Changes At Ben Tre Orphanage

Ben Tre Orphanage is a special place for the people of the area. Originally a Street Children’s Center, its focus shifted to being a Protection Center to care for children in 2010. In the 20 years it has been in operation, it has served over 1200 children.

Brittany’s Hope Foundation made the decision to make Ben Tre part of its sponsorship program for 2014. However, after members of our staff made a site visit, met the director, and the children, a secondary decision had to be made. The center was not operating with best practice of care, and they were not performing at the standards that Brittany’s Hope expected of a partner.  Specifically, the babies and special needs children needed to have more time outside of their cribs, and more interaction with staff. Brittany’s Hope staff guided the director and staff at Ben Tre through the changes that needed to be made at the center in order for more support to be appropriate. Until that time, we pledged $1000 a month to the center to help with the nutrition of the children.

We are proud to say, for the 2015 fiscal year, Ben Tre Child Protection Center will be taken on by Brittany’s Hope for full sponsorship of the children at the center. The staff at Ben Tre took the suggestions from Brittany’s Hope to heart, and made many changes that fit into the best standards of care. Staff members and board members made a visit in September 2014, and were very happy with what they saw. The children were engaged, and the issues in care were being addressed. A second visit by US Brittany’s Hope staff confirmed these changes in October 2014. We feel confident in the abilities of the staff at Ben Tre to be able to handle a full sponsorship program, now that we see they value our opinion on best standard practice for the children.

This year, we hope to make a big difference to Ben Tre. We have committed to several projects until the end of 2014, including renovating the baby/special needs room to increase the space, and create a separate washing and food area. The children do not currently have any space to keep their personal belongings, and this is such an important way to feel that you and your presence have worth. They need cabinets for the boys and girls bedrooms, and we will be providing them. Other projects include clothes dryer to keep the children’s clothes nice, and a photocopy machine to help in their educational needs.

Our commitment to Ben Tre doesn’t just stop with this.  Brittany’s Hope will work tirelessly to find a sponsor for each of the children at Ben Tre. We have pledged full commitment to sponsorship for the 81 children at the center. This will include funding for education, nutrition, medicine, and other needs that all children should be entitled to.  All in all, $32,000 will be committed to the children to cover these needs in 2015. But the support doesn’t stop there either. Brittany’s Hope will commit to helping fund staff at Ben Tre in the amount of $8K, and to providing new beds for all the children.

While great strides have been made for the sweet children of Ben Tre, there are still a multitude of projects to go. These include:

  • Renovation of the soccer field on campus
  • Repair of the roof in the classroom areas; it is dilapidated and falling down.
  • A Microphone speaker for the compound to use
  • Support for a staff teacher to review children’s lessons so they may stay competitive in school.
  • Funds to hire a physical therapist to work with the special needs children 2 hours a day for 3 months. This therapist could then train the staff at Ben Tre to continue in their absence.

Partnership with Ben Tre has shown the true meaning of the word. Brittany’s Hope has been there to support them, and Ben Tre has been able to make the changes necessary to create a better living condition for all the children in their care. It has been a collaborative effort thus far, and will continue to be so from 2015 and beyond.