Smile Group Update

February 2, 2010

Just yesterday, Leslie Wiener from Smile Group, the organization that connected us to the families we profiled in November’s “Living Positive” cover story, sent us an update on what the organization has been up to. Smile Group provides assistance to families affected by HIV/AIDS in Ho Chi Minh City, and from the looks of these photos, they’re living up to their name and putting a lot smiles on kids’ faces.

The kids go for tutoring at the office on Sundays, where the older kids are proud to help the younger ones. Smile Group also arranges for tutoring at their homes during the week.

There’s also some time for yoga classes on Sunday, thanks to the contribution of Aussie expat volunteer Lex.

Our friend Vy looks like she takes the meditation component very seriously…

Two French interns also helped out throughout the month of January. Not only did they take the kids swimming every Saturday and Sunday, they also did fundraising, cooked crepes and staged a riveting (and sparkly) interpretation of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”!

Smile Group volunteer Ginette also returned to continue caligraphy lessons. And…

More time for music with singing classes.

And finally, this past Sunday, Duoc began an ongoing children’s rights workshop aimed at empowering the kids. Groups were given a description of an incident that violates children’s rights, which they read out loud and discussed. They then worked in small groups to create presentations.

Next up, Smile Group will be heading to the sea with the families. If you’d like to know more about Smile Group, volunteer or make a donation, visit

Contributed by Tom DiChristopher


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