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Individual & Family Assistance

November 2014/February 2015

Tran Van Trang                        $5 per month

Trang, now 72, is blind and has lost a leg to war injuries. He lives alone and his situation remains the same. His sister lives nearby and cooks for him, but a little extra money for rice is very much appreciated.  Trang’s situation is unlikely to improve and we plan to continue this minimal assistance.

Vo Thi Kim Thoa family            $10 per month

We built a house for this family last year and their situation is slowly improving. The three school age kids are still in school, and the family is making a little income by selling things like sugar, snacks and rice wine from the front of their house. We have arranged delivery of 20kg (44lbs) of rice to them each month for a year, and expect that we will not need to continue after this year.


November 2013/February 2014

Good news here. Five of the individuals and families we have been helping with monthly support no longer need our help. In four cases their situation has improved; in one there is an alternate source of income.  We continue to help Mr. Trang and have added one new family.

Tran Van Trang                        $5 per month

Trang, now 71, is blind and has lost a leg to war injuries.  He lives alone and his situation remains the same.  His sister lives nearby and cooks for him, but a little extra money for rice is very much appreciated.

Vo Thi Kim Thoa family            $10 per month

This family was referred to us by an elementary school principal.  They came to her attention because of the condition of the clothing of the three children in the family that are in her school.  We have arranged for someone to deliver 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of rice each month for nine months starting April, 2014.  Rice for January – March was contributed by local people.  We also built a house for this family.  For more information about them click on “latest updates” and scroll to “houses.”


November 2012/February 2013

We are sometimes introduced to people, some old, some disabled, some children, whose circumstances are so difficult that modest amounts of monthly support can make a substantial difference in their lives. This year we have added three recipients, two children and one old person caring for an adult child. We are continuing support for three others, two of whom won’t need our support after this year because of improving circumstances. Here are the details.

Cuong at home
Cuong at home

Nguyen Thi Cuong $10 per month

While we were giving school clothes to kids at an elementary school, one of the school employees asked if we could help one of his neighbors, and we set off to visit them. We found a very distressing situation. Miss Cuong, 84 years old, takes care of her 56 year old son. He was born with a congenital deformity of the legs and was never able to walk, only crawl. Three years ago he had a stroke and is now immobile (he is lying on the bed on the right side of the photo). When we said hello to him he seemed to be looking right at us but there was no response. Their only income is $9 per month old age pension and they don’t have enough money for rice. Their main food is bananas, picked from some trees on their land. The neighbors help a little. Our helper, Miss Lan, will buy rice every month and the school employee who referred us will deliver it.


From left, school principal, Cam Nhung, Board member Phuong, our volunteer helper Miss Lan
From left, school principal, Cam Nhung, Board member Phuong, our volunteer helper Miss Lan

Nguyen Thi Cam Nhung $10 per month

Cam Nhung, 14 years old and in grade seven, was introduced to us by her school principal. Her dad died when she was young, her mom abandoned her, and she was raised by her paternal grandparents. Her grandfather recently died and her grandmother is in her 80’s. The principal said she is an excellent student and wants to stay in school, but she was about to drop out because she couldn’t afford it. On Sundays, Cam Nhung catches snails and small fish in the canals near her house and sells them for between fifty cents and a dollar. Her teachers and neighbors give her some help but it is not enough. We offered to give her $200,000 Vietnam dong (about $10) a month as long as she stays in school and she happily agreed.


Thuy Duong
Thuy Duong

Nguyen Thi Thuy Duong $10 per month

Thuy Duong, 12 years old and in grade seven, was introduced to us by a school social worker, and we met her at her school. Her parents are divorced and her mom has found work in a neighboring province, leaving her in the care of an uncle. The uncle subsequently found work away from home and Thuy Duong is often home alone, cooking for herself. Her mom sends money for food but it is not enough for a good diet. Her face looks normal, but the rest of her body is very thin and frail. When we asked her what she needed the most she answered “milk.” We have committed to monthly income for a year and will see how she is doing next time we are in Vietnam.

