DIỄN TRÌNH LỊCH SỬ TRUNG TÂM CÔ NHI VIỆN PHẬT GIÁO SUỐI NGUỒN TÌNH THƯƠNG SONG NGỮ
Bản Tiếng Anh:
Location: The Suối Nguồn Tình Thương Buddhist Orphanage Center lies in the southwest of Vietnam (also called the Mekong Delta or the Nine Dragon river delta), in Tam Binh Town, Tam Binh District, Vinh Long Province. It is about 30km away from Vinh Long City and 28km away from Can Tho City. The total area of the Suối Nguồn Tình Thương Buddhist Orphanage Center is 5,500m2.
The Suối Nguồn Tình Thương Buddhist Orphanage Center is about 500m away from the center of Tam Binh Town. The population of the town is not too high. Houses and offices are very close to each other. Most of the inhabitants belong to the Kinh ethnic group. They are all literate. There are schools, stations, hospitals, firm bridges and roads. The majority of people here are small traders. Most of the rest are farmers and gardeners. They are good-natured, progressive, and hospitable.
THE PROCESS OF THE VIETNAMESE BUDDHIST ORPHANAGE CENTER "SUỐI NGUỒN TÌNH THƯƠNG" HISTORY:
Historical circumstances: In September 2007, at My Hoa Commune which is on a side of Hau River, in Binh Minh District (next to Tam Binh District), Vinh Long Province, a terrible work accident happened. The collapse of two 30-metre spans of Can Tho Bridge caused the fall of the scaffold on hundreds of workers and engineers. The victims were weighed down by over 10,000 tons of concrete, iron and steel. This has been the biggest work accident in Vietnam so far. Death and grief covered the whole My Hoa Commune, drawing the attention of public opinion in Vietnam and the world. The missions of rescue, relief and share of losses and bereavement with victims’ families were carried out right after the accident. However, the losses of people and possessions were very serious. Most of the victims’ families were penniless. More important, it was a terribly big wound for the children whose parents and relatives had died in the accident. Wandering and uneducated orphans have increased, raising the anxiety of increasing social evils.
Concerns & Actions: Feeling pity for the victims and their families, and with the mercy in Buddhists’ nature, Buddhist monks and nuns of Phuoc Quang Pagoda and many lay Buddhists in Vietnam and other countries contributed many times to appeals and relief for the victims’ families. However, we were obsessed and tormented with innocent eyes of those children who did not understand what are alive and dead, crying for their parents. We, Thich Phuoc Ngoc and everyone, recognized the urgent need of home for the orphans, which are the young victims of the accident in particular and wandering kids in and outside Vinh Long Province in general. They really need a place to love and to be loved like family, to live, to study, to grow up mentally and physically, to have good human dignity, and to become useful citizens for the country and for the religion.
On August 19, 2008, Reverend Thich Phuoc Ngoc created a humane and practical project for social charity and submitted it to UBCV Provincial Committee (UBCV: Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam) and People’s Committee of Vinh Long. Then, the Buddhist Orphanage Center, with large size and quality and quantity standards, rose with the name The Suối Nguồn Tình Thương.
- PROCEDURES AND DESIGN COMPLETION
- On August 21, 2008, Buddist Provincial Committee of Vinh Long issued the document No. 159/BTS, approving the construction project for the Suối Nguồn Tình Thương Buddhist Orphanage Center.
- On September 15, 2008, Director of Vinh Long Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs sent the submission No. 520/TTr-SLĐTB&XH with the project attached to the Chairman of the People’s Committee of Vinh Long.
- On September 19, 2008, the People’s Committee of Vinh Long issued the decision No. 1780/QĐ-UBND, approving the establishment of the Suối Nguồn Tình Thương Buddhist Orphanage Center with legal entity status and its own stamp and account.
- From December 12, 2008 to July 07, 2009, all the administrative and legal procedures, such as construction permission, regulations, and purpose statement for the Orphanage Center were completed. At the same time, with the instruction from Reverend Thich Phuoc Ngoc, the architectural drawing of the Orphanage Centre were unanimously added to the category of the 18-metres-high statue of Thi Kinh Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. This drawing has both spiritual and classic Vietnamese beauty, ensuring both art and technique aspects so that the kids could grow up well mentally and physically, be educated and become skilled labours. That is how the Orphanage Center looks like today.
- CONSTRUCTION AND COMPLETION
- It is the first step that counts: After completing the paper work, land clearance and land leveling had to be done to create a way to the Orphanage Centre before construction began. Despite some first difficulties, the matter was solved. The way to the Orphanage Center was cleared so that machines and equipment could be brought to the main area to begin pile driving for this meaningful charitable project.
- Mounting difficulties: The Orphanage Center started to be built right in the time period that the global economy was in crisis. The Vietnamese economy was affected impacted significantly. The price of construction materials increased every day. Therefore, financial resource mobilization for the Orphanage Center met more and more difficulties and obstacles. The first period of construction was mostly based on the Triple Gem fund of Phuoc Quang Pagoda and contributions or lending from zealous lay Buddhists.
- Endless compassion, belief and gratitude: Through all stages on the Buddhist road traversed in and outside the country, Reverend Thich Phuoc Ngoc as well as many lay Buddhists are always concern, worry, and appeal for the contribution to build the Orphanage Center. Empathizing with the wishes in practicing the Bodhisattva way to save all beings, unlucky children in particular, each person has contributed certain mental powers and financial resources which have been accumulated over time. Together with mercy, predestinated elation, and free will, many benefactors from small traders, farmers to entrepreneurs, groups, and charity organizations from everywhere are looking forward to the date of completion of the Orphanage Center so that many homeless and helpless children could be brought in, raised and trained. Overcoming material difficulties, with Compassion, Wisdom, and Courage of Buddhists, monks and nuns of Phuoc Quang Pagoda, and founding board with the kind concern and support of the government and local authorities, and highly valuable assistance of many benefactors in and outside the country are counting the days until September 19, 2012 on the Lunar Calendar (i.e. November 02, 2012) which is the Celebration date of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s Leaving Home and also the date of completion of the Suối Nguồn Tình Thương Buddhist Orphanage Center. That will be the day when the orphans and fellows of the founding board are overwhelmed with happiness, after the ups and downs of the construction period.
CLOSE THE FIRST JOURNEY AND OPEN A NEW ONE
Each footstep of Shakya Muni Buddha leaves marvelous tenets for human life and pages in history of saving all beings in Saha World. Mirroring ourselves in that, let us, the posterity, remind each other to practice and follow the Father of Buddhism so that human life could escape from ignorance, be in the mood of peace and contentment, and be born again in heaven.
Writing down the process of the Suối Nguồn Tình Thương Buddhist Orphanage Center history is sending the gratitude from the founder to the benefactors who has been contributing to the achievement, and hoping and reminding future generations to keep the wishes, to bring into play and multiply the mercy, and not to go breaking the hearts of many predecessors who had been taking great pains with the foundation.
Sand in the hand also has compassion.
A brick also has great gratitude.
A project with many difficulties
Overcoming all, I see the infinite goodness of people.
I send here ten thousand thanks.
I carve here all my heart.
With a hopeful history,
I am grateful to those who have greatly contributed.
Today is a new page of history,
When a bright road is open for the innocent kids.
On a journey with many wishes,
I am praying for happy results.
The Spring is never dry.
Human Compassion is making a great history.
Founder and Director of the Suối Nguồn Tình Thương Buddhist Orphanage Center
THICH PHUOC NGOC