Pham Thi Chau and her younger sister Pham Thi Tram
and Le Thi Thao Ly
Note: Tram used to be called Chuot which is a nickname meaning mouse. Now she wishes to be called by her proper name Tram.
Wonderful and fascinating things are happening. I have written about a beautiful
young girl whom I thought was named Yow. I met her in August of 2001 then Tom
and Rene Bury met her in February of 2002 and I met her again in November of 2003.
Now I find that Lloyd Trimble was there in January of 2002 and June of 2004.
The connections to this one little girl are adding up. Not only that but Lloyd
is in contact with a friend in Saigon, Kim Tien, who are looking in on the little
girl, Pham Thi Chau. Chau can not read or write and is not attending school.
I have contacted a friend of mine in Saigon, who is involved in the 15 May School
and he has given me a contact at the school. Lloyd is getting as much of her name
as possible and an address and we will see if the school can help her. I am
hoping we will get her into school. We will find out what can be done. After
what happened to Miss Ty I have been worried about Chau for a long time
now. If all goes well we may be able to help her find a better life. We can
not save the world but perhaps we can help one child. Who knows, maybe she
will save the world, just the romantic in me.
10 June - I have written to the 15 May School and asked if they will go talk to
Chau and Mouse's parents and ask if they will allow Chau and Mouse to attend
the 15 May School. I have promised the school that Lloyd and I will sponsor
these two little girls.
27 June - A letter arrived from the 15 May School and we are told that the school
will make contact. We are reminded that the school can not force the girls into
school and I have told them that we understand that but we hope the girls will
wish to go and also that they will be allowed to go to school.
13 July - Ms Cam Vy has written and told us that the director has said they can
go talk to the family of Chau and Mouse. Hopefully they will be brought into
the school soon. There is a little problem in that the children will not have
government sponsorship so it will cost $80.00USD per month instead of the usual
$30.00USD per month for sponsorship. Still if they are in school and revceiving
vocational training and medical attention I am happy. The alternative to school
could be what happened to Miss Ty.
22 July - The extra cost will be dificult but there is a good side to it as well.
Since we will pay the total cost of school it is not a matter of our getting one
child in and depriving another. On Monday I will FAX the application to 15 May
School and I hope that I will have some conformation soon.
27 July - A friend of Lloyd's, Le Van Nhut, has lead the school to Chau and
Mouse. We are told the girls will be at the school tomorrow. The only problem
could be the Step-Father. Still we are hopefull. The school has discussed
things and told us they will only charge $30 USD per month even though the girls
will not have the government sponsorship. Good things are happening. I am very
excited. Good people are helping us.
3 August - The school tells us that Chau and Mouse need birth certificates. The
Father said this would cost $500. A Vietnamese woman, who started working where
I work, used to work with Orphans in Vietnam said that a birth certificate is
important and dificult but not $500. We will see where this leads.
4 August - A friend, Truong Thi Minh Tam, in Saigon, has offered to help with
getting money to the bank. I sent her the money, Western Union, for Chau and
Mouses first month. All that is now necessary is the birth certificates and we
are waiting to hear, from the school, about what can be done to secure them.
5 August - Minh has just informed me that the money is in the bank. I have
written to the 15 May School and told them the money is there and given them the
transaction code. Now we are waiting for word on how we go about getting the
8 August - All is going pretty well except for the birth certificates. Lloyd
will be going to Saigon in a week or so to have some hands on influence in the
30 August - Lloyd is in Saigon. He says he has help from some good people and
he will write as soon as he has news. We are hopefull.
1 September - Lloyd writes, from Saigon, that things are not going well. Many
good people have helped but he thinks the girls are afraid of leaving their
step-father and going to school. Lloyd will have more to tell in a few days.
A miricle would be nice.
8 September - Lloyd has returned from Vietnam and the news is not good. While
in Saigon Lloyd has involved two schools, a social worker, the police and a small
army of friends and the final word is that the girls appearently do not wish to
go to school and leave the man they are with. The girls may be afraid of leaving
him. We will see what happens when I return in March, perhaps the passage of
time will allow the girls time to reconsider. We will see.
16 September - We have a hopeful sign in Saigon. The Step-Father of the girls
has approached the Christina Noble Childrens Foundation (CNCF) school, and asked
for assistance in getting the birth certificates. No guarantees but this is a
move on his part, and we welcome that.
13 December - Everything is at a stand still. The step-father of the girls
does not wish them to be in school. His reason for this is pretty uncertain and
not at all hopeful. Still, Lloyd is going back this month and I will be there
in February and March so we will see what effect the two of us pressuring and
cajoling him will have.
16 January - Things are looking up and maybe we got that miricle we were hoping
for. Lloyd tells me that Chau and Chout have their papers from the Peoples
Committee and will be starting school in September. We will be in Saigon in
less than 4 weeks and hope to see the girls then.
29 March - We are back from Saigon and had a wonderful time with the Chau and
Chuot. They are the most beautiful children. We have no word on their going
to school however we live in hope.
2007 - Wonderful news from Vietnam. Hoa wrote and told me that the girls were
in school. Lloyd was planning a trip at just about that time so he dropped
in at the school and sent me the photo of the girls and said they were indeed
in school. Chuot is loving school however Chau is 14 and has been on the streets
longer and is not so excited. Still I am hopeful that she will learn and it will
help her in the future.
July 2008 - I have visited the school and met the Principal, Sister Cam Thuy.
The girls are both happy and doing well in School. Chau does computer work to
help the sisters and to earn extra money. She is doing well in her studies and
hopes to be an Airline Hostess one day. Tram used to be called Chuot which means
Mouse. It was a nickname but she would rather be called by her real name, Tram.
Tram also is doing well in her studies and enjoys sewing. She makes school uniforms
to earn extra money and hopes to be a seamstress one day. I can not begin to tell you
how happy their success has been to me. The prettier Chau was becoming the more I
worried about her on the streets. Now they are headed towards a beautiful future.
February 2009 - And then there were 3. On a visit to Anh Linh Free School, in 2008, I met
Le Thi Thao Ly. She came over and sat with Chau, Tram and I and she smiled and
she was so beautiful that I decided that I must sponsor her as well.
This trip we went to Suoi Tien amusement park. It is the off season so it is not so crowded.
Unfortunately they were repairing the pool. We had a lot else to do so it was a good day and all were happy.
Thanks to Tom and Rene Bury the girls now have glasses.