room had received a new concreted and tiled floor. The ceiling had been lined with wire gauze and then finished with wood panels. The front of the room had been completely remodeled with new double doors and a wire meshed wall. They had constructed shelved cupboards (rat-proofed for extra protection) which surrounded the complete room. Everything on our plan had been done as discussed. To top it all off, having a lot of wire mesh over, they had been able to completely line the neighboring room as well!
|Wooden paneled ceiling||Cupboard system surrounding the room|
|Sister Imelda and Ms Bil, happy to show off their new storage room||Neighboring room lined with wire mesh|
This has been another successful project which I am sure will continue to benefit the orphanage into the future.
Main objective achieved by this project:
Improvement of Hygiene
Beneficiaries to the project: 206 minority children, 6 Nuns, 17 volunteer workers
Vinh Son orphanage would like to thank everyone who helped with this project.
Thank you to the supporters of One Grain of Rice and to the Degenhardt Foundation’s Aid for Kids.
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Aid for Kids
18 Market Square
Houlton ME 04730
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Vietnam Photo Journal
by Don Funk