Behind The Story: Helping Disabled Children in Vietnam
I have long wanted to write a story about the remarkable achievements of an Australian woman we met in Vietnam. Her name is Robyn Morley and she has saved and changed the lives of hundreds of disabled children and their families in Vietnam.
One thing about living in a developing country is that there are endless people in need, a million ways to help, and incredible people who dedicate their lives to do just that. Some work in big non-profits, some in grassroot organisations, some go it alone. People stay for a few years or fall in love with the country and never leave.
Robyn is one of those amazing people who wanted to help, came to Vietnam, and created her own charity to change the future of some truly disadvantaged people - disabled children from very poor families. Her organisation is called CHIA - Children's Hope in Action and it is based in Hoi An in Central Vietnam. People there are farmers and fishermen and live off a few dollars a day. Add caring for a disabled child into the mix and it's pretty bleak for a struggling family. There is no government financial support either.
CHIA is funded completely on donations (it is a registered charity in Australia and the US) and they support families with disabled kids to receive medical treatments including heart and eye surgery, cleft lip and facial deformity surgery, cancer treatments, vaccinations and lots more. They do hearing, sight and nutrition assessments, and provide glasses, wheelchairs and physical therapy sessions. They also sponsor kids to continue going to school because without education, the cycle of poverty is almost impossible to break.
It is real, achievable and essential work that changes and saves lives. If you are interested, please read my story and learn more about CHIA, which is staffed by highly dedicated young Vietnamese who could probably earn a lot more money working in the Hoi An tourism industry. But they choose to help a very vulnerable part of their community instead. And I hope my story inspires others to help too.
Featured image from CHIA Vietnam
About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, Squarespace web designer and blogger currently living in Vientiane, Laos. She is passionate about helping freelancers and small businesses get online with web design and content, blogging and her awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, content, SEO, web design and "all that online stuff". She also writes food and travel articles for businesses and magazines, and blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos, just for fun.