Ever since I can remember I have wanted to work with children. After finishing school and a course in childcare, I started working with children around the world, mostly as a nanny. I did this for 20 years. It was during this time, in the late 90’s, that I saw Christina Noble on a chat show in Australia promoting her first book, Bridge Across my Sorrows. I was so taken by her, her attitude and passion for the children of Vietnam that I went straight out and bought the book. It was such an inspirational read! Then a friend gifted me Mama Tina, Christina's second book, which I loved even more.
Over the next few years I followed the progress of the Foundation and attended various fundraising events, started sponsoring a child and did some fundraising of my own. The more involved I got with the Foundation, the more I knew that I had to go to Vietnam to see the Sunshine children.
In November 2012 I flew to Saigon for my first volunteering stint at the Centre. I was instantly hooked; the children were ALL so gorgeous and it was such a wonderful, happy, positive environment to be in. I met so many incredible characters both big and little; the carers were full of fun and very good at their job; I marvelled at the art of tying on a nappy and had to admit defeat when I attempted to tie one myself, it looked great and then the baby stood up and within minutes the nappy was around his ankles. I watched the carers a few more times and eventually mastered the art. One of my proudest moments was when a carer watched me tie a nappy on and gave me the thumbs up with a big smile(and the nappy stayed on for more than 20 minutes :)
I can’t praise the physiotherapists enough; they really do seem to work miracles. I have watched many children I thought would never be able to stand up, now take their first steps. They are so patient and loving and are two truly amazing women.
I have now volunteered 4 times and know I will be back again; I have met so many fantastic people from carers, other volunteers, office staff, medical staff, handymen, security men, cleaners, parents etc. It is so easy to give all the wonderful children the love and attention they deserve and make sure they get the childhood every child should have.