] Handicapped and
orphaned children: Each year, funds raised at the annual A Call to Vietnam
benefit dinner have supported the children in three centers;, children who are orphans, abandoned, or
have multiple physical and developmental handicaps. The funds are used to meet the health care,
nutrition and housing needs of these orphaned and handicapped children.
families: In the remote valleys
of the mountains in western Vietnam, along the border with Laos,
families live without access to many basic necessities. Often marginalized and without means to
make a living, the families have been grateful for the regular visits of
Sisters/Lovers of the Holy Cross, who have assisted them financially to
purchase basic necessities and have helped them organize to better support
each other in times of need. Between
50 and 60 families, living in the areas of Cam Lo, Lang Vay,
and Dar-Krong have received help. Families in Khe Sanh are now living without dependence on this
Conversation Practice: Each
summer, two Sisters of the Holy Names, sometimes with other volunteers, have
come to Hué and to Ho Chi Minh City
(District of Binh Loi) to help the Sisters/Lovers of the Holy Cross to
practice English conversation. While
two weeks in each location in the summer is not long, the Sisters have met
with each other to maintain skills and have been able to use their English in
some of their ministries, and to advance their own professional education.
] Centers for
the Blind: Vietnam appears to have an
unusually high incidence of blindness.
Over the 10 years, funds from the A
Call to Vietnam ministry have assisted the families of blind persons who
have formed “co-ops” where partially-sighted and blind persons can come
together to make and sell products, the proceeds from which are pooled and
distributed to the members of the group.
With the facilitation of theSisters/Lovers
of the Holy Cross, Hué, the members themselves plan how funds will be used. Sighted family members assist by
transporting their blind relatives to meetings and work centers and sales
outlets. Two centers for the blind, in
Gio Linh and in Trien Phong (Quang Tri region) have received funding for supplies to
make products and for other needs. In
one organization, about 600 families are members of the “co-op.”
Each year, about 50 students have received scholarships enabling them to
attend school. Generally about 20
elementary school students and 20 secondary school students receive $100/each
and approximately 10 university students receive $200 for their college tuition. While there is not tuition for elementary
school, there are expenses for uniforms, books and, in some schools, even
utilities. Deserving students are
identified and recommended by the Sisters/Lovers of the Holy Cross, Hué based on family circumstances and financial need. They must be interviewed and reports on
their progress are given annually. If
they do well, the scholarship monies continue until they finish school. In 10 years, 500 scholarships have been distributed! Those receiving scholarships come from Vung Tau, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh, Thua Thien,
Quang Tri and Quang Binh.
Teens/Outreach to Elderly Widows:
There is no social safety net” in Vietnam, and women who become
pregnant and women who lose their husbands and do not have children to
support them are at risk. Over 10
years, funds from the A Call to Vietnam Ministry have helped with shelter,
health care and food needs for 175 pregnant teens; about 120 elderly and
destitute women have received funds for their needs.
Development: Young women desiring
to become Sisters in the LHC community but who cannot afford the education
required to become a Sister are supported in their continuing studies. Approximately 100 deserving young women
have received assistance over the 10 years.
Projects: Sometimes there are
special needs and A Call to Vietnam
ministry tries to respond to them.
Examples of supported special projects
include: acquisition of wheelchairs; construction of two wells;
provision of sewing machines for income generation; acquisition of musical
instruments for blind students; construction of a pig sty; installation of a
water purification systems.
] Volunteers: Besides the SNJM and lay volunteers who
have come yearly in July to operate the English conversation program, seven volunteers
have paid their own way to go to Vietnam and volunteer for several weeks each
in the centers for the handicapped children.