Education for Change
Loreto Ministries builds upon the work of the Loreto Province, progressively expanding access to high quality, inclusive education, developing operations, and providing leadership in response to contemporary needs across the Loreto Schools Network in Australia and South East Asia.
Deeply rooted in its guiding purpose is the responsibility to go where the need is greatest. Loreto Vietnam, a non-government organisation, founded by Loreto Sister Trish Franklin AO, is one such example of identifying this need and working towards expanding access to Loreto education in Vietnam’s most disadvantaged areas.
Over the past decades, Loreto Vietnam has implemented development programs across five very remote Provinces. These are areas where agriculture is the main industry, and where those who have no land are susceptible to poverty. New schools have been built and educational facilities upgraded including classrooms, libraries, computer rooms, multipurpose rooms and toilet amenities to strengthen learning outcomes for disadvantaged and isolated communities. To date, the lives of over 60,000 children have been positively affected.
Loreto Sister Tran Tuyet Trinh ibvm, has volunteered at Loreto Vietnam for the past four months, describing her work there as a humble contribution to community development. Sr Trinh commits two days a week to the ministry where her main role is to edit and prepare communication materials. She further supports Loreto Vietnam as a logistics assistant and interpreter, welcoming visitors and assisting them in communicating with students. She defines the work as providing a greater understanding and deeper insight into the daily lives of the disadvantaged children she engages with.
“Even though they encounter consistent challenges, it is inspirational to watch their ability to see the best in and make the most of all that life brings them. To live each day with joy and gratitude, that is how they embrace and appreciate the gifts of life.”
Sr Trinh, inspired by Mary Ward, demonstrates the same strong and courageous traits in her desire to grow in freedom and truth. “It is not the freedom to do whatever I like but the freedom to become who I am created to be and to follow the dream that God sowed in my heart. I do what I am doing now mostly because it gives me the sense that this is the right thing to do at this time.”
Loreto Ministries CEO, Ms Cate Sydes, recently visited the Vietnam programme and reflected on her experience: “Part of the Loreto Ministries mandate is to initiate and maintain ways of offering quality education to communities of disadvantage. I can say first-hand that Loreto Vietnam is making a difference and providing greater educational opportunities to over 11,500 children during the past year alone. It is these children who are the future of Vietnam.”
‘Education for Change’ is Loreto Vietnam’s tagline which epitomises its mission. By offering a diverse range of sustainable educational assistance, children, born into a world of grinding poverty, are able to discover their full potential and educational capability.
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