Tran Van Trang $5 per month

Trang, now 70, is blind and has lost a leg to war injuries. He lives alone and his situation remains the same. His sister lives nearby and cooks for him, but a little extra money for rice is very much appreciated.

Pham Thi Bay $7per month

Things are looking up a little here. Miss Bay’s daughter, who isolated herself and didn’t speak for several years, is starting to socialize a little, and was able to have some conversation with us. Miss Bay turns 80 this year and will start receiving about $9 per month old age pension, which will replace the help we have been giving her. We have continued our support in 2013 as a transitional period.

Nguyen Van Tri $10 per month

Really nice story here. Tri, physically disabled, has been supporting his twin boys alone for about five years on less than two dollars a day from his work sorting and cleaning fruit. Last year one of his neighbors, who was picking coffee in the central highlands, met a woman who he thought would get along well with Tri, introduced them, and she is now living with Tri and the boys. We had a very nice visit with them with lots of laughter and optimism. They are now raising chickens and have planted some fruit trees which will provide additional income. We will continue to help them this year as a transitional period.

Nguyen Thi Kim Nam

Kim Nam, blind, is now receiving support from another source and no longer needs our help.

December 2011/February 2012

Quy     $10.00 per month for eight months

Our objective when we started helping Quy, now 18, was to get her to agree to stay in school.  She has done so and is now in grade 12.  Her grandmother, in her 70’s, still supports them by selling lottery tickets.  Quy will finish high school this year and we will continue to help her through the summer.  If we have a sponsor we will consider her for a university scholarship.

Cam Tu     $95 for 2012

Cam Tu’s sister is now out of prison and is taking care of him.  She has two part time jobs but it is not enough to take care of their needs.  Miss Yen, our helper, is in regular contact with this family and will distribute the money as needed.

Cuong     $79 for university entrance exam prep and travel

Cuong finished high school last year and we paid for her to travel to Dong Thap to take university entrance exam.  We were considering Cuong for a university scholarship but unfortunately she did not pass the entrance exam.

Pham Thi Bay     $7.00/month                                               

Her situation is the same as before, and Mr. Tri, the hamlet president, will give her $7.00 a month to buy rice for her daughter.

Nguyen Thi Kim Nam     $7.00/month

Kim Nam’s situation remains the same.  Because she is blind, Miss Lan, a retired school teacher and one of our helpers, buys and delivers rice to her each month.

Nguyen Van Tri     $10.00/month.           

Tri, disabled, continues to work for very little money under difficult circumstances with a great attitude.  He cares for his two boys alone and always has a ready smile.

Trang     $5.00 per month for 2011

Trang, is a 69 year old man who is blind and has only one leg due to war injuries.  He lives alone, but his sister lives nearby and cooks for him.  The government gives him about $8.00 a month for medicine, but he needs money for rice.

Thanh Thanh

Good story here.  The government bought part of the family’s land to do an infrastructure project and paid them a good price.  The family is now in good financial condition and no longer needs our help.

For those families getting monthly assistance, we left money for 2011 with our volunteer assistants.


Family Assistance 2011
Mr. Trang at home

November 2010/February 2011

Trang          $5.00 per month for 2011

Trang, our newest addition to this group, is a 68 year old man who is blind and has only one leg due to war injuries. He lives alone, but his sister lives nearby and cooks for him. The government gives him about $8.00 a month for medicine, but he needs money for rice.

Quy          $7.00 per month for 2011

Our objective when we started helping Quy, a seventeen year old girl, was to get her to agree to stay in school. She has done so and is now in grade 11. Her grandmother, in her 70's, still supports them by selling lottery tickets.

Cam Tu          $94 for 2011

Cam Tu's dad died last year and he is now living with his mom and her new husband. Despite setback after setback, he is still in school thanks to the support he gets from us and the attention and care he gets from Miss Yen.

Thanh Thanh          $94 for 2011

Thanh Thanh, now 12 years old and in grade 4, is doing well. She still goes to Saigon to see Dr. Phan every three months for heart checkups. Last year Miss Yen bought her a new bicycle. She sent us a very nice letter thanking us for our help and promising to study well.

