Special needs children who are born into poor rural families in Vietnam often lack access to support and have limited opportunities to develop. For the last couple of years Orphan’s Promise has been working together with our trusted partner, Tony Brewer, to assist these special needs children in a project called Special Forces.
Special Forces assists 75 poor families with special needs children in central Vietnam. Orphan’s Promise provides $1,900 for the Special Forces project each month which runs a Therapy Center, pays for the salaries of four therapists, allows for home therapy visits for families who can’t get in to the Center, and purchases monthly food parcels for 60 of the poorest families.
Forty of the Special Forces families attend the Phu Ninh Therapy Center, which is free of charge. This Center is opened five days a week and is a partnership between the Red Cross, Tony Brewer, and Orphan’s Promise. The therapists at the Center help with each child’s development by providing therapy and exercises, love and care, and free lunches. They also train the parents and provide them with equipment so they can carry out daily therapy and exercises with their child at home.
In March 2012, I was privileged to visit the Therapy Center in Vietnam with our partner Tony Brewer. While there, I was blessed to meet 5 year old Khang and his mother, Long. Two years earlier, Khang was completely immobilized, but on the day I visited he was running around the Center like there was no tomorrow.
Not long after Khang was born he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling. Khang had an operation to drain the fluid but was bedridden and immobilized for the first few years of his precious life.
Long heard about the Phu Ninh Therapy Center and diligently took Khang whenever she could. Not only did the staff at the center help to rehabilitate Khang each day he visited, but they also taught Long how to provide therapy for Khang and supplied her with a special walker to assist with his development.
In less than 15 months, five-year-old Khang had gone from being completely immobilized to now running at full pace around the Center. It gave them much delight to see him walking and running for the first time in his life. Khang was even able to give his specially made walker to another boy in a special needs family since he no longer had need of it.
Long was so grateful for all of the love, therapy and food parcels, that have been given to Khang and her family through the Special Forces project. This support has transformed Khang’s life so that he is now able to walk and will even be able to attend school next year, something she thought would never be possible 2 years earlier. Long said, “If I was not able to bring my son to this Therapy Center, Khang would not be able to walk and we would be in such a hopeless situation.” On behalf of Long and Khang, thank you to all Orphan’s Promise supporters for the difference that you are making in their lives. Khang’s future has just taken a huge positive stride forward because of you.