GCSF is one of the pioneering NGOs to engage in people to people charitable work in Viet Nam. It has made a significant contribution to improving the lives of the most needy people in rural Viet Nam.
~ Pete Peterson, former United States Ambassador to Viet Nam
2016 Year End Report from Viet Nam
by Tam Nguyen, GCSF Viet Nam representative
“In 2016, GCSF Viet Nam witnessed the progress of several key projects in this transition year, especially the completion of the Ophthalmic Technician Program. The projects implemented in Viet Nam focused mostly on medical care and education.
- Cam Lo Language Lab – Phase 2. This project provided 15 new computers and a new projector to replace the old computer lab in Tran Hung Dao Secondary School in Cam Lo District. The old computers were refurbished and given to Hai Lang Secondary School, a more rural school in Quang Tri. This $15,000 project benefits nearly 1,000 children from ages 11 to 15 from Cam Lo District and Huong Hoa District.
- Helping Babies Breathe (HBB). Two American nurses traveled to Viet Nam to conduct a seven-day training for midwives, physicians, doctors and traditional birth attendants. Six teachers from the Medical College of Quang Tri were the primary students. They received a one-day training on how to teach HBB and started to conduct all the classes from day 2. A total of 144 medical workers, ranging from traditional birth attendants to doctors, received two types of courses: Helping Babies Breathe and Essential Care for Every Baby. $6,500 was dedicated for this project. Each trainee received a resuscitation kit to use in their community and two certificates – one for each courses. The program is very highly evaluated by local medical officials and beneficiaries.
- Khe Sanh Library Project – Phase 3. The third phase provided a mobile library package for 56 tribal children in Ban 1 village, which is 20 minutes from Khe Sanh. By March 2016, these 56 young students from Pako and Van Kieu tribes received their gift of books, bookshelves, reading tables and chairs. 400 books on different topics are becoming the focal interest for these children in their leisure time. The package is estimated to cost $2,500.
- Ophthalmic Technician Program. The program is coming to its final component with screenings of 5,000 children in Vinh Linh conducted in December 2016. Among 5,000 children screened, 750 were diagnosed with eye problems. Of these 750, 400 cases were identified as needing intervention, both by wearing glasses and minor surgery or medicine intervention. The program has nearly completed its first five activities including:
- Sending three lecturers from Quang Tri Medical School to Hue for eye care training. The lecturers finished their courses in October 2015 and just received their certificates.
- Installing a laboratory and an eye examination room for the School. In October 2015, Mr. Richard Paul paid a visit to attend the Dedication Ceremony.
- Training 30 Vinh Linh commune doctors. This was completed in April 2016.
- Screenings for 5,000 children from 22 primary schools in Vinh Linh District to identify children with visual problems. This was finished in September 2016.
- Conducting intensive eye exams for 750 children identified with eye problems and 100 members of Vinh Linh Blind Association and providing necessary intervention for them. This was completed in December 2016.
- Viet Nam Veterans. Bruce Waxman and his Viet Nam veterans group contributed $1,300 to provide 60 pairs of shoes to ethnic minority children in Khe Sanh town, five bicycles for five poor students in Tran Hung Dao Secondary School, rice and cooking oil for 30 street children in Dong Ha Street Children Center, and milk and noodles for 15 children with visual disabilities in Quang Tri Blind School.
- Skills training for children with visual disabilities. Fairfax Host Lions Club provided $1,000 for a skills training program for 15 students from Quang Tri Blind School. The training included making food and making incense. The program was completed in early May. The training was well-received by the children and teachers from the school. Activities were lots of fun.
- Ray Wilkinson spent 3 months in Quang Tri teaching English to local students in Le Qui Don High School. He stayed between 27 March to 26 May, 2016.
- Two fellows from Global Playground taught English at the Khe Sanh School. Ms. Kendall Lorenzen finished her three month fellowship in April, while Scott Gemmel-Davis did his in September 2016. Whitaker will spend another 9 months at the Khe Sanh Primary School.”