As the year was tough for many so great also was the cry from orphaned children and their carers. One such cry came from Pastor Vinh and Heng, manager of the Agape Centre for street children in
Vietnam. Therefore in March we embarked on our maiden journey to Vietnam with a team of three. Vietnam, a nation of many surprises, is very poor. A country of 86 million people, the per capita income
in 2008 was $1,024, and 21 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line (US $1.25 per day). Children under age 5 have a mortality rate of 19 per 1000 live births (compared with 7.6 for
USA). Thousands of children live in orphanages. A number of charitable and relief organizations are at work in Vietnam, but still much remains to be done to alleviate suffering. Areas needing attention aregood nutrition, basic health, fresh (safe) water, aid to handicapped, and school tuition for children, and support of poor families. Source: Children of Vietnam Support Association--COVSA
At the end of the 2 week mission in March 2009 we saw the adoption of 12 children which has now increased to 22 as of September 2009.
As known to some of you, we recently set up The Father’s Blessing, a charity looking after orphans and children at risk worldwide with the aim of improving their lives through the provision of
secure shelter, education, water and healthcare.
We embarked on our first project to set up a children’s home in Zambia one of the poorest nations in Africa with an estimate of at least a million children who have lost one or both parents to Aids. On a fact finding trip to Zambia in October 2007, we visited Chipata compound, a small village on the outskirts of Lusaka where, according to our local source, the highest incidence of aids in the country was once reported.
This visit brought home to us how little thought we (like many living in the West) had given to the Aids epidemic and its very real and often vulnerable victims. In the comfort of our homes, we had seen the news footage and knew the statistics, but now the lives represented by the figures were right before our eyes - their stories being heard from their mouths. We witnessed hundreds of orphans being taken care of by families and in many instances they had not had a decent meal in days.
We spoke with an aged grandmother who had to fend for 4 children all under the age of six; their parents having died of Aids. The children could not go to school as they were unable to buy the school uniform which costs about £2. Another widow said she had not even thought to light fire to cook for the day because there was nothing for her to cook.
One cannot adequately describe the damage that the Aids virus has done to wipe out an entire generation of this poor nation. It certainly was a wake-up call for us to the reality of Aids and the devastation it has left in its wake and we hope as you read you will be stirred to be a part of the lives of these helpless ones.
OUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE
This desperate need for food, the most basic of necessities, called for an urgent response. From our meager resources, we were able to provide enough to buy two weeks supply of seven essential food items. These were parceled and distributed to 50 of the neediest families in the village especially those caring for orphaned children.
OUR URGENT NEED
We have identified several buildings suitable for use as a children’s home in the first instance which will adequately serve our purpose for bringing up these children. The estimated cost of the building with all the furnishing is £100,000:00.
Our immediate plans also includes the provision of a store house in Chipata village where food can be stored and supplied to selected families with orphaned children especially those we cannot take in immediately.
We hope you can partner with us to raise these funds by giving between £500 to £1000 or any other amount to secure the building, so that we can urgently start to make a difference to the lives of these children. We’re so grateful for all your support.
The original purpose of the trip was to identify the orphans we would be caring for, but having seen the reality of lives ravaged by aids, we realise that there is a need to touch as many lives as we practically can by:
• Caring for aids orphans in a children’s home
• Regular feeding programs till self sustaining programs are put in place
• Providing clean drinking water through digging wells
• Aids awareness Programs
• Provision of vocational skills and self sustaining programs
We believe there is an immediate need to deal with the symptoms of poverty while later tackling its causes. These goals will only be attainable with your help.
CALL TO ACTION
While our reliance is totally on God, we need your help and we prayerfully ask you to consider:
• Sponsoring a child
• Sponsoring a grandmother
• Being part of a fundraising event
• Organising your own fundraising event
• Giving to the project
• Adopting a project
The hope Our hope is that through our joint actions: Orphans will have a secure home Families will be better fed Incomes can improve Aid awareness levels increase