About the center
The Que Huong Charity Center is located about 40 minutes drive outside of Ho Chi Minh City. There are between 300 and 400 children living at the center at any given time. The children live scarcely, with no toys, books, or writing tools. They sleep on slatted wooden platforms, or on the tile floor. Their teachers and caregivers are volunteers who live at the center for various reasons; sometimes they are unwed mothers working in exchange for room and board as an alternative to abandoning their children; sometimes they are grown children who didn't (or couldn't) leave the center.
The founder and director of the center, Huynh Tieu Huong, was herself an orphan. Her life circumstances allowed her the opportunity to provide a safe space for other abandoned children and she is known around Vietnam for her philanthropic efforts. The children all share Ms. Huong's last name. She calls them her children, and they call her "Me," the Vietnamese word for "Mother".
Because the center is privately run, the government of Vietnam will not allow these children to be adopted. That means that all children who are brought to the center will be in the custody of Ms. Huong and the center until they age out.