In the summer of 2002, Families In Vietnam’s (FIV) founder, Valerie Lehner, had the privilege of spending two months in Hanoi adopting her second daughter. Everywhere she went, beggars with malnourished children asked for money. During school time hours or late at night, children on the street would try to sell her postcards or chewing gum. As she started to get to know the children around Hoan Kiem Lake during her time there, she found out that the children were not in school. Because they could not afford the school fees, these poor families had their children working instead to help feed the family. Before leaving Hanoi, Valerie and two Vietnamese friends started enrolling children in school for the fall semester with their own money.
When she returned to the U.S., she worked with other adoptive parents and dedicated volunteers to form Families In Vietnam, Inc. and to obtain 501(c)(3) status in 2005. The volunteer board in the U.S. raises funds to pay the school fees for 78 children and the salaries of two Vietnamese staff members who work directly with the 48 families in our program.
FIV efforts also include providing housing to homeless families, birth control, helping parents obtain birth certificates, medical care, supporting children in family foster care when parents or grandparents are no longer able to care for their children, and meeting any other needs of the families in our program with flexibility and individualized solutions. Additionally, FIV Hanoi has empowered girls and women physically, emotionally, and financially to find a vocation other than prostitution to care for their children.
FIV is a qualifying and approved Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 501(c)(3) charity under Category: Q30 (International Development, Relief Services); and registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Vietnam. FIV closely monitors the use of funds in Vietnam and personally sees the results of their work. There are no fees or operational costs deducted from donations; thus 100% of your donation goes to help the children and families in our programs. Any fees and costs are underwritten by the Board. FIV can be found on GuideStar; and click to view the most recent IRS Form 990 (2014).
Read more of our miraculous and inspirational SUCCESS STORIES here.