Allambie Orphanage literally has a mountain to climb to help ensure its future. Allambie was established in 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Suzanne Thi Hien Hook, herself an orphan of the American War.
Allambie’s mission statement is “to provide a home where orphaned/disadvantaged children will be loved, educated, and cared for in a family environment where each child has one to one encouragement to help them look forward to the future”.
Suzanne and Allambie rely on donations and fundraising to be able to continue looking after and giving opportunities to the children under their loving care. Fast forward to its latest and most challenging fundraiser yet – the highest peak in Vietnam, Mount Fansipan.
On 3rd & 4th October 2017, Suzanne Thi Hien Hook and a team of 17 people will ascend more than 10,000 feet to the top of the tallest mountain in Indochina for Allambie Orphanage. Mount Fansipan is located in the far north of Vietnam, very close to the Chinese boarder in Sapa province, and is by no means a simple obstacle.
It will be particularly demanding to Team Fansipan – a group of 18 members of the extended Allambie Orphanage family, be it through volunteering, sponsoring or supporting. It is fair to say that Team Fansipan is made up of “mixed athletic abilities” – including one anonymous member who wondered if they could climb in heels (Suzanne) and another who thought that gym was a friend from school (Stu). Two of the Allambie children, Bi and Nhi, are also participating, making this a truly unique and inspiring event.
Nhi says “I wanted to do the climb to give something back to Allambie, who have helped me get an education and I am now at college studying a multimedia course. Allambie is my home – I feel wanted and loved and, with Allambie’s help, my dream of working in the multimedia industry is becoming true!”
Team Fansipan includes Matt Ryan and Stu Miller, the two co-founders of Saigon SOS – an organization that runs fun events and projects to support communities and charities in Vietnam. As well as climbing Fansipan, Saigon SOS have also helped Allambie through their Love Vietnam FUNdraiser party, partnered by the Vietnam Is Awesome group on Facebook. Matt and Stu formed a bond with the Allambie children through a combination of Love Vietnam, roast dinners cooked by Suzanne, and a trip they organized for Allambie to visit The Grand Ho Tram Stip, a luxury resort on the south coast of Vietnam.
Team Fansipan are hoping to raise £10-15,000 for Allambie and are already well on their way to that total. Although they will be helped by an experienced guide, the group are a combination of apprehensive and excited, as this is new ground for them all. The climb all the way to the top of Fansipan will take 2 days, including one night sleeping on the mountain.
Allambie’s founder and chief, Suzanne has her own reasons for feeling challenged. “I do not like walking or any form of exercise! I live in high heels and I hate trainers. I love food that is deep-fried, full of fat and cream, and my weakness is a big bowl of crispy roast potatoes cooked in goose fat! I’m not sure what I’m more scared about – climbing the mountain or having to give up my heels for trainers!”
Despite the size of the task facing them, Team Fansipan are thoroughly determined to conquer Mount Fansipan for the future of the children of Allambie Orphanage and to show that anything is possible with the right motivation. The best of luck to Team Fansipan!
If you would like to donate in support of the Allambie climb please visit Suzanne’s Just Giving page