Give the gift of a child's smile
A mother's greatest wish
All Mrs Lan* wanted was for her children to be happy and feel loved.
Her eight-year-old son, Quan*, and 12-year-old daughter, Loah*, were born with vision impairments in Vietnam, where around 6.2 million people live with a disability.
Despite its prevalence, people with disability in Vietnam face lifelong disadvantage, discrimination, and stigmatisation.
“Because Quan cannot see clearly, it is hard for him to make friends with classmates. He has a hard time catching up with his studies and because he is afraid of using the stairs, he only used the ground floor classroom,” Mrs Lan said.
When she joined the Empowerment of People with Disabilities project, run by Caritas Australia’s partner, the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) and the Australian Government, through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), their lives were transformed.
The program provides community-based classes for children living with a disability, allowing them to play and socialise with other children by using quality mobility aids and devices. With activities including reading and writing letters, colouring and practising mobility exercises, the class gives children the ability to feel like regular classroom students.
“In the past, my children often sat in one place without talking or making friends with anyone. They did the same at school. Now it is different,” said Mrs Lan. “Quan is more active and smiles when there is something funny. He often goes out to play with his neighbours and friends.”
Every child deserves to smile like Quan now does. This Christmas, please make a gift that will change a child’s life and give them the happiness they deserve.
*Names have been changed to protect their identity.
“Our life has changed a lot after joining the project. I am also proud of seeing positive changes in terms of emotional life and behaviour from my son and other children with a disability.”