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Archieved Newsletters (click)

Dear friends,                                                                                                                      (Jan / Feb / March 2021)

65 1How are you? For many of you, 2020 was a difficult year. We experienced problems too, but we learned to change. This was very clear with our old front sliding door (watch video). The plastic connections inside the door were destroyed due to hot weather conditions. Finally, we decided to design a new door and appointed our workers to build it. They did very well and in good harmony. Day by day they worked hard and finally they were ready to place it in the door opening. This door is now a reminder of being open for a change. New things will happen in 2021. Let's be open to it and have a blessed new year!

Floods and landslides
65 265 3Last few months our region was hit by many floods and several tropical storms and typhoons. The floods caused 189 deaths and 66 people missing. Many people and sometimes whole families were killed by landslides. Even rescue workers lost their lives. In one family everyone was killed. They found one of the children under the rubble. She held a younger brother in her arms for protection. The little brother was still alive but she herself had been killed. These stories moved us and we were able to help in several provinces with donations from abroad and also in Vietnam.

Support for victims
A company from Switzerland heard about the disasters and wanted to support victims. We contacted some leaders in the places where landslides caused a lot of casualties. In coordination with the leaders, we found out what they really needed and were able to supply hundreds of clean cookers, children’s necessities, and new clothing (watch video). The 120 pieces of clothing were supported by Vietnamese people from Saigon. Also, a donation came in for the family of our staff. Their house and especially their roof was destroyed during the storms. We also received support from Holland and this will be used very soon. Here are some pictures in several places:

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Blessed Boxing Day
65 12Christmas was different this year. We had to move our celebration to Boxing Day. Gifts were exchanged and we organized a short gathering to remember the birth of Christ. We had some guests and one of our workers was able to sing a beautiful Christmas song. Tho, the wife of our director had prepared an impressive Christmas meal together with a barbecue. To our surprise, Mr. Phi had bought some crocodile meat for the barbecue. It was new for many. It had a light fish/chicken flavor. Everyone enjoyed the party on our roof, under an open sky.

Finally graduated
65 13Thang is the son of our director. During his study at the university, he has been helping in our factory too. He worked very well with our workers and became friends with them. Often he has been playing football with them and communicates well in sign language with the deaf. He decided in his free time to help some of them to study English and computer skills. Before Christmas, he graduated from University after four years. Not long after that, the army contacted him for a two-year service. Maybe he leaves in January and for two years he will not be able to leave his base, except for special days or occasions. We will really miss him.

A Great Celebration
65 14There are times that people have no place to come together for Christmas. Some deaf people were looking for a place to celebrate Christmas together with their friends. They could not find a suitable place and came to us to ask if they could use our center. We sympathized with them and we allowed them to celebrate Christmas with their 70 deaf friends and 20 children at our Center. They had a great time together. By using sign language they sang, shared, played, and ate together. It was well organized by them, although some of us were standing by for help and ordering food. After five hours they all went home with the great Christmas blessing in their heart.

65 15A popular delicacy in Holland is the ‘stroopwafel’. It is a waffle made from two layers of hot bisquit with a caramel-like syrup in the middle. This cake is mostly eaten during coffee-breaks. The workgroup has been using these stroopwafels to support our work in Vietnam. A few months before Christmas they asked people to order them. After that, they contacted a bakery in the city where they are originally made. The bakery delivered the order and with the help of several people, the packages were delivered door to door. A lot of work but the results were wonderful. It was a great and inspiring example of supporting our work.

A bird presentation that lasts
65 16Because of the corona crisis, one of our friends was not able to give her slide presentations of birds in order to support our work. Some presentations were canceled, but people have been asking her again after the lock-downs. That is very encouraging and also beautiful to see that people really appreciate her presentations. All the slides are made by her husband. It took hours for taking the bird pictures (watch video) near their holiday cottage. But the results are breathtaking and during the presentations, she tells practical stories relating to birds, but also to our daily life.

FBT seminars for getting deeper
65 17Despite many difficulties during last year's crisis, we were able to hold several seminars in different places. Most of the students had survived two Covid-19 outbreaks. Our seminars were essential to help them. Some topics like marketing, finances, taking risks, and breaking a poverty mentality, became very important. The participants were very serious and discussed many subjects. It was a good opportunity to get deeper and hear some of their stories.

Even sales during the corona crisis
65 18Mr.Thanh runs a motorcycle shop. As a student in one of our FBT seminars, he quickly applied what he had learned. During the pandemic, his shop was closed but he still sold 6-7 motorbikes per month. Most of his clients were new students pre-paring to attend university. He attracted customers with images posted on Facebook, Zalo, and YouTube. He learned to deal with this change of marketing and taking risks. The seminars helped him a lot and now he is able to support his family despite the pandemic.

Developing second-hand clothing
65 19Miss H’Dang belongs to one of the ethnic minority groups in Vietnam. She attended University in Danang but was struggling to pay her tuition during the corona crisis. She attended one of the FBT seminars and was inspired to start a small online clothing shop. She found out that many students liked inexpensive second-hand clothing. Women’s jeans were one of the fastest and best-selling items. Selling online made her business grow fast. Now she can pay her tuition and help her parents too.

Ins65 20piring strategy
Nhu & Gai, two women of the Bru minority, applied in their business what they had learned in one of the seminars. They decided on three kinds of investments: 1. Long-term: By planting thousands of high-value perennial plants to be harvested in 5-7 years. 2. Medium-term: By raising cows, buffaloes, and goats. In 1-3 years, their numbers will be multiplied. 3. Short-term: By raising chickens and ducks, and growing vegetables for sale in 2-6 months. Their practical strategy inspired many other FBT participants.

We hope you have been inspired. Our Green Impact and FBT stories are real and life-changing. Never give up on doing what you are called for. Even a pandemic should not stop you. Be creative in your approach. In 2021 we will be moving step by step and we are so thankful that you are willing to stand with us in good and also in bad times.


Green Impact team

Called to Serve

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