DescriptionThe legacy of Maison Chance Orphanage and Village: an interview with Tim Aline Rebeaud by Dr. Stephen Bui
An amazing story of Tim Aline Rebeaud from Switzerland who now made her home in Vietnam.
History: Maison Chance is above all a story about love. The love of a young 21-year-old-Swiss girl traveling through Asia, and a young 12-year-old-Vietnamese boy, who was seriously unwell.
In 1993, Aline Rebeaud, a young painter, arrived by chance at a psychiatric hospital in the south of Vietnam. She was instantly touched by this boy, chained and alone in the corner, who had been given just a few days left to live. With heart, liver and lung problems, Thanh was in a terrible state. Confronted by this boy, Aline Rebeaud could not stand by and do nothing. She took him to the hospital and watched over the boy, day and night, for three months. She was given the name “Tim” by the patients – “heart” in Vietnamese.
As she came and went from the hospital, she crossed paths with many disabled persons. They were left to the side and completely ignored by society. Tim decided to welcome them under her roof, extending her stay in Vietnam indefinitely. Orphans, street children and people with disabilities found refuge in this shack in a poor suburb of Ho Chi Minh City. All formed a big family, with this young 21-year-old girl as their mother, ready for anything in order to help them. People from the area renamed the shelter “Maison Chance”. In 1995, Tim started to fight for the education of Maison Chance beneficiaries. It was no longer only a question of providing a roof over their heads, but a question of educating them too. Literacy classes and an introduction to painting began. Simultaneously, a rehabilitation program for those with disabilities was put in place.
In 1999, the vocational training programs expanded. It was the beginning of information technology, sewing and textile design courses. The goal is to open up as many opportunities as possible for the disadvantaged children, orphans, street children and disabled persons to find their voice, allowing them to fly with their own wings.
In 2006, vocational training grew in scale. A center made specifically for training was established. The Take Wings center was born. Situated about 1km from the shelter, it consists of sewing, IT, woodwork and painting workshops. There are also two rooms for volunteers in the building.
Maison Chance is a springboard for orphans, street children, disadvantaged people and the physically handicapped in Vietnam. The mix of able-bodied and handicapped people, of adults and children living together in a family setting, is a unique characteristic of Maison Chance.
We provide housing, healthcare, education and vocational training, and a place where the underprivileged children and the disabled can study and work. It also offers them the means to facilitate their rehabilitation and their reinsertion into social life. At Maison Chance, the saying "Give A Man A Fish, Feed Him for A Day. Teach A Man to Fish, Feed Him for A Lifetime" is practiced every day.