2007: Planning Stage I

Mr Tong Phuoc Phuc and Sister Thao from Holly Cross Society

Our journey began with a visit to Mr. Tong Phuoc Phuc’s house in Nha Trang, an eight-hour drive from Saigon in early 2007. It was a small brick house full of love and laughter, a sanctuary for orphans and young expectant mothers.


2007: Planning Stage Part II

Meeting with Sister Thanh Mai, the architect and the contractor

Our vision was to build an orphanage to provide a warm loving roof to the thousands of orphans in Vietnam. We raise funds and joined hands with Sister Thanh Mai from the Holy Cross Society (Dong Men Thanh Gia) to build an orphanage in the village of Ham Tan, a four hour drive from Saigon. Ham Tan is a poor district with a population of 78,000 people. Seventy percent of its population is employed in the fisheries industry.


2009: Inauguration of New Beginnings Mai Am

Getting ready to greet the guests

Construction was completed in early 2009. New Beginnings Mai Am orphanage is a two-story building and can house over a hundred orphans, a dozen expectant young mothers, several nuns and a staff of sixteen daily caregivers. There were over two hundred guests, friends, supporters from Saigon and from the States who came to the inauguration.


2009: Providing medical care to the orphans of New Beginnings Mai Am

Checking a patient for abdominal problem

In March of 2009, our first team of Vietnamese doctors from the hospital in Saigon and young American physicians from Loyola Medical School in Chicago took the four-hour bus drive to the orphanage. Medical care was given to all the orphans and the handicapped patients from the village.


2009: Providing medical care to the villagers of Ham Tan

Confering with Sister Thanh Mai about the transferring a patient to the hospital

The sick and handicapped villagers of Ham Tan were invited to the orphanage for free medical services. Our team of Vietnamese and American doctors treated more than one hundred patients. We distributed medicines, rice, flour and gifts to the villagers. Each patient also received five dollars.



Dr. Lehoand holding a child

Dr. Lehoand holding a child

On the morning of March 31st 2012, twenty six of us, all starry-eyed at 5am, departed Saigon for a 4 hour bus ride to Lagi, Ham Tan where our orphanage is located. Our group included six medical doctors, two pharmacists and many eager volunteers. 


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New Beginnings Mai Am is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Our EIN is 61-1540767. Your contribution is fully tax-deductible.