Vietnam: 5 projects you support by sponsoring a child

After recently taking on the Vietnam Portfolio, Davis travelled to our sponsorship projects to gather information, build relationships with staff and communities and to strengthen our understanding of the impact Australian support is having at the local level.

By Davis, World Vision Vietnam Portfolio Advisor

I spent two weeks visiting community after community, meeting local leaders, families and children and hearing their stories about the difference our projects have made in their lives.

Your support is so important – you’re helping children learn about their rights, which helps prevent human trafficking, you’re assisting families to learn better ways of earning an income, and you’re strengthening communities’ resilience to the effects of disaster.

Here I share with you five projects you’re supporting that benefit children across Vietnam.

1. Disaster risk reduction

Floods are common in Vietnam and can have severe impact on families when they are not prepared. We sometimes forget what it means when roads are impassable – children can no longer go to school and whole families can be separated. I visited a World Vision team who teach children how to minimise the effects of natural disaster. In class, students are taught to be aware of when floods are coming, how to prepare themselves and what to do in case of emergencies.

The project also teaches communities to be resilient to ensure they have enough money and food put aside so that even after a flood they can look after their families. Before that, if a flood came, everyone had to begin afresh. But now, after being trained they know how to be prepared when disaster strikes and can bounce back easily.

2. Child protection

            "In the Yen Bai province, there’s a lot of child trafficking. Sometimes young girls are trafficked and sold into                    marriages in China. So children from World Vision projects are made aware of what trafficking is, what                            trafficking looks like and how to protect themselves from danger."

 

World Vision support schools to then also teach children about their rights. Because of strengthened community protection systems, the rates of child abuse, exploitation and violence have been reduced.

3. WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)

I visited a kindergarten that your support has helped to renovate. World Vision has played a big role in the promotion of good hygiene by teaching young children the importance of proper hand washing at critical times of the day, which reduces illness. Hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections. It is a simple way to improve children’s health and ensures they don’t miss out on school.

4. Nutrition training

World Vision has nutrition programs that teach young mothers how many times to feed their children and how to make food that has the best nutritional value.

 

              "World vision has taught young mothers that inadequate nutrition leads to early death for mothers and                             children, and contributes to impaired physical and brain development. These training groups are run by                          World Vision staff and are taught to local leaders so that they can share the messages across the                                           community."

 

Participants come together and cook the food on the day and eat it together. This alone brings unity between them and the opportunity to share more information about the best care for their children. In some areas, like the indigenous communities that live around or in the forest areas, World Vision use local food sources that they have (such as frogs) and develops a nutritional program around that.

5. Improving Livelihoods

I was able to visit a local economic development project where World Vision had introduced a new technique of rice farming to the community.

Farmers have taken on this new technique that saves time and money. They explained to me that they now have enough money to support their children; to buy education supplies and good food that improves nutrition.

 

            "And the beauty of it is that World Vision are discovering that the people they trained are now training others               in the same community, which I think is more sustainable than just us going around and conducting it – it                       proves it’s working and that famers are benefiting."

 

I had the opportunity to meet with many people whose lives have been changes in various ways and I’m looking forward to hearing about more change in the future. Thanks to your support.

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