Orphans Used by Temple Director to Make Money
June 22, 2011/ veryvietnam.com
Many people online through news sites, forums, and blogs are expressing their outrage at this story. We’ve translated the original Vietnamese text and are including reader comments for you.
Translated from: Nguoi Lao Dong
January 10, 2011/ nld.com.vn
By constructing a building with the name “Tiên Ph??c 2 Temple” and gathering orphaned children to raise, a so-called “nun” has quickly become rich with money from sympathetic donors.
On a Sunday morning, our reporters went to Tien Phuoc 2 “Temple” located in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan District. Getting there, we were initially struck by the apparent professional marketing work of a so-called “nun”.
Between National Highway 1A and the “temple,” which was no more than 500m, there were a total of 4 direction signs guiding vistors to the “Tien Phuoc 2 Temple for Ophaned Children and Lotus Compassion School”.
At the end of an alleyway, stood a three-storey house with yellow paint on its exterior, a spacious interior and a Buddha statuette – exactly the place “nun” Nguy?n Th? Vân t? referred to as a “temple” for orphans.
The ground floor was an area for storing donated goods, while the first floor was the “nun’s” air-conditioned bedroom. The entire second floor served as the eating and play area for 13 children of various ages.
There was little Nguy?n Thanh Hoa Sen, a 3 year-old, whose face was constantly grimacing because a bluish-purple buise swelled on her forehead. Little Nguy?n Thanh Ph??ng was a handsome 3-year old child with fair skin,
but had white scales on his scalp due to a fungal infection and hair falling out
There were partitions on each bed as infants and toddlers up to 3 slept next to each other. But they would scratch with each other’s faces, and even newborns would sometimes get crushed. On the hard tiled floor, an older child knocked a younger child over, causing the little one to scream in tears.
While we were there, we happened to meet a group of visitors who came in with a large cartons of powdered milk.
Mrs. N.T.H., who was part of the group, disclosed that “In our experience, you have to peel open the milk tub like this so that the children will hopefully get to drink it. Otherwise she’ll get a trader to sell all the milk.”
According to the stories of many neighbours, usually during weekend evenings, “nun” Vân would make calls to vendors outside and arrange to sell all the various donated milk given by people who came to the temple.
Very Rich “Buddhist Nun”
In early 2011, 57 mothers from from a volunteers association collectively wrote to Báo Ng??i Lao ??ng (The Workers Newspaper). The content was about Mrs. Nguy?n Th? Vân and her Tien Phuoc 2 Temple taking advantage of 13 orphaned children to make money under the guise of charity.
After donating lots of money for the care of unfortunate children for a long time, many well-meaning families discovered that Mrs. Vân was indeed a fake. Her work was not done out of charity, but instead being used for selfish greed.
A lot of money and goods were donated for charity, but Mrs. Vân collected the proceeds to buy land and build houses. All the while, the children were left in deprivation, and sick.
What’s worse, when some families opened their hearts, including the Red Cross of Ho Chi Minh City, the condition of a sick child named Hoa Qu?nh was not considered. But instead, Mrs. Vân continually refused to bring the child to a hospital for treatment.
Mrs. T.L.P., a forum member of a charity, explained: “She wants all the children to suffer and be sick. That way, she can easily ask patrons to donate. Hoa Qu?nh has symptoms of cerebral palsy, with scabies sores all over her body, but Mrs. Vân leaves her in a crib outside for all visitors to see, eliciting pity to collect money.
According to our investigation, Mrs. Nguy?n Th? Vân came to Ho Chi Minh City from a central province with empty hands. After about 10 years of “building a career” caring for orphans, Mrs. Vân has been able to purchase three houses. Across from the “temple” is a building with three spacious floors and a sign that reads: “Lotus Compassion School”.
Next to it, is a 5-floor building currently under construction, sitting on land Mrs. Vân recently purchased with a worth of 500 million VND (about $25,000 USD). On top of the building, a sign proclaims: “A Tien Phuoc 2 Temple Orphange project,” along with words soliciting donations for the construction.
Mrs. Vân’s neighbours and former staff told us, even though signs may read “Tien Phuoc 2 Temple,” there is almost never any incense smoke or even a shadow of a Buddhist worshipper to be seen.