Before ChildFund came to Vy Huong, it was a very poor commune. There was a critical need for water and sanitation facilities. People did not have their own toilets and children were often ill due to poor hygiene. Now, almost every household in the commune has a bathroom and toilet, and sanitation and water facilities have been constructed in schools.
Before, our irrigation canal system was made of soil and was easily damaged in heavy rains, which left families without a secure source of food and income. Now, we have an effective concrete cement system which provides a stable source of water for crop production.
Before, classrooms were small and in bad condition. Parents had to make bamboo chairs and tables themselves for the children to use at school. Children never attended school before the age of five and even then there was a shortage of teachers. Now, we have new primary schools and preschools and children have proper learning and playing equipment at their schools. Now, 100 per cent of children in the commune go to preschool from the age of two years.
I still remember when I gave birth to my first child; I did not know how to protect myself and my baby during my pregnancy. Mothers delivered their babies at home with no care from doctors or nurses. We did not consider it important to get monthly check-ups. Now, we have new health centres and it is clear that local mothers’ awareness of motherhood, child health care and nutrition has been improved through training sessions.
This is what ChildFund has done for my community.
Every day I meet people who motivate me to keep working hard to help improve the lives of more and more people. I hope that the child sponsorship program will continue in Vy Huong commune. For children here, sponsorship means they have the opportunity to develop themselves, achieve their dreams and contribute to their community in the future.
In 2013, ChildFund is celebrating 75 years of working with children around the world. We are marking this anniversary by sharing personal stories throughout the year from the children and communities we work with, our wonderful supporters and our dedicated staff here in Australia and overseas. Please share them if you find them inspiring!