Since I was a young girl I have dreamt of creating a charity project. My own contribution, my own way ..
We lived in Vietnam for 2.5 years where the rawness and reality of life was felt everyday ..
I’d look around and people had so little but were so happy …I thought to myself ‘us westerners have got it all wrong …LESS IS MORE ..
I was still affected by the extreme poverty and homeless kids ..and I knew it was time to get this charity project started …so it was then that “T4T” was born ..
Each season Munsterkids collaborates with an amazing artist. We design a tee and a jumper with their artwork and the all proceeds go towards our “T4T projects”.
To create a little more kindness in the world, this is what we want to teach our children.
Our first “T4T Projects” started small but were effective. We traveled to different Vietnam orphanages gifting them clothes and other essentials. This was all amazing but I knew we could more.
Our latest T4T project had been a long time in the making. I recruited my eldest son Jax, I knew this was going to be something special and I wanted him to experience it too. I wanted him to see with his own two eyes and to feel it to the depths of his being ..what it means to give and how it feels to connect with people, total strangers unfamiliar yet still connected. I wanted him to experience life without screens, , without fast food and without wifi; life, the way it was intended.
We arrive back in Ho Chi Minh City. Our old home town .
The sun setting, drenching heat, intense waves of smells and the city alive with the constant buzz of the motorbikes. It had been five years since we had been back, but it felt like yesterday, there is just something about this place …It felt like home.
When we arrived to our old apartment, every part of me was smiling. We picked up our old motor bike (no way..it still starts..). We ate at all our favourite restaurants ‘Pho at Progoganda’ and the best cupcake café in the world ‘Sweet and Sour’ (oh how I have missed real Vietnamese Food!). Revisiting our old stomping ground brought back fond memories, we explored the old with the new and found the most insane skate park. Jax was stoked..After a quick skate session it was time to get to work .We flew to Pleiku , in the central highlands and spent the night in the BEST local hotel, we were up at the crack of dawn for pick up. A black van pulled up out the front and the door slid open, and we were greeted by a van FULL of Vietnamese volunteers with giant smiles ready to help us on this mission.
And so we were off ..The adventure was long but we made a few stops along the way. We stopped for breakfast and it was Banh Mi for a all..which is a Vietnamese sandwich consisting of a baguette filled with ingredients such as pork, pickled vegetables, coriander, chilli. so good ..
We traveled onto a small village. The van could go no further, we had to swap to motorbikes as the roads were to muddy. The supplies luckily had gone ahead of us the days before .
My mum voice kicked in “what the hell are you doing .. Jax on the back of the bike with a complete stranger in the slippery mud winding through the unknown.
The mum moment didn’t last long and like always I new I had to follow my heart; I knew this was a small risqué step In the rawness off this adventure in which I so badly wanted to share with Jax.. I left my worries behind and we rode off into the mud with big smiles on our faces.
I looked around, WOW …WOW , WOW …where are we heading. Google maps had no idea, our Vietnamese friends said we were somewhere close to the boarder of Cambodia…. That made it all the more fun. At times Jax looked at me for reassurance.. I simply smiled and said “Isn’t this AMAZING!”… His heart and mind were blown open, he was ready and I felt immensely proud.
I felt like we were in a Nat Geo show, small villages and farms, kids playing and running around small simple homes made from timber. The view of the mountains were breath taking I swear I could almost hear Sir David Attenborough. Finally we reached our destination. A tiny school in the middle of no where. Jax and I caught eyes. The look on his face told me he was feeling the same as me..
We were greeted by the principal and director and got the grand tour of the school ..Meeting the kids and teachers ..The kids were amazing…bare foot, oversized and undersized clothing yet full of life and playfulness.
That day we gifted over 300 individually packed bags containing essentials such as clothes, shoes and schoolbooks for each child. We built a library and filled it with books, We shared with them the toys and other books that we brought over from Australia that our friends and local community had donated. As we handed each bag to each child their faces were shy but grateful, we were unable to speak each others language but we connected with our smiles.
We stayed and hung out for lunch before riding off into the sunset. The kids waved us goodbye, I struggled to hold back tears of pure joy and gratitude. The sun wrapping around the mountains I looked at Jax and it filled my heart with intense love. Ultimate gratitude that we were in a position to do this work. Thanks to our friends at I Love Kontum for organising all the big and small details, we could not have done it without them.
“Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give.”
And to share this gift of giving with Jax was the ultimate gift.
One act of kindness wont change the world.
But it may change one persons world.
The Kid Life.