When And Where It All Began

One of our Founders' Anne-Marie describes how it all began for her

"In 2012 I was a typical Irish student in second year of college at IT Carlow doing my BA in
Early Childhood Education and Care. My partner Ian was in his final year of college studying Furniture Design and Manufacture. As part of the course he had to carry out work
placement from January-May. He decided he wanted to go to Vietnam and work with an
English designer that was based there. At the end of the college term Ian wanted me to go
and spend the summer there. I had very little knowledge about Vietnam and had no idea
what I could do there for 3 ½ months. So the research began. Because of my background I
wanted to spend my time in Vietnam doing some sort of volunteer work, that is when I
came across the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. After reading up on the foundation
and discovering all the incredible work that they’d done and were continuing to do I
instantly wanted to get involved. I sent off the application and went for my interview in the
Dublin office. I was so delighted when I was offered a position.

I arrived in Vietnam the end of May 2012 and was there for 3 ½ months. I was only in the
country 3 days before I started my volunteer work with the foundation. I was so excited and could not wait to get started. The children in the centre varied from 2 months up to 6 years of age. I became involved with the daily routine of the centre and got to participate in the physio department, the special education classes, excursions to the park & zoo, hospital appointments and had the opportunity of carrying out a selection of activities – arts & crafts, music, sand &water play just to name a few.

It was a privilege to work with such a dedicated team which included the office staff, care
workers, physiotherapists, special education teachers and other volunteers. The children in the centre were absolutely incredible and I got such joy from working with them. Sadly, my time in Vietnam came to an end. After spending the summer there I became hooked on the place and could not wait to return to the centre again. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of it all!"