Renovation of Bac Giang orphanage in Vietnam

Enfance Partenariat Vietnam was founded in 2007 to improve the living conditions of children in orphanages and the poorest families in Vietnam. Its work takes the form of educational, social, and cultural programs, financing schools and orphanages, or the payment of medical treatment. The project’s sponsor, Air Liquide Vietnam’s employee, Hue Phung, talks to us about supporting Bac Giang orphanage and the situation for sick or disabled children.

What is the situation for sick or disabled children in your country at the moment?

Vietnam has one of the highest rates of infant disability in the world, due to the intensive spreading of toxic products during the war. Caring for these sick and disabled children is a major public health issue. Looking after them is very difficult for poor families, especially as AIDS sufferers and the disabled are stigmatized and generally socially excluded in Vietnam. The situation in the province of Bac Giang, in the north-eastern mountains of Vietnam, is particularly critical due to widespread poverty, with many children abandoned due to families’ lack of resources.

What does the Bac Giang orphanage project consist of?

Enfance Partenariat Vietnam has been working in this orphanage since 2011. It is home to 45 children, some of whom are HIV positive and others are deaf and dumb. The association even runs a holistic program to improve the children’s education, with the creation of vocational workshops. This orphanage is several decades old and its infrastructures are now decrepit so the orphanage is also renovating certain buildings. The Air Liquide Foundation was involved in the renovation of the kitchen and the canteen; vital works as the food is currently cooked on coal-fueled stoves, which produce emissions that are dangerous for the children’s health as well as for the environment. A chicken hutch has also been built so that children can eat chicken and eggs, thereby improving their diet and health. The Foundation’s support for specific investments makes sense and enables us to monitor the project’s progress precisely. I went there myself and have seen that the renovation of the premises and the chicken hutch have a pedagogical benefit: the caregivers explain the objective of the works to the children and teach them how to clean out the hutch and look after the animals. This gives them a sense of responsibility.

Why did you choose to sponsor the project to renovate this orphanage?

Being involved in this project supported by the Air Liquide Foundation is a way for me to help children. It is all the more important to me because I come from Bac Giang and I am aware of the scale of the needs in terms of housing and healthcare for sick orphans. These works will allow them to go to school in the orphanage with a dedicated teacher. It’s a whole; to improve the overall quality of life in this orphanage is a long-term project for children and the people that care for them.


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