Winchester Orphans in Vietnam will be promoting their charity at St Cross Fete on Saturday, June 25, in hopes of gaining support for their cause.
The Winchester charity, Orphans Winchester has donated nearly £4,000 in goods and supplies to six disadvantaged orphanages in the central highlands of Vietnam.
Currently, Winchester Vietnam Orphans are in the process of procuring textbooks and other Vietnamese books to stock their libraries. At present, the charity has sent out nearly 1,000 books but is looking to provide more.
Alan Acton and his wife Nhan founded the charity in 2019, after realizing the devastating effects of the poverty cycle in Vietnam.
The charity evolved from the couple’s visit to Saigon where they were stunned by the number of neglected orphans.
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Speaking about his time in Vietnam, Kings Worthy’s Alan said, “There were a lot of children on the floor and no one to look after them. So, we looked after them all day and when we came back, they said there were many other orphanages. We looked around. And we saw that they needed help, so we decided to help.
“When I got back to my local church, I told one or two people and they gave me the money, and I didn’t know what to do. After talking to a few friends, they decided to open a bank account that kind of evolved from there and then we got a board of directors and it kept growing.
“It became official in 2019 but we had been working on it for about a year and a half before that.”
Since then, Winchester has developed Vietnamese Orphans based on Alan Wanhan’s pioneering work, making available funding for equipment to improve the lives of needy children cared for by Catholic Sisters.
So far, the charity by providing washing machines – reducing the need for hand washing, commercial dough makers and mechanical grilling – has helped make cooking more efficient and allow bread and chicken to be sold locally to provide income for orphanages.
The charity’s president, Charles Pazilinton, said: “We started the charity because we wanted to help people who were helping needy children. It was an emergency call for a barbecue in case of Covid shutdowns when food was scarce. We want to be able to help the orphanage help themselves with labor-saving devices And the ability to sell food and bring in income from their own efforts.
“Even simple donations help, as in January 2020 just before Alan Wanhan’s visit there was news of a child abandoned in the woods and because the staff had battery torches found at night before the wild animals found them.”
Vietnamese Orphans Winchester was officially registered with the Charity Commission in October 2021. The charity continues to grow with 40 to 50 members in addition to its board of directors.
Co-founder Alan Acton expects most of its members to be in attendance on Saturday, as the group will spread the word about their work and look for new supporters.
He said, “There will be a lot of pictures in the booth. Promote charities to raise awareness and invest people, join the mailing list and maybe donate.”
“Because I’m the only one who’s been to Vietnam, I’ll be able to answer questions about Vietnamese culture and what’s going on but anything about funding I’m given someone else to do!
“What is not always reported is that in Vietnamese culture if the mother dies in childbirth, the child is buried alive with his mother. You often find that girls have no education and therefore end up getting pregnant, and often there is no fault of their own, Then they end up throwing the baby into the woods.
“We want to help break the cycle, so if we can provide college education and placement, maybe we can free the girls from the cycle.”
The charity will be at St Cross Fete from 1.30pm to 5pm. To learn more about Winchester Orphans of Vietnam and the work they do, go to https://vowinchester.com/.
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