March 20 2009

Queen of Malaysia visits SOS Children's Village in Vietnam

18/03/2009 - The children at SOS Children's Village Mai Dich in Hanoi will remember Friday 13 March for a long time. That was the day that Tuanku Nur Zahirah, the Queen of Malaysia, visited families at the village and answered the children's questions.

Photo: SOS Archives
Queen Tuanku Nur Zahirah has lots of fans of all ages at SOS Children's Village Mai Dich - Photo: SOS Archives
"I like imagining the lives of kings and queens and I read about regalia in books. And I can now say that I've met a queen!" said Phan Thi Hoa. She and her siblings are still excited about the fact that they actually met a queen.

You could really sense the excitement and curiosity among the 168 children at the SOS Children's Village in Vietnam's capital Hanoi before the royal visit and it carried on until Queen Zahirah arrived at the SOS Children's Village. All the children, mothers and co-workers formed a welcoming committee for the guests that included other members of the royal family, Ministers and the Ambassador of Malaysia, and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.

Queen Zahirah visited various families and talked to both the children and their mothers. She asked about everyday life at the SOS Children's Village, so SOS mother Nguyen Thi Loi described family life and how each day unfolds at Mai Dich. The Queen seemed impressed in particular by the educational work and the modesty of the SOS Children's Village. She was completely fascinated by the kindergarten, where the children read poems and showed off their sketchbooks.

The President of Vietnam invited King Zainal Abidin and Queen Tuanku Nur Zahirah to make an official state visit to Vietnam, where there are now twelve SOS Children's Villages.