A THANK YOU FROM OUR FRIENDS IN VIETNAM This video is by one of our volunteer interpreters as a thank you from orphanages and communities we helped in January 2016. Please email to sponsor, help or volunteer at any of these places. The case studies below show some of the challenges faced by our friends in Vietnam.
CASE STUDY: DISABLED STUDENTS IN CITY SHELTER This city shelter for girls and women is an example of the places we assist. From your donations, we have provided direct assistance, tutoring and student sponsorship for  school, job training and tertiary courses.  
an-binh5 Entrance com Meal time img_0450 Group photo at An Binh refuge with Aussie volunteer Maddy, at centre.  This city shelter/orphanage in which 15 female students board is a small house run by two nuns. At this orphanage, disabled and socially excluded girls and women receive accommodation and board. They are counselled regarding chances of employment. During the day they leave for study and work part-time to help support themselves. The orphanage is a small house of three rooms. One kitchen, one sitting room and one large bedroom. It is in a small alley on the side of a very busy road. At any one time, the orphanage accommodates around 15 residents. Problems of these people range from deafness, blindness, amputees, orphans, poor girls from the highlands, acid burn victims, abuse victims and the list goes on. Residents age from 12 to 35. All attendees of the orphanage are there to pursue dreams in education and occupation. Sister Lich has an average of keeping the girls safe for 2/5 years until their course is completed. There is not enough money for the girls to stay after the education is done. And they must find a job and a new home. Many girls do sewing, as well as, accounting, pharmacy; nursing, hairdressing, and finishing their schooling, with major and minor problems running in between the ages. This shelter is not officially recognised as a community service. Difficulties range from debt from the housing, food supplies, and education tools etc. Many of the girls live off basic needs and have been through very hard lives, such as attempts of murder from own parents, parental abuse, being poorest of the poor. Some grew up very sick, living with no clothes and starved etc. Some parents recently died or were victims of Agent Orange with cancers and discrimination. The orphanage is low on food supplies and utensils, furniture. As well as education tools, reading books, note books, computers, English learning books, educational games, and other items. Not all the children are orphaned or disabled. Some have disabled parents, or live there because parents won’t look after them. But there are also a few orphans, including a family whose parents were killed from falling rocks in a storm. The orphanage has difficulties of paying for the rent and finding a good home for the girls. For many years the orphanage had no space or house and struggled for food. They are in debt for the house and the residents cannot pay for both rent and education fees. Each year, we complete a project here. Past projects include desk top computers and printers, internet service, student library, weekly tutoring, school and tertiary course sponsorship, sewing machines for training, musical instruments for training, medical recovery costs after surgery.
img_0510-copy 100_2111 Hieu, above, and in red T-shirt in group photo with the other residents of the orphanage. Hieu came from Dien Hanh village, Nghe An province. She was an only child and both her parents have died. Hieu suffers embarrassment because of her facial scars, which are the result of an acid attack. Hieu’s mother had acid thrown at her face when Hieu was a 3-month old baby in her mother’s arms. Hieu was disfigured but survived. Her mother died. Her father took the baby to Vinh convent orphanage. Through the nuns, Hieu was treated with four skin graft operations at the burns unit of Hanoi Hospital. Following surgery, Hieu tried to start attending school, but was socially excluded and could not cope. After numerous surgeries and living at the shelter, Hieu has moved to earn a living work at a nearby clothing workshop. She returns to live at the shelter in between jobs or during periods of surgery. We have helped Hieu with job training and medical recovery costs. Her dream is to get a good job and obtain better reconstructive surgery.  
100_2115-copy H Quen is an indigenous woman with disabilities. She boards at an orphanage in Saigon. H Quen is one of the Gia Rai indigenous highland people. She was born in Chroh Ponan village, Gia Lai Province near Dak Lak. At birth, H Quen had a paralysed right arm and deformed feet. H Quen’s mother tried to follow her indigenous tradition to bury the deformed baby. But the grandmother stopped this and saved H Quen. H Quen wanted to attend school like other children, but could not walk. For some years, her mother carried her to school and back each day. By the time H Quen was eight years old she had taught herself to walk slowly. H Quen would have loved to play with other school children but was socially excluded due to her immobility. So her grandmother saved up for a bicycle, so that an older sister could take H Quen to school. But the family were too poor for the children to continue schooling. H Quen’s older sister left school at the end of Year 7 to help her mother’s farm labouring work. Indigenous communities often do not farm, but tend to work as farm labourers for others. When she was in Year 7, a local Vietnamese charity organization paid for foot surgery to enable H Quen to walk. She was in hospital for 3 months and took a year of rehab to walk. She then attended and completed high school. In Year 10, the high school was too far to walk, so H Quen was taken in by the Sisters of St Paul de Chartres in the town. She lived in the convent to Year 12 and then the sisters supported her to have surgery to her hand. H Quen’s father died while she was at high school. After graduating from high school, H Quen returned home to help her mother. In 2012, H Quen went to an orphanage in Saigon where she could study a medical course at Trung Cap college (TAFE) level. H Quen has commenced a nursing/medical course in 2012 at Technical College level (Vietnamese Trung Cap) and will graduate at the end of 2014. Her mother is alive but father is deceased. She needs textbooks and a laptop. When she finishes she will go back to work in her home village. Her family are farmers, father died early so mother raised her and her sister. Now, H Quen is still not able to walk easily, so she is absolved from physical training at college. H Quen is intelligent and hard-working.  
