Today students from Western Sydney University were lucky enough to spend some time with some boys from the Green Bamboo Shelter in Ho Chi Minh City. Using playing equipment provided to us by AFL NSW/ACT, the group was able to use AFL as a means of connecting with the children who ranged from 6 through to 19.
Bill from the Vietnam Swans organised access to the ground at RMIT university and also arranged for the boys to come and meet with us. Each week the boys are invited to join the Vietnam for training, so doing AFL was not entirely new for all of the boys.
The Swans involvement with the shelter comes about from their desire to give back to their host community and assisting children in the shelter by organising activities such as our program today. Their involvement with organisations such as this becomes even more important when you hear the stories of some of the boys in the shelter. Bill relayed the story of one of the boys who on the way home from an activity pointed out his home, which did not add up given he is at a boys shelter. Upon enquiring about the boy Bill was advised that the house was owned by the boys great grandmother who was 96 and could not care for him and all other family members had passed away with illness.
Against this sort of background it was great to be able to spend a few hours with the boys and see AFL putting some smiles on their faces. Some of the boys were pretty good, who know we might have been playing with AFL stars in the making. The boys from the shelter teamed up with Bill and Tim from the Swans to take on the students from Western Sydney. The official score, Green Bamboo Shelter 24 WSU students 0.