Cuong         $94 for 2011

Cuong had to quit school for a while last year to help her mom who was sick, but is now back in school and continuing grade 12. She is taking extra classes at night to prepare for her university entrance exams. Cuong is a candidate for a university scholarship from us.

Pham Thi Bay         $7.00/month

Her situation is the same as before, and Mr. Tri, the hamlet president, will give her $7.00 a month to buy rice for her daughter.

Nguyen Thi Kim Nam         $7.00/month

Kim Nam's situation remains the same. Because she is blind, Miss Lan, a retired school teacher and one of our helpers, buys and delivers rice to her each month.

Nguyen Van Tri         $9.00/month.

Tri, disabled, continues to work for very little money under difficult circumstances with a great attitude. He cares for his two boys alone and always has a ready smile.

For those families getting monthly assistance, we left money for 2011 with our volunteer assistants.


November/December 2009


Quy

Quy                                     $8.00 per month for 2010

Our newest addition to this group is Quy, a sixteen year old tenth grader.  We were introduced to her by two social workers at her school..  Both parents died when she was two and she lives with her grandmother, who is in her seventies and supports them by selling lottery tickets.  Quy is a good student but was about to drop out of school when we met her.  She has agreed to stay in school and will use the money we give her for school supplies and food.

Cam Tu                                 $107 for 2010

Cam Tu’s story continues to get worse.  His sister, who was taking care of him, is in jail for selling heroin.  His mom left but he prefers to live with his dad, who is sick with TB.  On the bright side, he is still in school and Miss Yen will use the money for school supplies, clothes and food.

Thanh Thanh                        $107 for 2010

Thanh Thanh, in Soc Trang province, is now doing very well in school.  Miss Yen still takes her to Saigon several times a year for heart checkups, and will use the money to help Thanh Thanh throughout the year.

Cuong                                   $54 for 2010

Cuong’s mom has been sick and the stress has affected Cuong’s school work.  She is still a good student, but not at the top of her class this year.  The money will be used for extra instruction in math, physics and English.
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Pham Thi Bay                      $5.00/month                                   

Her situation is the same as before, and Mr. Tri, the hamlet president, will give her $5.00 a month to buy rice for her daughter.

Nguyen Thi Kim Nam         $8.00/month

Kim Nam’s situation remains the same.  Because she is blind, Miss Lan, a retired school teacher and one of our helpers, buys and delivers rice to her each month.

Nguyen Van Tri                   $11.00/month.       

Tri, disabled, continues to work for very little money under difficult circumstances with a great attitude.  He cares for his two boys alone and always has a ready smile.

Nguyen Thi Seo                

Miss Seo, in bad health when we last saw her, has passed away.  Our help allowed her to live her last couple of years without worrying about food.

For those families getting monthly assistance, we left money for 2010 with our volunteer assistants.


January/February 2009

Ton That Cam Tu                  $115 for 2009
Twelve year old Cam Tu is one of two new additions to individuals and families that get ongoing help from us.  He is an average student, now in grade 6.  His dad, now 50, was a 30 year heroin addict.  He quit five years ago, spent four years in rehab, and is now doing poorly in hospital with TB.    Cam Tu lives in Binh Duong province with his sister, who takes care of him.  His sister, now 20 and with a four year old of her own, works in a shoe factory for $56 a month.  We were referred to Cam Tu by Miss Yen, our heart surgery coordinator, and gave her $115 ($2,000,000 Vietnam Dong) to help Cam Tu throughout the year.

Thanh Thanh                        $115 for 2009
Thanh Thanh, in Soc Trang province, is doing okay.  She is still in school and Miss Yen buys vitamins for her and takes her to Saigon every two or three months for heart checkups with Dr. Phan.  We gave Yen $115 to help Thanh Thanh throughout the year.

Cuong                                   $57 for 2009
Cuong, still in grade 10, is doing well and her mom is now better able to help her.  Miss Yen has opened a small restaurant in Can Tho city to provide good food to poor people and to provide work for the parents of her “heart kids.”  Cuong’s mother works there as well and earns about $80 a month.  We gave Yen $57 to help Cuong throughout the year.  Cuong is a top student and we hope to be able to help her through university.


