Last Sunday, (November 18th) a team of amateur footballers from Lufthansa Köln (Cologne), visited HCMC from Germany and took part in a great day of fun and football with 40 children from shelters and orphanages in HCMC.
The event was organised by SCC with support from local NGO, 5giosang (5am) and the whole thing was hosted by RMIT on their superb sports field. To kick-off (sorry!) there was 7-a-side tournament, involving teams made up of a mixture of children, RMIT students and Lufthansa team members. A wonderful experience for the children involved as they had a chance to play with “giant” teammates, and, regardless of the result, everyone enjoyed the friendly competition in the sunshine.
Following the fun and games things got a little more serious when a ‘friendly’ 11-a-side football match was held between the RMIT Students Football Club and Lufthansa. In spite of the super-hot weather both teams put on an entertaining display of ability and skill. At half time the game remained goalless but early in the second period RMIT opened the scoring. However their celebrations were short-lived when the Lufthansa captain equalised to the delight of the visiting team. The game continued to be closely fought but, in the end, youth won over experience, which was perhaps not surprising given the baking heat. RMIT finished off with two more goals producing a final score of 3-1.
Lufthansa’s players had fun with kids
After an excellent lunch provided with help from Global Café the team headed off to visit Thien An Shelter for blind children where they presented a cheque for $2,500 and were thanked with music and singing from the children there.
The Lufthansa group of 30 or so people of varying ages enjoyed their visit to Vietnam, taking the opportunity to do some sightseeing but, without doubt, meeting and taking part in this event with the local children and RMIT students was the highlight of the trip so far and gave them lots of memories to take back to Germany. They left HCMC to head up to Hanoi where they were planning to take on the might of the US Consulate football team – we wish them well!
Lufthansa has a strong connection with children in Vietnam. Some years ago staff at Lufthansa set up an independent charity called HelpAlliance. The company lends its support but all of the fundraising and work is done by volunteers from Lufthansa staff, customers and partners.
HelpAlliance have funded work in Vietnam for many years, mainly through the work of one individual called Dominik Kopp. Recently he teamed up with SCC and a partnership was formed. Together SCC and HelpAlliance work on a project called “Working With Others” which funds local Vietnamese organisations which, in turn, work with children with a disability. This has proved very successful with small grants of $2,000-$5,000 being made to a wide range of organisations who also receive support to develop their organisations (capacity building) as well as providing educational opportunities directly to the children. SCC is very happy to be working in such a close way with Lufthansa through HelpAlliance.
Charity Game on Sunday morning