Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some thoughts on why poverty continues for some

Lien shared her thoughts on why poverty continues for many families. This is based on what she sees around her and what she has done to get of poverty.

She felt to get out of poverty:
1. They have to have good health
If they have poor health then they can't work hard or consistently earn a regular income
If they are poor they have to spend money on medical bills and medicine on an ongoing basis

2. If they have children they need to be healthy
If they have poor health they have ongoing medical bills and medicines to purchase
If they are unwell one parent may need to stay home and look after them often which would make the parent might lose their job or they will have a reduced income

3. They have to be willing to work hard
Laziness means they will lose jobs and also gives them a bad reputation and lack of future employment
Hard work means if you have spare time you look to see how you can earn money in it and take on another job as well

4. They need to be careful with money
Don't waste money on things that aren't needed
Preferably only have the occasional alcohol on special occasions
Although drinking is cheap, if it happens often it is no longer cheap
Heavy drinking brings about poor health and laziness
Heavy drinking brings about fights at work and unemployment

5. If in a relationship it needs to be healthy
If there are verbal fights one has less energy
If there are physical fights there are injuries

6. Patience and time is needed
As it takes many years of working hard to have saved enough to build a home and have some savings

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One of my most favourite little people in Vietnam

We are helping Ngan to receive an education, plus giving a daily food allowance as dad can't work much as the little boy is often ill as he has asthma. Ngan's sponsor has helped with food supplies, family medical bills, and provided books on infant feeding and infant care.

Ngan's little brother was three months old when their mother died. Her father is absolutely devoted to the children, which is not the norm in Vietnam. Normally within a matter of months or a year, most men in his situation would have remarried and abandoned the children or found a relative to leave them with or an orphanage to take them to. He has kind neighbors who help by lending him money to buy food and necessities when he runs out of funds and then when he can work he pays them back.

I admire him greatly for his committment to his children. I admire Ngan for taking over the domestic chores as well as continuing to maintain a very good standard at school. I adore the little chap as he is so curious and always so happy considering everything.

Monday, December 5, 2011

When it rains Binh's home leaks

One of the children in our education sponsorship program lives with an aunt as the father first left home and then the mother; she took Binh to an aunt to be cared for. The aunt earns very little and lives in a small rented home, but it leaks terribly every rainy season. She is trying to catch the water inside by hanging plastic sheeting over the leaking areas of the metal roof and then she drains the rainwater out of the plastic sheeting when it gets full and takes the collected rainwater outside.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Home visits in the rain yesterday

It's bleak traveling around in winter in the rain doing home visits. The rice hasn't been planted, the fields are muddy, the lanes are muddy. My assistant even said how ugly every thing looked. I got wet and cold and sick, they just got cold and wet.

We had the best deal yesterday really.It stopped raining every so often and so we had periods when we were moderately dry. Some of the parents were out preparing the fields in the rain. The fields need tending to even though it is a cold and wet day, as they have to plant the root vegetables to feed themselves and their pigs.

Some of the homes we visited had flooding of a meter inside a few weeks back and some of them hadn't bothered to clean the meter of mould off the outside walls, but the inside of all the homes had been scrubbed down immaculately. Some didn't flood but had many leaks, with the rain coming through holes in the roof where the metal sheeting had worn thin and some had chipped or cracked tiles. Buckets and bowls sat around collecting the rain. Some had plastic sheeting collecting the rain as it came through. Some homes were cold and damp and even the kittens had trouble finding somewhere warm. The firewood in many homes was wet and they only had a little kindling to boil water by for tea to try and stay warm.

What's it like living in a flooded home for a couple of days or in a home that leaks every time it rains, and it rains for about 60 days out of 80 in the rainy season?

I had hot running water to come home to and a hot bath, and a tumble drier to dry all my wet clothes that won't dry in the cold, wet air. I had some hot food to eat soon after returning home too. I know I am very fortunate but just felt sad and bleak in the bleak, cold, wet weather after visiting so many who are suffering even more than usual.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The cost of a coffee a day will feed a child a day

My Hang has just been diagnosed with malnutrition. Just the cost of one coffee a day from a coffee shop is enough to stop her suffering from malnutrition.