Mary Nguyen Thi Phuong Lan is a Dominican Missionary Sister of Phu Cuong in Vietnam. After studying at universities in Vietnam and at De La Salle University in Manila, the Philippines, she worked in formation programs in Vietnam. Now, she is in charge of caring for 32 orphans at Binh Trieu Development Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She was a contributor to the first round of the GSR series The Life.
In addition to experiencing Cambodians' rich cultural heritage, we were invited by Br. Joseph Nguyen Thanh Tung to visit a parish that offers classes for 72 poor Vietnamese children living in Cambodia.
In 1993, Binh Trieu was still a neighborhood of Sai Gon, sparsely populated and often flooded. Tran Van Soi, a founder of the Friends for Street Children program, chose the Binh Trieu Center to start classes for poor children. We Dominican sisters are still faithful to the spirit of the founder.
Carolina offered to teach English free for the children in kindergarten. The sisters welcomed her happily, so that the children of poverty would have a chance to study a foreign language — and, hopefully, a chance for a better future.