April 2017 visit to Vietnam

I had the opportunity to visit the Warm Hold Association Team in Vietnam in April. There is a lot of very good work being done by the team on several fronts, but I want to give you an update on some of the three housing projects we are working on.

Nguyen Hoang Phuong & Nguyen Thi Kim Phung

Kim Loan Nguyen was born in 1986 in Ninh Dien commune, Chau Thanh district, Tay Ninh province. She has two children. Nguyen Hoang Phuong (8 years old) and Nguyen Thi Kim Phung (7 years old). All have HIV.

Her husband died 4 years ago because of HIV/AIDS.  After he died, his family pushed her and the two children out of his parent’s house to live without support. Kim Loan Nguyen and the two children then moved into her parent’s house with the support of her younger brother as her health situation is very weak.

Case 1 Photo

Her daily support replies on her parent’s as she cannot work to earn a living and care of for kids.  With six of them in her parent’s house, the brother was recently married and his new wife is afraid of HIV infection and discriminates against her and the kids.  It is a difficult situation for her parents and they are sad they cannot solve this problem.

Her dream is to have private small house for her and her two children, located next to her parent’s house. She plans that when she dies, her parents and her brother would be able to provide support for the kids to go to school like other children without HIV.

Our team has worked to provide a new house for the three of them next to her parent’s house (See photos).  In addition, we have worked with the Local Women’s Union and AIDS Center to provide counseling for the sister-in-law so she can get to a position to help provide the much needed care and assistance for the two children when their mother has died.

Our teams goal is to keep these wonderful children in a loving and caring family situation, so they can grow up with the support needed to successfully face the many issues related to their HIV infection.

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Ngo Ngoc Han & Ngo Vo Truong

I went to visit the family of Ms. Vo Thi Thu Hang. She was born in 1975, living in Hiep Thanh commune, Go Dau district, Tay Ninh province. She was infected with HIV from her husband, a mason, who went working far from home and got HIV/AIDS. He has since died.

They have 5 children, the oldest was born 1993 and youngest 2007. The three older are without the HIV infection. Unfortunately, the two younger ones, Ngo Ngoc Han (13 years old) and Ngo Vo Truong (10 years old), are both infected.

Case 2 Photo

The six people had been living in a poor cottage that nearly collapsed. That qualified them for a small government loan for housing with a 10-year payment of low interest.

The $1,000 loan allowed them to construct a very basic structure with roof, but without walls. So that, when rain comes, it gets very wet inside. Not to mention the critters, or others, who can walk in any time. Ms. Hang has valvular heart disease, and with the added complications of the HIV infection,  is expected to not live much longer.

Currently, three of oldest children (not pictured) have quit school to earn wages with the total of about $15 – $20USD per day (depending on sunshine or rain) to support living cost for the six people.

The Warm Hold Association, working with both US and local donations, has now started to implement significant improvements to the home including wall and toilet. This will provide a healthier, safer and more secure environment for the family. We will provide updates as the construction progresses.

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Dang Thi Thu Thao

Dang Thi Thu Thao is a 4-year-old girl with HIV. Her mother, Tran Thi Kim Uyen was born in 1983 in Hang Gon village, Hang Gon commune, Long Khanh town. Like many women in Vietnam, she has been infected with HIV/AIDS from her husband who has since died. She also suffered a stroke resulting in some paralysis and has diabetes. She passed on the HIV infection to her daughter though childbirth or breast feeding.

Case 3 Photo

The family lives in a temporary house near the rubber forest in Hang Gon hamlet. They have no productive land and no ability to repair the house which is almost destroyed. They get a small amount from social welfare for their daily existence. They are living in extreme poverty as they both fight their illnesses.

We are working on a plan to provide a house for the Thao family. By working with local donors and government agencies we will raise the necessary $1,500 for a new house, providing a safer and healthier living condition. I will keep you posted as we move forward with this new project.

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