Quotes From Workcamp Participants
"As we left the children, we took their anxiety with us. In the bottom of our hearts, or of those who would read this article, or of those who are familiar with the fate of the unfortunate ethnic people, we thought about their future. They are a part or our people but they were left with nothing. They need your help!"
--Ngoc Hoa Nguyen, Sunflower Mission volunteer in Vietnam and an advocate of helping the indigenous Vietnamese people.
"On the last day, we each jumped on a motorbike and were taken away by a driver one at a time. As I looked behind, the children were running after us and screaming their goodbyes. Some stayed back, looking out from their new school, with tears rolling down their beautiful faces. I can never forget how one week in a foreign country will impact my American life forever"
-- Anh Duong, June 2006 Workcamp Participant
"I've been taught the richness and beauty of a culture that I once was too young to appreciate."
-- Huy Pham, March 2005 Workcamp Participant
"Yes, during my visit I prayed for hope. For without hope, I could never again endure the faces of the children of Vietnam. There are no easy answers. But having a tangible, measurable tool for change in Sunflower Mission, I have more hope than ever before. I hope you do too."
-- Jay Roussel, March 2003 Workcamp Participant
"And now this beauty remains there after so many years when the country was destroyed and devastated by different wars. And that's why no matter where we go, we can't forget our country,"
-- Pauline Tran, 2006 Workcamp Participant
"We met so many faces and so many names, so many hardships and so much resilience and resourcefulness. It was an amazing journey to make it to each and every school to meet each principal and to hear the students talk about what they dream to be one day."
-- Florence Tang, 2006 Workcamp Participant
"When we returned to Houston, I felt awash with grief, guilt, relief, thankfulness, anger and sorrow for elementary students like Nhu, Ngoc, Luan, Ho, Hoa, Linh, Hau, Hiep, Cuong, Hung, Thi, Dao, Nhung and Tri - children in dusty sandals who already have strikes against them because they are growing up in villages where fifth grade drop outs are common."
-- Karen, 2006 Workcamp Participant
"In conclusion, as I stood at the airport looking at Vietnam one last time, I understand why and how I should help... and I felt like I belonged there!"
-- Dao-Le Quy Dan (10 years old), 2004 Workcamp Participant
"Of sadness and injustice at the same time. Seeing young children, skinny as twigs, saving half or more of their lunch for the rest of their starving and poor family."
-- Na Nhi Tran (13 years old), 2006 Workcamp Participant
"It was an enriching and rewarding experience for our family of 6 to go to Vietnam. We combined the volunteer component of the trip (such as workcamp) with tourism, enabling the kids to see both sides of Vietnam: (1) the poor countryside where SM builds schools to give children a chance at education; (2) the developing and thriving cities such as Saigon and Nha Trang, where the rich live among street vendors. Our kids returned to the US having a much greater appreciation of privileges they take for granted in the US. I personally recommend that families include a workcamp (or charity component) into their next trip to Vietnam."
-- Peter Cuong Tran (Board of Directors, mcmber of Sunflower Mission workcamps 2004 and 2005)
"A unique aspect of this trip for me was the fact that we as the volunteers didn't just come to work on a task. We came and interacted with everyone when we were working and when we were on our break. Also the children, on their own free will, would pick up a brush, sandpaper, or broom to assist us in completing the job at hand; the setting of their education."
-- Tuan Tran, March 2005 Workcamp Participant