You can support vulnerable families struggling with poverty and severe disability.
Can you imagine facing 2021, with the compounding effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, while living in poverty with a disability?
For Van and Phuong, a mother and a child in Vietnam, this has been their reality. It would be easy to become overwhelmed in such circumstances, but Phuong’s family has not given up.
Nine-year-old Phuong lives in a very disadvantaged part of Vietnam, but poverty is only one of the challenges he faces. He was also born with hydrocephalus, a medical condition which causes seizures and makes speaking and walking difficult.
“I have to keep an eye on him all the time because his bones are easily broken. He often breaks something twice a year and has to wear plaster,” says Van, Phuong’s mother.
Already struggling to put food on the table, the family found it very hard to provide the specialist care Phuong needed.
Van became terrified that her son wouldn’t make it to adulthood.
Thanks to people like you, Van and Phuong were able to find support to create a future filled with hope.
Phuong and Van joined a Caritas Australia-supported program that provides practical support, guidance and connection to those living with a disability.
Phuong went to community-based classes to learn to read and write. A rehabilitation therapist started visiting him at home. His parents learned how to better care for him, joined a support group for parents of children with disabilities, and participated in livelihoods training to help boost the family income.
“I learnt simple counting, how to put letters together to make words and colouring pictures,” Phuong says. “Now, I often play with my brothers, building things together after dinner. Also, we colour pictures and study together, as I can guide them a bit,” he says.
By giving what you can, you will help families like Phuong’s to see that where there are challenges and injustice, there is also hope and love.