- Our Têt vietnamese New Year dinner dance was cancelled and our Annual General Meeting took place by post because of Covid.
- Our elected members did 342.5 hours of voluntary work, travelled 1288 kilometres and spent 107,18 € of their own money for our organization.
- 2 elected members visited the Convent at Portieux to meet Sister Marie-Philippe (former Superior for Vietnam) and Sister Marie-Ange (current Superior General of the congregation).
- Sister Innocentia retired in April to the nuns’ nursing home in Cu Lao Gieng. There are now 4 nuns in our structure in Kontum – Sister Anselme-Marie ~85 years old, Sister Dominique ~70 and two 30 year olds Sisters Marie-Hervé and Marthe (who is from an ethnical minority).
- Schools were closed intermittently because of Covid. During the closures, classes were given on the TV or on the internet or sent by the post to the poor with no access to TV or internet.
- In the summer, 5 sponsor children finished secondary education. 2 went on to study English, 1 followed a short training course in sewing, 1 repeated a year and 1 got married.
- In the summer, our members held a stand at two handicraft markets in Raon l’Etape.
- 68 children sponsored, 9 of whom at our expense.
- Upon Sister Marie-Philippe’s suggestion, we granted food aid to 20 students in a boarding structure in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Suspension of the distribution of food parcels for reasons of logistics and mobility (Sister Anna having left Kontum to take on provincial responsibilities).
- A couple of sponsors visited Kontum early on in the year and witnessed the appalling living conditions of our sponsor children.
- Early in the year 24 children dropped out of school for different reasons – their insufficient level, to get married or economic reasons
- Our Annual General Meeting took place by post and our fried spring roll campaign was cancelled because of Covid.
- Our elected members did 717.75 hours of voluntary work, travelled 1185 kilometres and spent 178,16 € of their own money for our organization.
- In the summer 7 sponsor children completed their secondary education – 1 went on the study education in HCMC, 1 followed a short training course in driving, 2 found work in HCMC, 1 got married and 2 stayed at home to help their families.
- The number of girls in our boarding dormitory went up from 105 to 120.
- 66 children sponsored, 5 of whom at our expense.
- We added a RECIPE section to our French website (not yet translated into English)
- In January, two of our members went to Kontum.
- The news they gave us was reassuring so bank transfers were resumed.
- A building permit was applied for by the nuns for a new nursery school.
- In the summer 12 sponsor children completed their secondary education – 10 found jobs and the 2 who went on to higher education dropped out because the level was too difficult for them.
- The number of girls in our boarding dormitory went up from 77 to 105.
- 80 children sponsored, 6 of whom at our expense.
- 89 children sponsored, 14 of whom at our expense.
- 8 children successfully finished secondary school, 4 of them going onto further education.
- This website was previewed at our annual general meeting and was put on line in April.
- The bishop asked the nuns to move as he needed their premises for a seminary. In anticipation of their relocation, the nursery school was closed at the end of the school year.
- In September, the nuns and the girls’ boarding structure moved to the new site.
- With no communication from the nuns after the move, banks transfers were suspended pending further news from Kontum.
- 92 children sponsored, 16 of whom at our expense.
- 7 children successfully finished secondary school, 5 of them going onto further education.
- In January 2 of our members visited Vietnam, and received an excellent welcome in Kontum from the nuns, the pupils, the sponsor children and the boarding girls.
- During this trip, we noticed that the town’s orphanages were benefiting from a lot of international aid (U.S.A. and Italy) so we decided to no longer finance the milk distribution.
- In the autumn, we created a new logo and started working on our website.
- 88 children sponsored, 19 of whom at our expense. The increasing number of children at our expense was a strain on the balance of our budget. However our savings allowed us to address this situation, but in order to sustain our activity it was necessary to find new sources of funding.
- Our sponsor children are growing up, and this year 13 of them finished secondary school :
– 2 of them going onto further education,
– 1 doing a repeat final year,
– 1 getting married,
– 2 doing their military service,
– 7 going to work to help their families.
- A new lease of life for our committee with our 2 thirty-year-olds becoming president and secretary.
- The photographer André Antoine donated 1 178,40 €uros to our association, the proceeds of the sale of a book of his photos during our annual general meeting (the publishing of the book was financed by a philanthropist).
