Our current beneficiaries in Vietnam

Heartbeat Vietnam – Vina Capital 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.

Support:       Financial

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.

Support:     Financial
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.

Support:       Financial
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)

St Joesph’s Charity School – Bien Hoa

St Joseph’s Charity School in Bien Hoa, Vietnam was established to provide free primary education for the poor, migrant children within their local community. The 100 students who attend St Joseph’s would have otherwise spent their days on the streets, with little or no opportunity to ever escape the cycle of poverty they were born into. St Joseph’s provides education to these students in a loving, respectful and safe environment that encourages the graduates to continue studying in secondary and beyond. Many of the students do not have a meal before coming to school, making it difficult for them to concentrate within the classroom. To address this issue, the students are all provided with a light meal between classes, ensuring they have enough energy to learn and play. The students often come from homes where they have experienced the traumatic effects of domestic violence, social isolation and extreme poverty but the students are provided with so much warmth and love at school, having a hugely positive impact on their emotional well-being. They love coming to school and approach every lesson with happiness and a willingness to learn as much as they can!  During 2009, Sue spent 6 months volunteering one day a week at St Joseph’s as a psychologist and saw firsthand the incredible difference this school and the staff is making in the lives of all of their students.

Support: Financial

Our current beneficiaries in Australia

Angel Tree

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

n 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.

Support: Financial

Free to Feed

Free to Feed is a not-for-profit social enterprise. In awe of the enterprising spirit of refugees, people seeking asylum and new migrants – and appreciative of what they want to offer as new community members – Free to Feed aim to champion their unique skills and individual stories. What better place to celebrate traditions and memories, stories and new experiences than over a feasting table? After all, for every one of us, these things are so often inextricably linked to sharing food and cooking with friends and family.

Free to Feed’s advocacy is delivered through a number of food-oriented initiatives, including a mobile cooking school hosting classes, workshops, community events and immersive experiences. Free to Feed is also the proud parent of Now to Launch, a food business incubator supporting new enterprisers to realise their culinary dreams.

Free to Feed exists to:

– nurture entrepreneurialism,
– facilitate personal and professional skill development through mentoring and training,
– provide an avenue for economic empowerment and financial independence,
– encourage self-advocacy,
– open doors and broaden networks, and
– offer vital resources necessary to achieving all of this.

Support: Financial