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Newsletter No.31 Oct. 2011
a grain of sand lodges itself inside
an oyster, it causes great discomfort for the oyster. The oyster begins
to defend itself from the discomfort. It creates a smooth, hard crystal
substance around the grain of sand, layer after layer which finally
produces a beautiful pearl. In this letter we would like to share with
you some stories of discomfort at Solar Serve which resulted finally in
creating beautiful pearls. We will start with a hard one.
Fred was born with a mental disorder. With a
childlike excitement he has been walking hundreds of kilometers every
year in order to support our projects. This year he was planning to
walk 160 km in 4 days. A few months before this event he felt very
heavy in his chest. The doctor did not find anything but a few days
before the 4-day walk, he suddenly had a heart attack and was rushed to
the hospital. They saved his life and through medicine, care and rest
Fred has recovered well. It was not easy to understand the reason of
the attack, but for sure more layers were added to this precious pearl.
Thang (13yrs), the son of
our director, is eager to help us
with our website. He is working together with our staff but if one is
working on his laptop the other one has to wait. When this was shared
with some friends they made contact with a charity organization. The
organization had just installed a secondhand laptop for one lady, but
she called it off. When our friends called them they donated the laptop
to Thang immediately. At the same time a friend of a friend, who was
visiting Vietnam was able to bring it with him. The secondhand laptop
was not only a pearl for Thang but he also shone like a pearl when he
A group of young people
based in South Africa came to visit
Vietnam. They felt to stay a few days in Danang during their trip.
Traveling together for months, they were already shaping each other
like little pearls, so they were able to encourage us through their
experiences. We felt that their visit was a refreshment. We had lots of
question marks after we lost the land which we wanted to purchase for
the extension of our work. But their words and encourage-ment were like
a great comfort. It inspired us not to give up and the next story will
show you that after months of difficulties a beautiful pearl was formed.
When we lost the land we
asked ourselves what went wrong. We
felt such a peace that we did not want to hold back. One day someone
introduced us to a Social Entrepreneurs Support Program. Their aim is
to identify and support social entre-preneurs at their early stages of
development. Bich, our director, felt to participate in this program
along with 200 other entrepreneurs in Vietnam. There were three rounds.
In each round participants dropped out and finally Bich had to stand in
front of a panel. The result was made known on the first of September.
Amazingly, Bich was at the top of the list and was chosen as the best
social entrepreneur. After months of shaping, a beautiful pearl
appeared which came along with 20,000 dollars worth as seed money to
strengthen and to develop Solar Serve as a social enterprise.
Formed and shaped
Another pearl has been
shaped but under the surface. Mrs. Tho
had given med aup her job and joined her husband with her children at
the center. She took the responsibility of running the hospitality
which includes cleaning the center and cooking for our staff. It
requires commitment besides having a family. This has not always been
easy for her. This is the first time that she was away from her
village, relatives and friends. At least she has her own family around
her and now after several years she has been formed like another
precious pearl in our center and stands side by side with her husband.
We are still in need of
workers, but recently Hoang, a friend
of our staff, came to help us for several months. Also Thang (27 yrs),
an electrician, asked us if we could help him after he lost his job.
Now he is also working at our Center.
One of our support groups did a successful display for
thousands of people. They were able to demonstrate the solar cookers,
distributed our pamphlets and showed our YouTube video clips. (We added
clips and now you can find us also on Google
Some foreigners have been
visiting us in order to start solar projects in Vietnam. If they had
visited with us at an exhibition in
green technology held in Tam Ky two months ago, they should have been
very inspired. We came back with lots of information and made great
contacts. An article in the newspaper said that Vietnam plans to bring
renewable energy to around 600,000 households in rural, mountainous and
remote coastal areas by 2020.
We replaced the windmill
opposite our center where a park
will be built in the future. Hoang and Tuan are also researching a
hydraulic mill in order to generate electricity in the mountains.
That is all for now. Again thanks for your love and interest.
Please keep in touch,
Solar Serve team
Called to Serve