- 94 children sponsored, 21 of whom at our expense. This was a considerable burden as 21 sponsorships at 25 €uros per month worked out at 6 300 €uros per annum. This meant we had to cut back on other budgetary items :
– we stopped financing the Christmas bowl of soup at Mangla (a village near Kontum),
– we discontinued our Téléthon contribution (a fund-raising event financing myopathy research).
However we continued our annual donation to the local branch of the Restos du Coeur (food bank).
- At our annual general meeting in April, we projected “Les Montagnards Oubliés” (The Forgotten Mountain-Dwellers), a poignant film about 20 children from the ethnic minories of Kontum brought to France in the 1970s. It is a story of uprooting, taking root and reconstituted lives.
- Sale of pens in Gérardmer, with a profit of 230 €uros.
- 100 children sponsored, 10 of whom at our expense.
- The decision by the diocese to move the boarding boys to a different location annoyed us as the sanitary block built 2 years previously was no longer in use. With no news from the new boarding location, we decided to suspend our food aid.
- Arrival in our association of 2 thirty-year-olds who soon took on official responsibilities.
- We made some money boxes distributed in shops, schools and medical surgeries to collect funds.
- The diocese financed a second girls’ dormitory which we furnished.
- Partial financing of a playground at the nursery school with a fenced porch running the whole length of the school under a projecting roof.
- 104 meals financed every day for the boarding boys.
- 92 children sponsored, 8 of whom now at our expense.
- Our 10th anniversary was the opportunity for us to accompany 6 sponsors and 1 funder to Kontum.
- At a cost of 3 270 €uros, building of a sanitary block for a structure housing 98 boarding boys : 12 toilets, 12 showers and 2 wash tables with 8 taps each.
- 84 children sponsored, 4 of whom at the expense of our association (their sponsors having withdrawn their participation).
- Construction of a new sanitary block for the boarding girls with 5 cold-water showers and 5 toilets. The girls took part by conveying bricks to the building site.
- Boring of 3 new neighbourhood wells.
- In partnership with the association A.M.E., we financed, at a cost of 400 €uros, the construction of a traditional design house for a family in the village of Kon Doxing.
- Financing of a monthly milk distribution in the town centre orphanage.
- Financing of a monthly rice distribution in a boys’ boarding structure.
- Opening of a Facebook page dedicated to Les Enfants de Kontum.
- 79 children sponsored.
- Extension of the boarding girls’ canteen with the addition of a study room which we furnished.
- Installation of a sink for dish washing and of storage units.
- With the financial help of the Soroptimist Club, tiling of the nursery school toilets and installation of washbasins.
- Financing of reconnection of waste-water disposal, the pipes having been cut off during roadworks in the street in front of the school.
- Financing of the boring of 3 wells, each supplying water to an entire neighbourhood.
- In July, the photographer André Antoine projected his slide-show and the collection raised 475 €uros for our association.
- During our November 2008 trip to Vietnam we noticed the huge needs of the Kontum region and decided to devote our help exclusively to Kontum.
- 73 children sponsored of which 4 in nursery school, 43 in primary school and 26 in secondary school.
- Having noticed that the ethnic minority children were disadvantaged in classes of 40 children with just one teacher, we decided to employ two new teachers so as to have two teachers per class.
- Financing of the midday meal for the 80 ethnic minority children of the nursery school.
- Introduction of a medicine cabinet, replenished every month, for the nuns, the staff, the pupils, the sponsor children and their families.
- Introduction of monthly supply of sanitary towels for the boarding girls.
- In the autumn of 2009, Kontum was hit by the typhoon Ketsana. The damage was considerable and we granted an exceptional budget of 3 033 €uros to help 16 families who lost their homes and / or belongings.
- One-off aid to Can Tho in the Mekong delta.
- In Kontum, financing of the building of a canteen for the boarding girls (they previously took their meals in a disused former hen-house).
- One-off aid to the disadvantaged populations of Cu Lao Gieng in the Mekong delta.
- In Kontum, financing of repairs to the ceilings and electrical system of the class rooms.
- Introduction of a monthly distribution of food parcels to 20 extremely poor families.
