To improve the lives of kids suffering from the effects of Agent Orange by sustainably strengthening the families that provide them their primary care and improving their access to quality care in the home.
01Improve the family economy via micro loans or grants, job assistance, training, etc.
02Educational assistance for victims and healthy siblings who will be future support system for victims.
03Provision of information and training about “best care” techniques to parents and Increased access to professional care and available services in the home.
The Agent Orange victims who live in the hospitals and Peace Villages receive an extraordinary level of care, but the vast majority live at home in their families.
An Agent Orange child affects families in several ways. First, a potential wage earner is lost due to the need to care for the child. Second, is the direct cost of medicines, doctor visits, etc. Finally, the stress and demands of caring for the child (or children) are a severe drain on the energy and hopes of the parents. This is magnified when, as is common, one of the parents is disabled or deceased from Agent Orange exposure.
Agent Orange families often live in poor rural communities, but for the reasons outlined above are the “poorest of the poor”. Government payments may help, but Vietnam is a poor country and such payments are inadequate. We think economic aid to families needs to be sustainable, favoring loans that enhance the income earning power of the family (micro loans, loans of animals, etc.) rather than cash transfers. We will also work with businesses in the province to increase job access for Agent Orange victims and/or their families. Day care for Agent Orange kids is another possible way to unleash family earning power.
Poor kids are often excluded from school in Vietnam due to lack of fees and supplies. Agent Orange kids need to acquire whatever education they are capable of so they achieve maximum independence and social integration. The poverty of the family may also deny education to healthy siblings. This is not only unfair, but these siblings may be the sole support of the family in the future and lack of education will extend the poverty of the family.
Agent Orange parents are usually loving and well intentioned, but provide a low standard of care due to lack of resources and information, isolation, physical exhaustion, and depression. In addition to improving the economic situation of the family, we will use the relationship with the family to increase access to information and training that will improve the lives of the kids they care for. Delivery of professional medical services in a decentralized manner would also aid these families with their limited transportation resources.