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CJ van Vuuren

In This Article:

NAME:

CJ van Vuuuren

FROM:

South Africa

LIVED IN THAO DIEN FOR…?

7 years in Saigon, 2 in Thao Dien.

ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN THAO DIEN:

Stay home and look after the kitties, haha.
I also like to play pool at High Tide, attend Saigon Outcast events, and join the Book Club at Snap Cafe.

FAVORITE FOOD:

Indian or Middle Eastern. Anything vegan with a flavor.

FAVORITE COLOR:

Purple for sure!

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU:

I have an unhealthy obsession with mythology, specifically Greek myths and mythical creatures.

 

KNOWN FOR:

Rescuing cats and kittens. I run AWAsome – Animal Welfare Awareness Movement and Cat Sanctuary.

AWAsome is a charity movement that promotes animal welfare, helps abandoned cats and kittens with rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming.

Kittens come to us in various conditions of health and we care for them until they are ready for adoption. We also try to educate the local community on the ethical treatment of pets.

I started rescuing kittens as a teenager but didn’t officially start rescuing until 2015. I joined ARC’s foster team in 2016 but realized that they were completely overwhelmed too, so I went independent.

I ran a club at school, with some teens, to promote animal welfare awareness, and that’s how we came upon the name AWAsome. In 2019 I officially launched as an independent rescue with the name AWAsome. I now have a team of 35 fosters who are all very dedicated.

At the moment I only have 5 of my own cats and the occasional rescue with me.
I wake up quite early and let the cats out in the yard (all fenced off, of course). Then I take care of the food and playtime before going to school.

In my free time, between classes, or during lunch, I spend time on social media, trying to find adopters or making designs for the kitties. I also spend a lot of time helping my fosters with advice or arranging vet schedules.

Saturdays are the real “work” days. On Saturdays we do vaccinations, adoptions, and most vet-related things.

I’m a qualified teacher, with a major in English Subject Didactics. At the moment I teach English Language Arts at Wellspring Saigon International Bilingual School. I love my job, but I hope to one day start a proper NGO and spend my days caring for the animals.

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