- Continued aid to Ben Tre.
- Financing of the boring of 25 wells.
- Financing of the building of a dormitory for girls in Dak Ha.
- Taking responsibility for the wages of two teachers, a cook, a kitchen aid and a warden.
- Introduction of micro-loans in Kontum to encourage young farmers to become autonomous.
- One-off aid to the poor populations of Ben Tre in the Mekong delta.
- Financing of waste-water disposal.
- Distribution, twice per year, of food parcels to poor families.
- Improvement of the midday meal of the nursery school children with a greater variety of food.
- Financing of the renovation of the Sao Mai school kitchen.
- Our association was founded on the 13th. of April with 21 founding members.
- Funds sent to Kontum during this first year were used to school, dress and feed the children. Indeed, Sister Innocentia explained : « At the school, we do our best for the midday meal in order to compensate for the cruel absence of evening meal in the families ».
- In August, Bui Dinh Long, founding member of Vietnamese origin, went to Kontum where he met the Sisters of Providence. They had opened a nursery school there two years previously, schooling free of charge 80 extremely poor children from the ethnic minorities and providing them with a midday meal. At the same time the 100 Vietnamese pupils paid school fees.
Our French team
The committee 2020 – 2022
President : Carole AGNÈS
Treasurer : Monique THIERY
Secretary : Nadine ORIVELLE DE BORTOLI
Communications officer : François ACCILI
Previous presidents :
2016 – 2020 : Carole TRARBACH
2014 – 2016 : Carole AGNÈS
2012 – 2014 : Christiane POULL
2008 – 2012 : Carole AGNÈS
2006 – 2008 : Fabienne CECCHIN
2004 – 2006 : Karina De TAVERNIER
2002 – 2004 : Martine FRESSE
Previous treasurers :
2004 – 2008 : Claude HUNG
2002 – 2004 : Henri BAUER
Previous secretaries :
2019 – 2020 : Carole AGNÈS
2017 – 2019 : Sonia TRIONFINI
2007 – 2016 : Claudine CASILINO
2002 – 2007 : Thierry SALÉ
Current members :
Claudine CASILINO (founding member)
Fabienne CECCHIN (founding member)
Karina DE TAVERNIER (founding member)
Monique FEUTRY (founding member)
Maria MOYA HINOJOSA
Nadine ORIVELLE DE BORTOLI
Our Vietnamese team
Our association is non-religious but our contact people are the reliable, selfless and trustworthy catholic nuns of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of Portieux. Their living conditions are more than basic.
Sisters Innocentia and Anselme-Marie are of a French-speaking generation and when they were younger they lived and worked in France for several years (in Portieux and Paris). They decided to return to Vietnam to help their compatriots. They arrived in Kontum in the 1970s to help the lepers and the poor Mountain-Dwellers. In 1997 they opened the Sao Mai nursery school (Sao Mai translates as Morning Star). For years the two of them managed the school alone, and then some twenty years ago they were joined by Sister Anna and more recently by the young Sister Therese. In 2018, the nuns had to move to new premises resulting in the, hopefully, temporary closing of the Sao Mai nursery school.
When the time comes, Sisters Innocentia and Anselme-Marie will retire to Cu Lao Gieng, an island in the middle of the Mekong river near the Cambodian border. But that time has not yet come because they are both still strong and healthy and to quote Sister Innocentia “A nun retires when she can no longer walk”. In 2010 it was estimated that there were 550 Vietnamese nuns in the Congregation, many of whom based in the town of Can Tho, this being the Vietnamese headquarters of the Congregation of Portieux. This house of vocation on the banks of the Mekong Delta is full of youth and of life, which contributes to the sustainability of our association as the future is assured by these young nuns.
Sister Innocentia is the Sister Superior who supervises all of the Kontum organisation.
Sister Anselme-Marie is in charge of the sponsorship programme. She follows up on the sponsor children, and translates letters between sponsors and their sponsor child.
Sister Anna was head mistress of the nursery school until it closed in 2018. In 2020 she left Kontum to take on national congregational responsibilities. We will remember her for her vitality !
Sister Therese oversees the dormitory and boarding girls and helps the other nuns.