Supporting people with disabilities

When Binh took his first steps, it was magical.

Binh was born with hydrocephalus, a medical condition that causes fluid to accumulate in the brain, and can lead to mental disability and difficulty moving.

Binh and his mother with an SRD staffer


The saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is certainly appropriate for Binh. Just three years old and born with hydrocephalus, he lives with his parents and older brother in a small village in Quang Tri province, Vietnam.*

Binh’s father, Dien, is a subsistence farmer. He raises pigs and grows vegetables in their small garden. The family has very little to pay for the extra care that Binh needs.

Determined to help their young son and his brother, the family joined the ‘Supporting People with Disabilities’ program, run by the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development in partnership with Caritas Australia. The program offers three levels of support for families in need - livelihood, community and individual  assistance.

After joining, Binh’s family participated in workshops in which they learned more about caring for a disabled child, their rights as a family, and how to access extra government funding and support. They also received support for transportation, which made it easier for Binh to access care at their local hospital.

Standing on his own

As Binh’s disability is quite severe, he required a physical therapist and extra hospital services. Home visits from the physical therapist yielded big results.

Every day Binh’s mum helped him to practice standing on his own, but she knew that Binh could not walk without surgery. As soon as they were all ready, Binh underwent a series of operations. And after recovering from his time in hospital, his family noticed that he was standing on his feet for longer periods of time. Very soon, he was able to walk on his own too.

An inspiration to everyone

Now they know how to access government funding and support, the family enjoys better living conditions and less financial stress. They also attend regular group events, where they socialise with other families and Binh can play with friends he has made.

As their situation improves, they will continue to participate and support other families like theirs.

Binh is an inspiration – not only to all who know him, but also to his brother who wants to become a doctor when he grows up so he can help people like Binh in the future.

* Please note that names have been changed for this story

Program details

  • Issues: Disability
  • Partner Agency: Centre for Sustainable Rural Development
  • Funding in 2017/18 financial year: AU $110,000
  • When established: 2009
  • Geographic location: Gio Linh District, Central Vietnam
  • This program is supported by Australian Aid through Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).