December 5, 2022

Return to Vietnam for Yen

By Margaret Sheard

This is such a sad story but thankfully with a happy ending. The happy ending is thanks to Steve Sydenham Snr.

2. Steve Sydenham Snr.The story begins when Hai and Yen came to North Cyprus from Vietnam in 2010 to try and build a good life for themselves and their son who was then 2½ years old and was to remain with his grandmother until they could send for him. Although Yen has been in contact with her son, she hasn’t seen him for 3 years. When Hai and Yen left Hanoi their son, Dwan, was sleeping, they didn’t want him to see them leaving. The sad part of the story is that although the couple worked hard and couldn’t do enough for people, their final job at Bamboo Beach Club devastated their lives, with the owner leaving the island, no payment having been made to them for a long period of time and they also found they did not have the promised work permits in place.

The couple managed to gather together 1. Yenenough money for Hai to return to Vietnam a couple of weeks ago to look for work and return to life back in their homeland but this left Yen in North Cyprus with no means of support.

Steve Sydenham Snr, a British expatriate, was aware of their plight and was determined to help Yen to re-join her family. An event was planned for 19th August at the Habana Bar of the Santoria Holiday Village and Steve asked the media, including cyprusscene, to promote the event to raise funds for an air ticket for Yen and maybe a little extra to help the family.

I was unable to attend the event due to a prior commitment, although I called in at the start to say hello to Yen and wish her well. 6. SupportersAs a token I donated 5 items for the raffle or tombola on behalf of Chris and I and the website, which was the least I could do to help this unfortunate lady.

We have now received news that the fundraising event was a huge success, there were many people there and the result for the evening was a tremendous 3,445TL. The air fare will be 1,500TL so there is a nice amount to enable Yen to buy her son a nice present and give the family a bit extra to get them on their feet again. The breakdown is as follows :-

Raffle: 930TL
Tombola: 530TL
Cash donations: 1985TL

As the event was about to start Steve received a telephone call from Hai in Hanoi to ask him to thank all of the people very sincerely for their help and support and he said he was very grateful to everyone.

A big vote of thanks should be given to St5. Supporterseve Sydenham Snr. for master-minding this event but Steve also wishes to pass on his thanks to all of the supporters and helpers so we are giving his information below:-

By Steve Sydenham Snr

Cash donations

300TL from Soner of KibKom and the new KibKom Times Online Newspaper.
300TL from the Little Society of Kyrenia
200TL from Lena & Willi from the Dog Hotel
200TL from Hussain of the Habana Bar at Santoria Village + 50tl from the auction of a bottle.
145TL from Rebecca & Gary at Santoria Village

Plus many, many kind cash donations, some coming from tourists, including one lovely family leaving Santoria as we arrived to set up who handed me 115tl as Dhelia had told them what we were about to do.

I would also like to thank KibKom, Lemon Grove, 4. SupportersCyprusscene, Cyprus Today and Cyprus Star for publicising the event so well.

I would also like to thank very sincerely Maxine and my lovely Vanessa for running the Tombola (ably assisted too by Maxine’s grand-daughters)

Vanessa (wife of Nick) for all her incredible sales skills selling raffle tickets.

Dhelia, who worked her socks off behind the bar all night unpaid as an extra donation and looked after us all night long.

Rebecca & Gary, who also worked their socks off all night, yet never stopped smiling, and served a beautiful chilli

Hussain, for laying on a first class venue for the event and gave generously to the cause and again never stopped smiling all night.3. Supporters

To all the people who pitched in and helped fold raffle tickets.

To the people at the table who managed to win several prizes in the raffle and then kindly donated a bottle of Brandy to me as I hadn’t won a thing!!

Sue & Ahmet. Sue sadly had to return to the UK due to some sad personal news, but had done a lot prior to her departure to assist with the planning.

Ahmet, despite being left here to fend for himself until Sue’s return has done a tremendous amount of work for Hai & Yen, he has sorted out all the paperwork and had meetings with the police and immigration people to ensure the departures of Hai & Yen go smoothly.

Ahmet is very busy workwise but has put himself out no end and is arranging another meeting now with immigration for Yen. As soon as that is sorted, Ahmet thinks three or four days and then we should be able to get Yen on a flight home to Vietnam.

So a big thank you to both Sue & Ahmet for everything they have done. There is no doubt that without Ahmet things would have been much more difficult to sort out.

7. Steve Sydenham Snr.And last, but by no means least thank you to EVERYONE LAST ONE OF YOU who donated cash and prizes and made the evening so successful and enjoyable all round.

So there we have it, a very successful evening organised by a very caring person and I am sure Yen, and her husband Hai, will both remember everyone for the rest of their lives, for the help and support shown, and especially Steve who took it upon himself to help this stranded couple to get out of the despair caused by an unfeeling and uncaring employer.


Good luck to Hai and Yen for a good future with your son in Vietnam.

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