A Fortunate Stroke of Serendipity

Earlier this year, we shared with you the story of Vu Nguyen Hong Ngoc, a young orphaned girl we met on Christmas Day at the Center for Innocent Children (Trung Tâm Bé Thơ) in Biên Hòa, Vietnam. Ngoc’s mother was only 15 years old when she became pregnant. The young pregnant girl contemplated the idea of aborting her pregnancy, but after much thought and consideration, decided to stay at the center and see her pregnancy through. Ngoc was born on March 23rd, 2015 and has been living at the center ever since.

Ngoc’s story touched many hearts. It inspired a few friends to consider adopting a child from Vietnam, while other generous souls contributed to our fundraiser. Sister Maria Daniel Vu Thi Vinh, who founded the Center for Innocent Children in 1990, would like to extend her deepest appreciation for your generosity. Every donation, no matter how great or small, is making a difference in the lives of these deserving children.

Perhaps the most profound and heartwarming response to Ngoc’s story came from Annie Nguyen. It turns out that Annie shares the same Vietnamese name and birthday as Ngoc. Is this just a coincidence or a fortunate stroke of serendipity? Annie thinks that everything happens for a reason. She had been looking for a way to sponsor a child in Vietnam but hadn’t found the right opportunity; that is until now.

As it turns out, Annie was planning to visit Vietnam in March. She contacted Sister Vinh and made arrangements to meet Ngoc over their birthday weekend. Annie and her friend from middle school, Hai Nguyen, visited the center last Sunday. Sister Vinh gave them a tour of the facilities, which has improved greatly from the temporary housing of the earlier days. But the center remains challenged, given the limited resources and the increasing demand for housing, food, education, and medical care.

Big Ngoc had a chance to meet and spend time with Little Ngoc. Annie describes Ngoc as a sweet, young girl that loves being held, as evidenced by the picture from their reunion.

Before saying goodbye, Annie spoke with Sister Vinh, and offered to support Ngoc to ensure that she will continue her education in the long run, providing a path to self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

According to Unicef, the world’s biggest challenge in the decade to come is bridging the gap between the opportunities young people have been promised and the denial of those opportunities as doors are closed to them. Thanks to Annie’s benevolence, Ngoc will have the opportunity to open more doors and make the world a better place.

“Cám ơn”, Annie. We are deeply grateful for your generosity. Let us all take note of your goodwill and follow in your footsteps.

How Can You Help?

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass.


The children from the Center for Innocent Children – like Ngoc, Mai, and the twins – come from many places with different backgrounds and contexts. They have unique personalities and various needs. With our continued support, Sister Vinh will be able to carry forward her quest to help these deserving children. Please consider joining us on this journey by contributing to the Happy Planet Children fundraiser.

Get Involved

Children need champions! Get involved, speak out, volunteer and give every child a fair chance to succeed. We’re looking forward to connecting with you online or in person and joining forces on Facebook and LinkedIn. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to make an offline donation.

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s