Well…. Elyse and I decided not to run our ½ marathon fundraiser this year due to the Coronavirus. We have been working very hard to not contribute to community spread and are avoiding any large gatherings. Also, Elyse is pregnant so it’s not a good time for her to run. But we hope you will continue to be a part of our Vietnam HIV/AIDS adventure as we all work to help so many children in tough situations. There is a lot of need right now and we need your support. DONATE
We are all very saddened by the death of Thach Thi Thu Lan (16) who died in August 2020 of HIV/AIDS related complications. She was a wonderful young girl who worked very hard. I met Thu Lan for the first time in January 2016 when Hoang and I visited her family with my sister Rose. At the time she was 11 years old and showed us how she helped to support her family by making thatched roof and wall panels. (See photo). Both her and her brother have had a very difficult life. Her brother almost died recently but is now doing better. Thanks to Hoang for her love and commitment to both children and her work with this family to help them have a better life. May you rest in peace dear Thu Lan. Learn more about Thach Thi Thu Lan in the January 2016 blog posting.
This is one of the two houses completed this year. fHere is the new house for Nguyen Khan, who is infected with HIV, is now 12 years old and one of three children of mother My Dung living in Thanh Tan hamlet. They lived in a very poor situation and the house they occupy is not fit to live in. This is the new home. See the September 2019 posting to learn more about this family and the previous living situation.
This has been a difficult year for many due to the Coronavirus. I visited Vietnam in January just as the early cases of the virus was becoming known in China. Fortunately, the Vietnam government reacted quickly to implement practices to successfully mitigate the spread of the virus. They have kept the total cases to 1441 and the death toll to only 35 during 2020. In a country of 93,000,000 people, that is very impressive. I have not been back since that time
While in Vietnam, I spent time with many of the children and families we help support in the HoChiMinh City area and in Tay Ninh province and Tra Vinh province. Here is a collage of some of the many children we met with.
Throughout the year, the Warm Hold Association continued to support over 100 children with HIV/AIDS and their caregivers. Support included new housing, food security, counseling, medical, education support, scholarships and much more. Thanks to Director Hoang, Ms. Van, Dr. Binh, Ms. Theu and many others for their deep commitment to help these children.
Please sponsor Elyse and me as we run the “Holland Part 2 Park” 1/2 marathon on September 28 in support of children with HIV/AIDS. Now more than ever we need your help. To become a sponsor of our run, click Donate
I think we need a new photo! OK, next time! Peace to all.
Here is a snapshot of some of the work of the Warm Hold team for 2019 and currently in process.
We are supporting the construction or renovation of three homes this year. Here is a view of two of them that are active now.
Thach Ly An is 7 years old and has HIV. She is the youngest of 3 children but the only one infected with HIV. They have no producing land or regular job. Her mother works odd jobs around the village to earn income. The oldest sister, 14 years old, dropped out of school to look for work to help the family. You can see from the photos that the house is in very poor conditions and not safe for the family. Our team has been working with the local government and others to help provide the necessary resources to build a new home for the family. The cost of the new home is about $4,000 with $1,700 from our team and $1,300 from the local government and $1,000 from relatives. The new home will include an indoor toilet.
1)Nguyen Khan, who is infected with HIV, is 11 years old and one of three children of mother My Dung living in Thanh Tan hamlet. They live in a very poor situation and the house they occupy is not fit to live in. My Dung is working to provide for her family but cannot afford the cost of home reconstruction. The great dream of the family is to have a safe home for the children to stay and study while they are still healthy. Our team is working with the local government to provide a new and safe home for the family. The house has now started construction.
I was very thankful to return to Vietnam in January of 2019 to visit with children with HIV/AIDS, their caretakers and members of our volunteer team. As always, I’m amazed at the work of the Warm Hold Association volunteer team members. They work very hard for the kids donating both their time and many their scarce financial resources to help make a better life for kids in very tough situation.
While visiting with the kids, I traveled with our Director Hoang who leads the operations. And, this year I brought three people along including my cousin Virginia Emond who is a school teacher from Nevada and her friend Jodi Thorn who is a school teacher from Arizona. And, my friend Sara Swensen who is living in HoChiMinh City and who is on a Fulbright Scholarship working on her Ph.D. in Buddhism. It was a wonderful group to travel with.
We started our visit in HoChiMinh City. Then went to Tay Ninh province near the Cambodia boarder and Tra Vinh province in the Mekong Delta region. I think in all we met with about 40 children and their caretakers and visited 8 homes. Many of these homes we helped to build. It was great to travel with this team!
We just returned from an amazing time in Vietnam. I was joined by my wife Kay, my son David (he’s from Vietnam), and my niece Cierra. We were able to spend great time with many of the children with HIV/AIDS, their caretakers, and the Warm Hold Association Team. We spent time in HoChiMin City, but also ventured out to Tay Ninh Province near Cambodia and Tra Vinh Province in the Mekong Area. Thanks to all who have helped support this project and please know your kindness is making a difference in the lives of so many children in very desperate situations. I will post stories soon.
Below: A few photos from our January Visit. More to come.