Witnessing real progress over time in Vietnam

By Jim and Julie Morrison, child sponsors

We feel that we know and have witnessed the work done by World Vision in Bac Binh district, Vietnam. We first went in March 2011. The area in which our sponsored child lived was extremely poor. There were no vehicles driven by locals to be seen.

We visited a farmers’ committee building built by World Vision; the members of that committee came to meet us and say thank you. One very old man came up to Jim and, through the interpreter, told us how very poor they all were. We were overwhelmed by the welcome given to us.

We went again in 2014. This time, the area had more vehicles, and we were able to spend several hours with our sponsored child. We bought the school a table tennis table. The kids challenged Jim to a tournament with their best player. Jim, who hadn’t played for a very long time, was soundly beaten. I am sure you could hear the kids cheer for miles each time the boy won a point. 

We saw more of the work that World Vision was doing in the area. We went to a hairdresser’s shop, built and outfitted by World Vision for a young mother who now can earn her own income. We went to a new school, built by the government, which had a fence in progress, so that the children would be safe in the school yard. World Vision was providing the funds for the fence.

The relationship between World Vision and the schools, the villagers, the parents of the sponsored children and the children themselves is very positive. We saw assistance where needed, positive reinforcement of safety, education and health, and a hand up where needed.

Jim and Julie enjoyed meeting children at the local school.

We have just come back from our third visit. The good news is that the government has finally built a high school in the district so that the children don’t have to travel as far to get to school. Once again, only the building and teachers are supplied by the government, so it is quite bare in the grounds.

Knowing our sponsored girl is now 12, we organised for her to receive a bicycle so that she can go to school independently. We had a lovely visit to the school. As high school students in Vietnam learn English, we took part in an English class and I taught the kids to sing, “heads, shoulders, knees and toes.” We had so much fun.

We went to visit the family of a sponsored child in their home. We were made very welcome. The family’s only income is from the father’s wages as a farm labourer. If there is no work, there is no wage. World Vision has helped them by providing a water tank and some chickens so that there is now a small income from eggs. 

Bac Binh is far different from our first visit. We saw vehicles, small businesses, strong healthy laughing children and a community that can move on its own. We love the work that World Vision does in Vietnam. The on-ground staff are really committed to achieving outcomes, working with and within the community and protecting the health, safety and future of the children.

When World Vision finishes in this district, we will support another girl in Vietnam. What you are doing works.