Charity
Ba Ria-Vung Tau pagoda becomes shelter for hundreds of children
  • | dtinews.vn | October 30, 2019 09:36 AM
Hong Quang Pagoda in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province has raised about 200 abandoned children in the local area.

Hong Quang Pagoda is located in Tan Hoa Commune, Phu My Town. Head monk Thich Thien Thong said most of the children were abandoned since birth. All babies abandoned in front of the pagoda were given the surname Ho which was Monk Thich Thien Thong's birth surname.


  

Monk Thich Thien Thong


10-year-old Ho Van Duy's father died after he was born. Because of poverty, when he was three months old, his mother brought him to the pagoda. He recently became deaf.

"One day in August, I saw Duy sitting alone in the corner so I called him but he didn't answer. After dinner, I tried to call him out but he still didn't answer. I thought he was being stubborn so I patted his shoulder and asked why he didn't answer me. He cried and used hands to signal to me that he didn't understand. We both cried," Monk Thich Thien Thong said.

Duy was brought to HCM City Ear-Nose-Throat Hospital but doctors also didn't know why he was deaf suddenly. Duy needs a cochlear implant which costs several hundreds of millions of VND. Monk Thich Thien Thong is still calling for help for Duy.


  

Abandoned children being raised at Hong Quang Pagoda

"When I was in seventh grade, I was cleaning up the pagoda's yard when I heard a baby cried. I found a one-month-old baby and when I held him, he stopped crying. So I asked to keep the baby at the pagoda," he said.

One day in 2016, he was busy all day but at night, he couldn't sleep and checked around the pagoda even though it was raining lightly. He found a newborn baby and has taken care of him since then.

Several children are abandoned at the pagoda each year. There are also difficult families who asked the monk to help them raise the children. As of now, about 200 children have been raised at the pagoda. All of them are able to go to school and find a job or become a monk. No matter what their choice is, Thich Thien Thong advised them to study hard.

Lai Nhut Truong, a local helper, said the first years were very difficult because Thich Thien Thong took care of the children alone for 15 years. He woke at 3.30 am, take care of the children and the pagoda and only went to sleep at midnight. He also looked after the children alone when they were sick.

In 2014, because of the huge number of children, he asked several people to stay inside the pagoda to help raise the children.

Hong Quang Pagoda is home to 72 children of which 50 children are going to school. The minimum monthly cost is from VND100m (USD4,300) to VND120m which mostly come from public donations. Thich Thien Thong and the children also sell tofu for some money.

Their spending is reported regularly to Phu My Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. The department's Deputy Director Nguyen Luan Vu said they had detail documents about each child.

"Sometimes, the local authorities will visit the pagoda and help organise events during the Tet Holiday," he said.

If you can help them please donate through:

1. Code 3527: Hong Quang Pagoda in Tan Hoa Commune, Phu My Town, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

Tel: 0908851575

* Vietnam Dong Account information at Agribank:
- Account holder: Hong Quang Humanitarian Centre
- Account number: 6000201008746

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Account number: 129 0000 61096
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Account number: 0721101011002
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With Bank: MILITARY COMMERCIAL JOINT STOCK BANK - MCSB (No.3, Lieu Giai str., Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi, Vietnam)

* Vietnam Dong Account information at Agribank:
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- Account number: 1400206034036
- At Agribank, Lang Ha Branch, Hanoi
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