Inauguration of the Son Ky Orphanage

On February the fourteenth, fourty five orphans and street-urchins, Father Jerome and his staff plus their guests celebrated the inauguration of the new orphanage, carrying the approbiate name Kinderstern/ Children Star.

Among the vietnamese there is a saying: "Once you eat a fruit, you ought to thank the person, who planted the tree.“

The celebration was a day of gratitude and joy for children and their beautiful new building. A sense of melancholy overshadowed the celebration because Carmen Knoebl was not able to attend. Klaus Ruff thanked Carmen Knoebel and submitted her warm greetings to the children (and their guests).

„Carmens thoughts are today with you, and she wishes all of you a happy future." "Thanks to Carmen Knoebel, 45 orphans and street-urchins, now own a new home where they will be secure and safe. I am finishing with pictures of the new Son Ky Children Star Orphannage and the moving speech from Vo Le Tuan Kiet, eight years old."


The Speech of Vo Le Tuan Kiet

Dear Mrs. Carmen, dear Mr. Claus,

One week ago, Daddy Jerome told me that on this occasion, I have to say welcoming and thanksgiving words. I worried so much, that I have lost almost one kilogram. At this moment, I am even more afraid, so allow me to read what I have written down.

Before going to this orphanage, many among us had to stay with grandmother or grandfather, because mother and father died or had abandoned us. Our shelter was only a simple hut, with dirty, light leaf walls and plastic foils, which could be flown away only by al light wind. Many didn’t have a bed to sleep on, with very poor and mal-nutrient food. Some among us had to stay under the bridge or in the street.

When we were in the previous houses, which you rent for us, these were a bit better in our countryside. It was very hot and stinking there, since the house is too narrow and badly ventilated. The food is good and sufficient, but we lived just like sardines in a tin box. It was so noisy, with two cafes, one on the opposite side of the street and one just next door, competing with one another, opening music in such a way that it tortured us days and nights on our ears and lungs, making us sometimes sick.

In the last months, we were so excited waiting for the moving into the new house. After all, we moved into the new house which even in dreams, no one of us dares to wish for.

On the first day of our arrival, seeing so a big house, we didn’t dare to step in, because we doubted if this was the house for us, maybe it’s of someone else. Only when Daddy Jerome finally came and told us to enter, we dared to go in. For us the children, it was like a palace we heard in the fairy tales. Everything is so perfect. We were speechless and only bowed down the head in deep gratitude.

Dear Mrs. Carmen,,

though there be a multi-thousand mile far distance between you and us, from the bottom of our hearts, we, all the orphans and street- children thank you so much for your motherly love and generosity. Without you, dear Mrs. Carmen, it’s impossible for us to have this lovely house, in which we have now a family environment and happier future. Be sure, of one thing: every inch of all the walls and floors in this house, every brick and roofing tile of this house will bear your name, will be deeply scared with these letters: C – A – R – M – E – N. And more, you will live forever among us, forever in this house, forever in the hearts of these children.

Dear Mr. Claus,

you dedicated so much energy, health and time in helping us to build up this house for the sake of children. Innumerable efforts and sacrifices have been burdened on your shoulders. On this memorable day, we, all orphans and street children thank you so much.

Dear Mrs. Carmen, dear Mr. Claus,

Yes, if by miracle, now, there was a fairy coming here allowing us to have two wishes:

  • The first wish is for you and your family, a good health, peace and happiness until when you get 100 years.
  • The second is that for us and all those who will continue to live in this house, to become good citizens, with talents and skills in such a way that will be become useful to others. Only with this we are worthy with the love and unique gift you have given us today.

Once again we thank you with all our hearts, we, all the orphans and street children at Son Ky Children Star Orphanage.