Diners get with Project

Merle Taylor with Hoang Kim restaurant owner and former refugee Le Kinh.
Merle Taylor with Hoang Kim restaurant owner and former refugee Le Kinh.

In 2010, the nurse and diabetes educator travelled to South-East Asia, where she spent half her trip helping in an orphanage. The time spent with the children was life-changing.

She is now involved with Project Vietnam, a Queensland-based charity, that is expanding into WA.

Ms Taylor said she was attracted to Project Vietnam because every dollar raised goes to those in need.

‘There are no administration fees,’ Ms Taylor said. ‘The whole lot goes to Vietnam and Cambodia.’

The money raised goes towards building projects and medical kits for mothers and babies in hospitals, with all goods bought over there.

Project Vietnam, which works in conjunction with the Red Cross, also takes wheelchairs to Vietnam and Cambodia.

Ms Taylor said there was a huge need in Vietnam and Cambodia for the basics.

‘The orphanage we went to in Vietnam had a benefactor, but the orphanage we went to in Cambodia did not. There were three children to a bed,’ she said.

A fundraiser for Project Vietnam is being held at Hoang Kim restaurant in Guildford. Le Kinh and her husband, who own the restaurant, were boatpeople who arrived in Australia in 1978 after spending time in a refugee camp in Malaysia.

‘Australia was our first choice,’ she said. ‘Our second was the United States, the third, anywhere.’

Mrs Kinh is delighted to be able to assist the fundraiser.

‘Because a lot of people over there are very poor,’ she told the Community Newspaper Group.’

Mrs Kinh also worries for the children in country areas of Cambodia and Vietnam who do no have ready access to hospitals and medical supplies.