Seam The World’s Annual Charity Trip 2017
On the 6th of January 2017, at 10p.m Seam The World’s donors and volunteers gathered together in Ho Chi Minh City to embark on a charity trip that we will never forget. Organized and led by the collective staffs of Seam The World, Cacdemode Fashion Brand and Unesco-CEP. The adventurous and meaningful Journey of Happiness took us to the remote forest village of Phu Son in Lam Dong province.
The journey of getting to Phu Son was the adventurous part. After being on an overnight bus that took us up the mountain area known as ‘the gateway to the sky’, the bus came to an abrupt stop at 5:30 am when we reached the end of the road. Half- asleep and shivering in the cold air of a mountain morning, everyone unpacked the bus and waited for two tractor trucks to come and take us the rest of the way. The act of having to stop and transfer vehicles for the last part of the ride gave us the opportunity to stop and be more aware of how remote the place we were going to was.
Sitting and standing in the back of the rumbling truck, the final part of the drive made us feel as if we were being transported back in time. Most of what we were use to and think of as being necessary for life was left behind as we entered a world where there was (and still is) a shortage of water supply, no source of electricity, no markets and no internet or phone connection. What a difference a bus and tractor truck ride can make in the quality of life and opportunity for it.
After 11hours of traveling, everyone was excited and more then a little relieved to finally reach our destination T’Reng primary school. T’Reng school was especially identified for Seam The World by Unesco-CEP (whom Seam The World have worked with on The Beauty of Vietnam Project), as a school in desperate need of a Seam The World style charity visit. Any discomfort endured during the dusty and bumpy ride was instantly erased by the magical sight of all the students and principle eagerly, but patiently waiting for us. The warmth of their greeting was so happy it changed to cool morning air to sunshine.
Seam The World believes that how you give is an important part of what you give. The aim of our charity activities is to have a relationship and interaction that is built on an experience of sharing not just giving. Whenever possible we give in a sharing way that is both fun and meaningful. Before giving away the gift bags that we had spent so much time organizing, packing, and unpacking, everyone gathered together to play games. As we joyfully danced together, the roles of giver and receiver of students, teachers, volunteers, donors, and principle were danced away in a shared chorus of smiles and laughs.
When the dancing stopped we were able to give 200 gift bags (150 for school children and 50 for poor households) that we had brought and filled with new school bags, books, study stationery, blankets, rice, salt, fish sauce, cooking oil, cake and milk from the more meaningful place of a shared experience.
After a long and fun day of sharing and giving, it was time climb back on the tractor trucks and head to the rest house that we were staying at a few hours away. The fun part of the day wasn’t over as members from the surrounding villages performed and invited us to be apart of their cultural show and fire dance.
The long bus journey back to our familiar lives and the luxuries that we’ve grown accustom to provided us the valuable time to think about our individual and collective Journey of Happiness. Sometimes one has to outwardly travel far to find something that was waiting to be found inwardly. The experience of all that it took to get to Phu Son put the difficult living conditions and multi-layered life challenges that the villagers face into a personal perspective. The long and bumpy road was an all to real metaphor for the long journey and difficult road of life that the children at T’Reng primary school face in their future. The charity trip was another reminder that the act of giving contains within it the act of receiving. As a group, we gave out many gift bags but we also received a gift bag filled with life lessons that we will never forget. The experience of being able to go to Phu Son made all of us realize how important charity, serving, and sharing are in life’s Journey of Happiness.
(Click to enlarge image)
(Click to enlarge image)