dsc_0283 Thuy Tien and her mother Huong with Sister Tu, case worker for many of the women who come to her convent for help.  dsc01124 Baby Tien with mother after the operation.  Huong is a foster mother. When she and her husband realised they could not have children of their own, they adopted Thuy Tien at birth from an unmarried mother. When I met Huong at the convent she had just been to the hospital with her adopted baby. She had travelled all the way from Nghe An province, an area with many poor villages. At the Hanoi Heart Hospital she discovered that her baby Thuy Tien will die from a heart condition unless the hospital operates. Huong arrived at the convent to seek help at the same time that I was visiting. With tears in her eyes, she explained that she had used up her family’s money to travel to Hanoi and get the hospital examination for her baby. Our sponsorship towards the medical costs were based on the Hospital’s heart operation quotation.  
Through our fund, Australians have sponsored 22 women for tertiary courses. These students were attached to women's monastic communities (convents) in Central Vietnam. nguyen-thi-huong-giang_ Giang Trung Cấp Y Sài Gòn. Nursing certificate with possible pharmacy graduate diploma, Saigon. Sponsored by X & J, a Canberra Australian-Vietnamese couple. nguyen-thi-thuy_9 Thủy Trung cấp xét nghiệm máu Sài Gòn. Blood test certificate with extension to degree. Sponsored by Dennis McManus & Peter Kabaila   ngo-thi-huong Hương Cao Đẳng GD đặc biệt Nha Trang. Disability Care certificate, Nha Trang. Sponsored by Clive West   tuyet-profile-photo-copy Tuyết Special education, Saigon. Sponsored by Michael & Adrienne Varga.   nhung-feb-2012 Nhung Trung Cấp Y Sài Gòn. Nursing certificate level, Saigon. Sponsored by Minh & Loan Tran & Peter Kabaila.   nguyen-thi-thuong Thường Cao Đẳng GD đặc biệt Nha Trang. Disability Care certificate, Nha Trang. Sponsored by Leigh Kabaila.   7dsc_0058-50-copy Hiệp ĐH Anh văn Huế. Language teaching (English), Hue. Sponsored by Leigh Kabaila.   9edsc_0115-copy-23-copy Huyền ĐH Anh văn Huế. Language teaching (English), Hue. Sponsored by Clive West.   9pdsc_0057-15-copy Đương Trung Cấp Y Sài Gòn. Pharmacy certificate level Saigon. Sponsored by T & T, a Canberra Australian-Vietnamese couple.   8dsc_0057-42-copy Hà Trung Cấp Y Da Nang. Nursing certificate, Da Nang. Sponsored by Karna & Julian O’Dea.   nguyen-thi-tuyet_24 Tuyết Trung Cấp Y Sài Gòn. Medical courses, pharmacy certificate level, Saigon. Sponsored by Hung & Kim Nguyen.   nguyen-thi-nga Nga Trung Cấp Y Da Nang. Nursing certificate, Da Nang. Sponsored by Geoff & Rachelle Stannard.   9pdsc_0057-16-copy Hải Trung Cấp Y Sài Gòn. Pharmacy certificate, Saigon. Sponsored by Jan and Julie Kulikowski.   ho-thi-anh-dao_28 Đào Trung Cấp Y Da Nang. Nursing certificate, Da Nang. Sponsored by Road to Success team. Contact person: Victoria Grounds.   pham-thi-dao Đào Trung Cấp Y Da Nang. Medicine (General physician), Da Nang. Sponsored by Cela Cooper. pham-thi-chung Chung Trung Cấp Y Vinh. Medical course to nursing certificate level in Vinh. Sponsored by Anne Wiggan.     mai-thi-luyen-profile-photo-copy Luyện Trung cấp sư phạm  mầm non Pre-school intermediate teaching education, Da Nang. Sponsored by Marlene Mulcahy.   nhung-not-sure-feb-2012 Nhung Trung cấp sư phạm mầm non Pre-school teaching, Da Nang. Sponsored by Cathy Moffitt on behalf of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Chancery Staff.   vien-thi-phuong-nga Nga Trung cấp y sĩ đa khoa General Physician intermediate certificate, Da Nang. Sponsored by Proceeds from book launch. Smiths Alternative Bookshop.   nguyen-thi-nhan_light Nhân Thần học Sài Gòn. Theology, Saigon. Sponsored by Bernadette Braithwaite.   nguyen-thi-dieu Diệu Thần học Sài Gòn. Theology, Saigon. Sponsored by Bernadette Braithwaite.   hoang-thi-hanh_4 Hạnh Thần học Sài Gòn. Theology, Saigon. Sponsored by Bernadette Braithwaite.  
Through our fund, Australians  sponsored Danh, an orphanage resident, for a computer course. p1090247-copy Danh