Miss Bay

Pham Thi Bay                        $6.00/month                                   
Miss Bay, about 70 years old, is our other new recipient.  She lives with her son and daughter in law, who give her food but that’s about it.  She also has a 27 year old daughter, Nguyen Thi Be.  A few years ago Be was an excellent civil engineering student who had a disappointment in love.  She then was unable to continue her studies, became extremely withdrawn, and has been almost completely uncommunicative since.  She was brought back to live with her brother and mom, but broke things in the house and now lives in a tiny shack behind the house.  She spends most of her day playing with a piece of cloth.  The money we give Miss Bay is to buy rice for her daughter.  Mr. Tri, the hamlet president, lives across the path and will distribute the money monthly. 

Nguyen Thi Kim Nam           $9.00/month
Kim Nam’s situation remains the same.  Because she is blind, Miss Lan, a retired school teacher and one of our helpers, buys and delivers rice to her each month. See the Special Assistance section for August/September 2008 for more information about this family.

Nguyen Thi Seo                    $6.00/month.
Miss Seo’s health is deteriorating.  She is still able to get out but only very close to her house.  She buys rice from a neighbor who has a small store.

Nguyen Van Tri                   $12.00/month.       
Tri’s situation is the same and we continue to help him.  His twin boys, whom he cares for alone, are doing well.

For those families getting monthly assistance, we left money for the rest of 2009  with our volunteer assistants.


August/September 2008

Nguyen Thi Kim Nam      $9.00/month
Kim Nam is our newest recipient for monthly aid. She is blind and we found her when we saw her daughter leading her across the schoolyard when we were there to give out notebooks and clothes. Because she cannot see the money and her husband can’t be trusted with it, Miss Lan, a retired teacher and one of our volunteer helpers, will buy rice for her each month and deliver it. See the Special Assistance section for more information about this family.

Nguyen Thi Seo                $3.00/month
Miss Seo, age 88, is weak and too old to work. Her 62 hear old son lives with her but is developmentally disabled. Her other adult children do not help her. The $50,000 Vietnam Dong that we give her each month is enough for rice.

Nguyen Van Tri              $12.00/month
Tri’s situation is the same and we continue to help him. His wife has abandoned him and the two boys. He still works for the fruit wholesaler and as he is severely disabled he is happy to have this steady work. Although living under very difficult circumstances, Tri always has a ready smile and the children look well cared for.

Vo Van Tan                      $9.00/month
Tan says that he thinks the government might give him a small pension in 2009 and if this happens he will no longer need our help

Le Quang Son                 $12.00/month
Son is again studying his electric appliance repair course and we want to continue to help him until he can earn income on his own. His family has moved to Saigon and he now rents a room.

Ms. Hien                           $9.00/month
The news for this family is not good. Tram, the youngerdaughter, failed her university entrance exams. Trang, the older daughter, failed her bookkeeping course at the end of the first year. Both girls are now at home making frames for conical hats and earning about $25 per month each. Ms. Hien, the mom, sells duck embryo eggs, a local favorite, and makes $1.25 to $1.50 per day.

Cho Family                      $12.00/month
The news here is mixed. The oldest boy is still studying electric appliance repair, and we are hoping he will finish the course and find work. The middle boy is at home and gives minimal help to his mom who is chronically ill. The youngest boy is in school in grade 12. They still have three cows, having sold one this year and having a new calf. They are managing the cows well and having them keeps this family from being in even more difficult circumstances.

As usual, funds are distributed to these families monthly by Mr. Son, our volunteer assistant in Ben Tre province, and by Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue. We left enough money for September, 2008 through March, 2009.


December 2007/January 2008

Nguyen Thi Seo            $3.00/month.
Miss Seo, age 87, is the newest addition to those receiving monthly help from us.  She is too old to work and her adult children do not help her.  The $50,000 Vietnam Dong that we give her each month is enough for rice.

Nguyen Van Tri            $13.00/month.
Tri’s wife has abandoned him and the two boys.  He still works for the fruit wholesaler and as he is severely disabled he is happy to have this steady work.  Although living under very difficult circumstances, Tri always has a ready smile and the children look well cared for.

