Support Local Community
At Nguyen Shack – Can Tho, we support six young children living in the village pagoda by paying for their school fees and their food. These children were left by their parents at the pagoda because in Vietnam it is not socially acceptable for unmarried women to have children. This societal pressure causes some young women to abandon their infants. You can meet the children at the pagoda on the bicycle tour that we run daily.
At the pagoda, food and accommodation are offered to anyone that needs help. To give and to receive is at the heart of Buddhism – no matter how much you have you share what you have and you receive what is offered. The pagoda survives only from donations of food and money from the local community. Nguyen Shack has a large garden and we often bring vegetables from the garden to the pagoda for the children. Many of our guests have donated money, school supplies, and clothes.
We also support a traditional medicine clinic helps poor people in the area get herbal medicine for free or for a reduced price. The clinic runs on a system of donations. Patients pay what they can afford.
At Nguyen Shack Phong Nha we support war victims. Because in this area (part of Quang Binh province) is where the American military used the most amount bomb and Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Many people lost legs and new generation still born with physical or mental disabilities due to contamination of Agent Orange, and they are unable to take care of themselves. The social welfare that they receive is not big enough, so we have decided to double the amount that the government gives them for 20 families in the surrounding village.
In all the Nguyen Shack we also substantially support local government when is the time to renovate a school or build a new one. We believe that education is the best way to eliminate the poverty and to raise awareness of the new generation to the environmental problems.