Project Compassion – Lent Week 4

Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten fundraising and awareness-raising appeal is an extraordinary, ongoing demonstration of the faith, love and generosity of the Catholic community and caring supporters throughout Australia to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

Week 4.
In Vietnam, young Nguyet was isolated as a result of her severe disabilities, until a program supporting parents of children with disabilities gave her family new skills and offered her education, creative outlets and community interaction.

In a small town in Vietnam, a severe disability kept young Nguyet behind closed doors. Constrained by the high demands of her condition, her parents were also isolated from their neighbours. There is a high level of disability in Vietnam, particularly as a legacy of war, but little support for families whose children have disabilities. People with disability have poorer health outcomes, lower educational achievements, lower economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people without disability.

The future seemed bleak for the whole family, until Nguyet’s family became participants in a program supported by Caritas Australia. A neighbour kindly introduced the family to the Capacity Building for Parent Associations Supporting Children with Disabilities program, which has given them support on several levels.

The neighbour, a teacher, has been able to offer Nguyet home-based education, and there is capacity building for her parents and others in the same situation, through their local Parents’ Association. At Association meetings, Nguyet’s mother has been able to increase her skills for managing her daughter’s condition, and share her experiences with other parents of children with disabilities.

Nguyet

Nguyet has learnt to read and write and better manage her physical needs, and her creative gifts have been unlocked. Now she is increasingly engaging with her neighbours, and she and her parents are more confident about her future.

View Nguyet’s story here