Vo Van Tan               $10.00/month
Tan says that he thinks the government might give him a small pension in 2009 and if this happens he will no longer need our help.

Le Quang Son            $13.00/month.
Son quit his electric appliance repair course and is working in a coffee shop.  His income is $28 per month.  Miss Be, our helper in Hue, will talk to him about studying something that will give him a better income.

Ms. Hien                    $10.00/month.
Tram, the younger daughter, is now in Grade 12.
Trang, the older daughter, has expanded her bookkeeping course to two years and has one and a half years to go.

Cho Family               $13.00/month.
The oldest boy failed the university entrance exam again and is now studying electric appliance repair.  The family sold one cow for income and still has three.  This is the first family for which we bought cows – back in September, 2001 – and raising and selling them has served this family very well.

As usual, funds are distributed to these families monthly by Mr. Son, our volunteer assistant in Ben Tre province, and by Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue.  We left enough money for January through August, 2008.


March/April 2007

Nguyen Van Tri. $13.00/month.
Tri’s situation has not changed and we continue to help him.

Vo Van Tan, $10.00/month.
Tan’s situation has not changed and we continue to help him.

Le Quang Son, $13.00/month.
Last November Son started a two and a half year course to learn how to repair electrical motors and instruments.  He lives with his mom who earns about $30 a month doing whatever work she can find.  His younger brother quit school and does not have work.

Ms. Hien, $10.00/month.
Trang is now taking an eight month bookkeeping course.  When finished, she will look for work at hotels, restaurants and other businesses.  Tram is still in grade 11.  Ms. Hien sells duck eggs in the evening and makes about $1,25 a day unless it’s raining.  An average month gets her $20 – 25.  The family barely has enough to eat but is getting by.  Their standard of living should be improved if Trang finishes her course and finds work.

Cho Family, $13.00/month.
The oldest son failed the university exam and is now studying to take the exam again in June.  The youngest is an average student in grade seven and the middle child has quit school and does not help the family.  As expected, two of the cows died from hoof and mouth disease.  Fortunately, the two others were isolated in time and did not get sick.  Also, there are two new calves so they now have four cows again.  The mother, chronically ill, is able to plant vegetables and cut grass for the cows.

As usual, funds are distributed to these families monthly by Mr. Son, our volunteer assistant in Ben Tre province, and by Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue.  We left enough money for April – December 2007.


July/August 2006

Nguyen Van Tri, $13.00/month.
Tri still works for the fruit wholesaler, earning about sixty three cents a day.  Because of his disability and his wife’s inability to work, his situation hasn’t changed and we continue to give him monthly assistance.

Vo Van Tan, $10.00/month.
Mr. Tan has finally completely retired as his eyesight has deteriorated and he can no longer see well enough to cut hair.

Le Quang Son, $13.00/month.
Son finished high school this summer.  He has taken the university entrance exam but does not yet know the result.

Ms. Hien, $10.00/month.
Since Trang failed the university entrance exam last year, she decided to repeat grade 12.  Tram, her younger sister, is now in grade 11.

Cho Family, $13.00/month.
This family continues to have misfortune.  Two of their four cows have hoof and mouth disease and will die.  They have isolated the other two and hope they will not become sick as well.

As usual, funds are distributed to these families monthly by Mr. Son, our volunteer assistant in Ben Tre province, and by Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue.


January/February 2006

We have added two new families and now give monthly support to five families, two in Ben Tre and three in Hue.  Mr. Son, our volunteer assistant in Phuoc My Trung, and Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue, distribute the money each month.

Nguyen Van Tri, $13.00/month

We have helped this family before but their circumstances still remain very difficult.  (See the Special Assistance project report for June/July 2004 for more information and a picture).  Tri’s wife is chronically ill and can’t work.  The two boys are now seven years old and have started school in grade 1.  Tri has found regular work.  He sorts and removes the stems and leaves from small citrus fruits called tac for a wholesaler.  Because he can’t ride a bicycle, he walks three kilometers each way to work, and he only earns $10,000 dong a day, about sixty three cents.  The family has 1000 square meters of land on which they grow tac, and they earn another few dollars every few months selling them.

