Kind Woman Who Grew Up Homeless Now Fosters And Provides For More Than 340 Homeless Children

A kind woman who grew up homeless herself has devoted her life to taking care of more than 340 homeless children.

Huynh Tieu Huong, also known as Mother Huong, grew up in Vietnam and was abandoned on a doorstep as a child. The timeline of her life is one filled with heartbreaking difficulty, but she overcame and has become a bright light for so many beautiful children who have needed her help.

Mother Huong is not sure exactly when she was born, but she shared her story of how she came to create the Mother Huong Foundation which provides love, shelter, education and nourishment for hundreds of orphaned and disabled children.

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1968: My Birthday: Don’t Know

“Sadly, like many other homeless children, I don’t have the privilege of knowing when and where I was born. My ID says I was born in 1968, but I couldn’t prove it, so I decided to accept it as the starting point of my life. I may not know my exact date of birth, but the people who helped me through the first difficulties of my life, I am forever grateful to them. An old lady, whose name I can’t remember, accepted me in and taught me how to ask for food from strangers, even when she was homeless herself.”

“I hope she is somewhere in heaven and proud of me; her homeless girl she used to take care of,” Mother Huong shared.

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1978: In Adulthood

“It was 1978, the war had just ended, but for the Vietnamese, this meant rebuilding the country with fewer resources and even fewer crops. The old homeless woman who watched me, her health deteriorated, and she could not raise a growing child. However, by chance, she met a couple from Vinh Phu who wanted to adopt a child. Out of kindness, she sold me to the couple in the hope that I would have a better life. If she knew what happened after that, she would die of a broken heart. The adoptive father that the old woman trusted completely, conspired to sexually assault me, ​​and that horrible day has often returned in nightmares that haunt me. Fortunately, Lady Luck was on my side, and some kind neighbors took pity on me and helped me escape to Am Thuong station. From that moment on, the sky became my roof as I jumped from train to train, struggling to survive. On good days, I would almost faint from exhaustion and hunger. On bad days, I had to outrun the gangsters on the trains to stay intact. Those days were horrible, but I choose to remember them rather than forget them to make sure no other child goes through the same thing as me.”

1984: Self-Reliance

“As a sixteen-year-old girl, I did everything in my power to get food and survive, even doing low-paid jobs like washing dishes. But like every other homeless kid, I messed up, not to mention, I was seriously ill at the time. There was once just a pile of dirty dishes that I didn’t wash, and the owner, Tu, lost his temper. Most kids my age would be the ones vilified, but on the other hand, I lost hearing in my left ear because of the times he would hit me. The pure cruelty in his eyes at the time scared me for the rest of my life.”

“The story of my life is just one of many unfortunate lives experienced by homeless people,” Mother Huong said.

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1986: The Journey to Saigon and Finding My Surname

“The next thing I knew, I was riding the bus from Mien Dong station to Saigon to escape Tu. I washed cars for a living, but no matter where I went, gangsters were inevitably around, so I was always on my guard and suffered many sleepless nights. A few months later, I meet the man who changed my life forever, for the better. He came across as an average man, just an everyday bus driver who goes by the name Huynh Van H. He was kind enough to adopt me as his foster daughter and blessed me with his surname, Huynh. His wife also had a big heart and loved me as if I was her own. Their other kids, my foster brothers and sisters, however, did not see me as their equal and would often bully me and call me names. I knew this home would not last and with a heavy heart, I bid my farewell.”

1987: I Begin Serving The Homeless

“As fate would have it, one morning, I found a little girl on my doorstep, just as I was left on someone’s doorstep. Not adopting this little girl would have left her at the mercy of the fate I once had, so naturally, I adopted her and named her Anh Dao. After that, I moved to Bach Dang port and worked various part-time jobs such as selling coffee, chewing gum and cigarettes at the harbor to sustain both of us financially. I was often treated badly by passers-by and worked to the point of exhaustion. There were many times that I wanted to take my own life, but the thought of leaving a child alone to fend for himself prevented me from doing anything unreasonable. He was the one who helped me keep fighting even when I was at the bottom of my life.”

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1989: From Homeless To Home

“I had the opportunity to learn some Chinese while working at Bach Dang port, which helped a lot in my future job as a tour guide. I ran into a tourist named Chao Lai and told him my life story. When he heard my story, he offered to help by lending me enough money to rent an apartment on Nguyen Hue Street and adopt Anh Dao. He was the benefactor who saved my life, and he lent me enough money to buy my first house. It was December 10, 1989, which happens to be the day I consider my birthday, because good things often happen on birthdays. Later when I grew up, I started a business and pursued philanthropic activities in the hope of helping those most in need.”

1993: From Huong to “Mother Huong”

“Joining the Vietnam Relief Association, I played an active role in humanitarian programs, helping orphans, lonely elderly people, ethnic minorities, flood victims, purchased wheelchairs for the disabled, created jobs for the underprivileged, and provided free meals for the homeless. People began to affectionately call me “Mother Huong”.”

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2001: The Establishment Of Our Charity Center

“The first charity center was established with the purpose of being a home and vocational training center for children, orphans and the disabled. Today, the charity center is supporting 350 homeless and disabled children with housing, food, health, education and careers. I would like to thank all of the sponsors, staff and volunteers who have given their all for this noble cause of service to humanity.”

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Mother Huong created the Mother Huong Foundation, and a volunteer shared how deeply meaningful their work is.

Mother Huong Foundation (MHF) was established to lovingly help children and take care of the unfortunate. Our founder and role model, Mother Huong, said that these children are not orphans, but her children. She loves and cares for them like any mother. A wise man once said that true religion is to take care of orphans and the poor. Mother Huong guides us to live with this as a grateful gift of love. Some say that people who believe in God are not measured by the love they have, but by the love they give. MHF is not only a charity organization, but also a conduit to share God’s love for humanity. Mother Huong has dedicated her life to homeless children and people with disabilities, to symbolize the love of God,” explains.

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In this noble journey, many organizations and governments have recognized Mother Huong’s selfless contributions to society by honoring her with many prestigious awards, but her most treasured rewards are the healthy lives which the children she fosters get to live.

“I want to be like mother and care for abandoned children.”
Huynh Tieu Quyen is a 7th grader raised at Mother Huong Foundation who wishes to grow up to be like Mother Huong. Quyen loves to help feed the less fortunate.

“Now I have a huge family I can trust.”
Nhi is a 9-year-old who is says that Mother Huong is gentle inside and out, teaching her to dance and sing. Nhi studies actively, helps around selflessly and always cares for others at the center.

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“I cannot imagine my life without mother.”
Bang is a proud 8th grader at the center, and loves studying math and kung fu.

“Mother Huong helps us be happy and healthy.”
11-year-old Thanh says that he likes to go to the park and go swimming.

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Mother Huong, for good reason, is known as the Mother Teresa of Vietnam.

Watch This Heartwarming Video Of A Volunteer Who Visited Mother Huong’s Center For Children:

You are Loved.


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