Never ones to over sell things, ‘amazing’ is a word we try not to use too casually. However, our time in Saigon has truly been ‘amazing’, thanks to our new friends from Allambie Orphanage

Clockwise from bottom left: Mung, Nhi, Truc, Thiet, Paul, Chuyen, Sa and Helen

It seems a bit strange calling it an orphanage because it feels more like a family home. In fact, that’s exactly what it is, thanks to one incredible woman. Suzanne Hook sold her house in England to set up Allambie in HCMC, having once been an orphan here herself. She’s overcome hurdle after hurdle to make it happen – fundraising, bureaucracy, finding a suitable home, cooking, cleaning and not least taking on the full-time job of being mum to 6 kids. And she’s currently doing it all with an injured shoulder following a recent motorcycle accident that would see most people take to their beds for several weeks.

So meet the family: Thiet, Nhi, Mung, Chuyen, Sa and Truc, some of the friendliest, liveliest, welcoming kids you’re ever likely to meet. We’ve been to the cinema twice; we’ve been bowling and painting; we’ve played card games; we’ve sampled the best of HCMC’s street food; and we’ve laughed…a lot!

Thiet’s been helping Paul with his music; Chuyen and Mung have been helping us navigate the city (we’d be lost in some far flung district without them); Truc has introduced us to the Vietnamese boyband, VMusic; and Sa and Nhi have given us an evening we’ll never forget – on the back of their pushbikes in night time Saigon (think wrong way up the M25 at rush hour); and we’ve even learned a few words of Vietnamese!

Chuyen prepares to bowl

Truc manages to bowl and phone

Thiet helps Paul with his music...

Nhi, Helen and Sa

Truc and Paul

It’s been a real pleasure to meet this family and a wonderful way to get to know Saigon. Guys, we wish you every happiness in the future. Cam On!

Serious work!

Thiet at the bowling alley

Chuyen beats Paul at another game...

We think Allambie is a fantastic project and we are proud to have helped out in a small way. Take a look at the video below (click here if you can’t see it) and click through to to find out more about how you can help. Alternatively, you can donate directly below.

Click here for information on how to donate quickly and safely by text message!


One Comment to “New Friends – Allambie”

  • […] We feel privileged to have met the Allambie family and are completely in awe of Suzanne and the work she is doing. It was such a pleasure to get to know the kids over the course of 10 days or so and we were sorry to say goodbye. We would have gladly set to work with whatever needed doing – housework, errands, but nothing was asked of us other than to hang out with the kids and that was no effort at all. Thank you! We wish you all the very best! Our personal blog is here: […]