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Stories of #GoodChange

March 2020

Good Neighbour #1 : Helen Doung

Welcome to our new segment: Interviews with our Good Neighbours! We will feature stories from our volunteers, donors and staff of Good Neighbors Australia to share the philanthropic spirit and give you a little peek into what goes on behind-the-scenes. This week, our spotlight is on Helen Duong, our translation volunteer!

As a human being, I believe that each of us somehow has a nature of compassion for the less fortunate.

Meet Helen Duong: a virtuous and talented individual who has been a Good Neighbours Australia volunteer for the past 6 months–and counting. She has been translating letters from sponsored children in Vietnam. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: You first joined Good Neighbours through our one-day letter translation volunteer. What attracted you to the role? Do the stories of Vietnamese children resonate with your own experience?

Helen Duong: My life is blessed and fortunate so the ambition of doing something good to the community is always in my thought. I searched for volunteer work and was attracted to Good Neighbours and the role asking for a Vietnamese translator. I then started to read about Good Neighbours Australia on the website. I felt hurt when imagining the under-privileged Vietnamese children–those of my home country–lacking adequate food and clothes, working hard in the farms instead of going to school, and suffering from serious sickness due to harsh conditions without proper medical approach. These innocent kids deserve a better life and opportunity to grow, so I joined Good Neighbours Australia with the thought that if I could do anything at all, it’s worth doing.

Good Neighbour Helen Duong

Q: Could you tell us about your choice to continue volunteering with Good Neighbours Australia after the letter translation role?

HD: Through translating work, I had a chance to read letters Vietnamese children sent to their sponsors. The language was so simple and naive, if not somewhat under-educated. That has driven my passion to further contribute and support disadvantaged children. In addition, getting to know more about Good Neighbours and their humanitarian activities have established my trust in this organisation. Continuing to volunteer with Good Neighbours Australia is a great pleasure and brings meaning to my life.

Good Neighbour Helen Duong

Q: Have you had any other fundraising or volunteering experience?

HD: I am a member of the Vietnamese Catholic Youth Group in Sydney, so I have participated in several fundraising charity events as well as volunteering activities. For example, I participated in dance performances or ushering teams at fundraising charity dinners, and distributed Christmas hampers to the poor. Working as a Registered Nurse in a nursing home, I also try to help and bring love to the elderly on a daily basis.

Q: Being a part of Good Neighbors Australia, what are you most excited about?

HD: I am so eager and excited to be a part of Good Neighbours Australia–not only to have an opportunity to meet other friendly and warm-hearted members, but also to connect with more children in need of support.

Q: Lastly, is there anything you want to say to prospective sponsors or donors?

HD: As a human being, I believe that each of us has a compassionate nature for the less fortunate, and that being able to make small changes to their lives would bring great joy and meaning to our own. For me, giving is never a loss, but a blessing. I hope kindness from sponsors or donors will be multiplied to help children and communities in need.

As you can see from Helen's interview, getting involved with Good Neighbours Australia is an enriching and rewarding experience.

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