Maison Chance is first and foremost a story of love – the love of a 21-year-old Swiss girl traveling across Asia in 1993 – for a young Vietnamese boy, who was seriously unwell.
During her journey painter Aline Rebeaud accidentally arrived at a psychiatric hospital south of Vietnam. The heavy fate of the 12-year-old boy named Thanh touched her deeply. Chained and left alone in a corner of the room, he was given just a few more days to live. With heart, liver and lung problems, Thanh was in a terrible state. Unable to accept the medical forecast, she took the boy under her wings and brought him to another institution where he received more appropriate medical care. For three months she looked after him. Soon the other patients and their relatives would call Aline ‘Tim’, the Vietnamese word for ‘heart’ – a name she carries to this day.
Spending so much of time at the hospital, she crossed paths with many disabled people treated like outcasts, ignored by society and even own families. In order to help them Tim extended her stay in Vietnam indefinitely, rented an accommodation and welcomed them under her roof. Orphans, street children and people with disabilities found a shelter in her small house in Binh Tan, that time a poor suburb of Ho Chi Minh City. Together they formed a big family, considering Tim as their mother, sister of friend. This shelter became home to the small community of destiny, which local started to call “Maison Chance”, the Maison Chance Shelter…
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