Heartbeat Vietnam – VinaCapital Foundation
The life saving fund for poor children with heart defects in Vietnam.
There are thousands of children in Vietnam who are waiting for a chance to be a normal, happy child. Children with heart disease miss out on childhood. They can’t dance, they can’t run and many can’t walk across the room without help. Without surgery, the child’s life is full of medicines, constant doctor visits and hospital stays. Every episode puts the family deeper in debt. Every year without surgery puts the child further behind in school… and in life.
At any given time, there may be as many as 10,000 children waiting to receive surgery in Vietnam. Many of these children die whilst waiting for help. VinaCapital has made a commitment to match 100% of any donation made by Helping Hand Helping Hearts, and matched donations go directly to the child’s hospital bill. VinaCapital group pays for all of the foundation’s overhead and administrative costs so 100% of the donation goes directly to their program work. Through their matching funds agreement with local government and community partners, it costs just $1,700 for Helping Hand Helping Hearts to save a child’s life and give them a chance at a better future.
Tan Phu Women’s Shelter (MWIA)
The Mary Ward International Australia Foundation supports a shelter for young pregnant women who have come to Ho Chi Minh City from rural areas in search of work. The Tan Phu Women’s shelter provides accommodation and support for between 10 to 15 women at any one time.
These women are often young and poor from neighbouring rural provinces who have arrived in search of work or study and become pregnant. They are either too afraid to return home or have been rejected by their families for being pregnant and unmarried. Some of the young women may have been working as prostitutes.
During their short-term stays (up to 6 months), the women are encouraged to study and are taught basic art & craft skills, cooking and nutrition and other vocational skills to help the women gain dignified employment.
Powdered milk products/Vitamins
Te Phan Orphanage (HCMC)
The Te Phan Orphanage currently provides a loving home for 57 orphaned children and adolescents, many of whom have physical and intellectual disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy, Blindness, Down Syndrome and Autism. These children have often been found abandoned on the streets and are often in very poor health when they arrive, suffering from malnutrition and psychological trauma. A brother and sister, who opened their very small home to these children who had nowhere else to go, run the orphanage with very little money and rely heavily on the support of others.
Toys/Clothes/Educational Resources Food/Milk Products
New wheelchairs and physiotherapy equipment
Shelter for Homeless Elderly Women – Cu Chi
This shelter was established by a local Vietnamese priest and is run by a group of nuns, who care for around 70 homeless elderly women at any one time. The facilities are very basic but provide shelter, three meals a day and very limited medical care. The women have often suffered severe trauma and have been abandoned by their families, left to live out their final years on the streets of Vietnam. Many of them suffer from a range of medical conditions that the staff do not have the resources to treat and this further complicates their situation.
Support: Financial Food/Milk Products
Vitamins/Medication Blankets/Glasses Wound Care
We also work closely with Dr Pham in HCMC, who has established a number of volunteer run HIV clinics to treat patients who are very often refused medical care in the hospitals. These patients are provided with counselling, ARV medication and treatment of Tuberculosis and other associated conditions. Basic surgery is provided, without the use of anesthetic or sterile dressings, to drain abscesses and treat other medical issues.
Support: Wound Dressings
Vitamins/Basic pain medication (e.g. Panadol)
Our current beneficiaries in Australia
For the children of prisoners, life can be sad, lonely and depressing. Statistics indicate that children of prisoners are more likely than other children to break the law, engage in damaging relationships, and demonstrate anti-social behaviour – all of which can lead to imprisonment as a juvenile or adult. Today’s children of prisoners are in danger of becoming tomorrow’s prisoners unless we work together to show them a hopeful future. Angel Tree is a powerful program that reaches prisoner’s children and provides a valuable opportunity to help restore damaged child-parent relationships. HHHH is very proud to be associated with this very special program which is helping to ensure these children feel connected to and loved by their parents at Christmas time.
Support: Christmas presents for 50-60 children Sports Equipment
Meadows Early Learning Centre – Community Hub
In 2011 we were very excited to create a partnership with the inspiring but very under resourced Meadows Early Learning Centre – Community Hub in Broadmeadows, a north-western suburb of Melbourne. During our visits we saw first hand the impact time, support, care and friendship can have for those who are disadvantaged and isolated within our local community. Funds from HHHH are helping to support the Mother Goose program, a weekly playgroup that encourages positive mother-child interactions and provides a place where women and their children can feel safe, valued and supported. We are also delighted to have been able to provide funds to continue the wonderful work of the ‘Culture Club’, a lunchtime program that promotes positive self-esteem and social experiences through song, dance and positive cultural experiences for vulnerable students at Meadows Primary School.
In Victoria alone, it is estimated that over 100,000 young people, under the age of 26, have caring responsibilities for a family member with a disability, mental illness or chronic health condition.
Carers Victoria work to provide scholarships for young carers attending secondary school so that they can participate in school or community based activities that enhance their skills and educational achievement. In the words of a 15 year old carer, “My scholarship helped to pay for my new glasses, which I use to see the board at school, which in turn benefits my education. And the tennis fees being paid for helped improve my coordination. I am very appreciative of the help received, without this my life would be much more different”. These scholarships are very much in line with our aim to enhance educational outcomes for those that most need it and we look forward to providing financial support in this area of work.
We have also provided funding to enable some young carers wishes to come true, including hot air balloon rides, a day out at Luna Park and a shopping trip in a pink limousine, providing these young people with the opportunity to step away from the constant demands and stress of life as a carer and to enjoy something special and so well deserved.
“Michelle who is 13 is just finishing year 8 and helps her mum care for her brother and sister (17 year old twins). Her brother has Cerebral Palsy and in a wheelchair and her sister has autism and ADHD. She helps with day to day care and looks after her sister when her brother is in hospital (which is often) and does many of the chores around the house. She helps get her brother ready for school and often gets called out of class to help her brother at school too. Her mum says she rarely complains but she wishes she could just be a young teenager out having fun, not worrying about her siblings. Michelle’s dream is a hot air balloon ride.” (Dec 2014)