In March 2002, Trade plus Aid® assisted Rebecca Hughes with
a donation of £392 in order that she might go to Vietnam to
work as a volunteer with the Christina Noble Foundation for
Children. Rebecca is a musician and this donation contributed
towards her airfare and a further £100 enabled her to buy musical
instruments for her music therapy work with the children.
spent three months working with street children in Ho Chi
Minh City with the Christina Noble Foundation for Children.
The street children have suffered terrible hardship, many
being forced into prostitution and begging. The CNCF strives
to allow these children their childhood. Music is an important
tool in enabling these children to communicate.
lived in a room in the house of a Vietnamese family and worked
at the CNCF Social & Medical Centre. The Centre only has 10
permanent residential children, who are disabled and have
lived there since it opened, but there are about 50 children
(aged 0-5 years old) living there altogether. Some have been
abandoned or orphaned and after regaining their health they
moved onto a carefully selected orphanage or are adopted. Others
are ill or malnourished and their parents have brought them
to the centre to recover. The CNCF then find sponsorship so
that the children can continue to live with their families.
In addition, there are about 50 children from extremely poor
backgrounds who use the centre as daycare whilst their parents
work, mainly selling goods on the street.
job of the CNCF volunteers is to provide stimulation and to
play with the children. Most of those living in the centre
are developmentally delayed and some have disabilities. With
the instruments she took from Britain, Rebecca started work
individually with several of these children who otherwise
were unresponsive to stimulae. The instruments caught their
attention and Rebecca built on this over the three months.
also ran group sessions for the daycare children and weekly
sessions with the older children who attend the CNCF Sunshine
School for Street Children. These street children, aged around
12 years, choose to come to school during the day and then
in the evenings sell goods such as books and postcards on
worked alongside the local Vietnamese staff so that she could
train them to use the instruments in educational activities
after she returned to the UK.
further information about the Christina Noble Children's Foundation,