There is no safety net for children whose parents can no longer care for them. These children end up on the streets, in orphanages, or bouncing around to whatever family member can care for them for a period of time. Stability is unknown to these children, they are usually not in school, and they are at high risk for a life of prostitution or drug addiction. Some have attachment disorders from being “bouncing babies” – going from one moderately interested caregiver to another. Families In Vietnam strives to support each child in a loving, long-term family environment, generally with extended relatives, until their parents are again able to care for them.
These are just a few of the children who have been supported in family foster care through Families In Vietnam. A few of their stories are below the gallery (click on any photo to see a larger image). Images are not paired with the stories to protect their identities.
T., M., T., and B.
M., T, and H.
Where are their parents?Often they just don’t come home one night. When a parent is arrested, it is difficult to find out where they are until someone happens to see them when visiting another person in the “homeless camp”, “heroin camp”, or jail and reports back on where they are. A woman who re-marries often abandons her children, as they are culturally unwelcome with the new husband. Heroin addicts often give up on caring for their children. Some of their parents have died from AIDS, cancer, or complications of heroin addiction.
N.’s father is mentally disabled due to a motorbike accident and her mother left the family to work in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). With financial support from FIV, another family in our program which is very stable was able to take care of her until her mother finally returned. They built a cute little loft in their small home just for her. Unfortunately, her mother is now in prison for dealing heroin and her father is doing his best to care for her. Her teenage sisters chose to take care of themselves, and in the absence of parents, one was raped by a stranger in their home and the other became pregnant and married at the age of 16. We hope that N. will have a better future through the commitment of FIV staff and sponsors.
S. and H.A.
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