Vo Van Tan, $10.00/month

This is another family that we have helped before.  (See the Compassion Houses project report for Jan/Feb 2005 for more information and pictures.  Mr. Tan, now 86, was in hospital for about a month last summer with a respiratory disorder.  He is now back home but is still weak.  He is a barber and he makes house calls as he has no shop.  He does one or two haircuts a day, sometimes none, and gets about twenty five cents each time. 

We continue to help three families in Hue.  Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue, distributes the money each month.

Le Quang Son, $13.00/month

Son will complete high school this summer and hopes to go to Teachers College and become an elementary school teacher.  He has a new job in a tea shop and has increased his income to $10,000 dong a day, about sixty three cents.

Ms. Hien, $10.00/month

Trang, the oldest daughter has failed her university entrance exam and will try again.  You may recall that she dropped out of school after grade 8 but was able to go back and finish high school with our help.  Tram, her younger sister, is now in grade 10 and continues to do well.

Cho Family, $13.00/month

The oldest boy has re-entered school and will finish grade 12 this year.  The middle child has quit school and the youngest is in grade 6.  Another cow has been sold and they now have four.  This is the first family for which we bought cows, and without them they would be in even more difficult circumstances than they are.


July/August 2005

We continue to help three families in Hue.  Money was given to Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue, to distribute monthly from September 2005 through April 2006.

Le Quang Son, $13.00/month

Son is starting grade 12 in September and is able to stay in school with our help.  His family situation remains the same, so he is only able to stay in school with our help.  He is unlikely to get into university so we will talk to him about some type of vocational training next year.

Ms. Hien, $10.00/month

Trang, the oldest daughter has finished high school.  She has taken the university entrance exam but does not yet know the result.  Tram as starting grade 10 and is a good student.  She sells duck embryo eggs in the evening and earns 60 to 90 cents a day.

Cho Family, $13.00/month

The oldest boy has quit school after finishing grade 11.  The younger boys are starting grades 9 and 6.  The mother is chronically ill but continues to be able to raise cows and they now have five.


January/February 2005

We continue to help three families in Hue.  Money was given to Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue, to distribute monthly from January through August 2005.

Le Quang Son, $10.00/month

He is now in grade 11 and is able to stay in school with our assistance.  His mother has moved to the south to find work and Son shares a room with another student for about $6.00 a month because his father, who occasionally returns home, is abusive.  He works in the afternoons at a coffee shop for 30 to 50 cents per day.  His 14 year old brother has left home – whereabouts unknown.

Ms. Hien, $10.00/month

Trang, the oldest daughter in now in grade 12 and studies English in the evenings.  Her younger sister Tram is in grade 9.  Both are good students.

Cho Family, $13.00/month

The oldest boy is now in grade 11 and his younger brothers are in grades 8 and 5.  As you may recall, the father was killed in a motorbike accident in February, 2003, and the mother’s health is not good.  She is, however, able to take care of the cows and grow vegetables.  This family was our first cow recipient and the story has been good.  They had six cows but sold two that were not healthy last year for $180 each.  This gave them cash for food, clothing and school expenses and they still have four healthy cows which they are breeding.   


June/July 2004

Hue

Funds were given to Miss Be, our volunteer assistant in Hue, to distribute monthly from July through December, 2004.

Le Quang Son - He is still living alone, starting grade 11 this fall, and is able to stay in school with our assistance. $13.00/month

Ms. Hien - Her daughter Trang will be starting grade 12 in the fall. She dropped out of school after grade 8 but was able to go back to school with our assistance. Her younger sister Tranh will start grade 9 in the fall. $10.00/month

Cho family - They are still in difficult circumstances as the father was killed in a motorbike accident in February, 2003 and the mother is chronically ill and unable to do much work. The oldest son as staying in school with our assistance and Miss Be's urging, and is starting grade 11 in the fall. We would like to give him some vocational training when he finishes high school so he can find work to support his family. $13.00/month

Mekong Delta

Mr. Trung - $32 to buy fertilizer for his orange trees. He only has 1000 square meters of land but the trees are starting to bear fruit and he should have some income from them by next year.

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