Slums of Hanoi:
Many impoverished people from the countryside go to Hanoi in search of jobs and a better life for their children. Instead, they find discrimination, heroin, prostitution, and illiteracy for their children. Families In Vietnam (FIV) works to enroll these children in school and to provide a safety net when families fall deep into social destruction. Spending time in the slums of Hanoi, volunteers and staff are welcomed into homes and trusted to help these families and children find a better world.
Upon uprooting their children from the countryside to move to Hanoi for better futures, the discrimination they encounter is in part because they are “poor country people.” A part of the non-acceptance is the unfortunate prejudice that accompanies different dialects, skin-tones, mannerisms, and customs. The families in our program often find themselves doing work which is viewed poorly, such as collecting scrap cardboard for recycling, peddling to tourists, and begging. Another part of the rejection and ostracism is just the nature of slums found anywhere in the world, where people live on the fringes of society.
A Safety Net for Social Destruction
When a family in Vietnam hits a crisis point, and begins to fall into despair on how to continue just existing, this is when FIV steps in with a safety net. Due to our high involvement with the families, this is specific and individualized plans for each family/child and not a dime is misspent. This ranges from a month’s rent to providing support in the home of extended family for children whose parents are in prison to emergency medical treatment and so on. We also utilize our staff in Vietnam to assist us with respecting the customs of the culture, and also the standards of bargaining for the best price. Read some of our success stories here.
Social destruction begins to occur in these families when the hopelessness of continuing starts to consume them and they fall victim to the many trappings of the truly desperate and despondent that must provide for their children to eat: prostitution, drug-use and selling, and so on. We at FIV put ourselves, often literally, between the families and these deceptive, destructive and temporary trappings and guide them to better choices, with your sponsorship.
Being on the ground in Vietnam several times a year, and into the families’ homes which are often only tents, with love and acceptance, allows our USA-based volunteers to be welcomed as heartily as our local Vietnamese staff. We have always been amazed at the hospitality shown to us in people’s homes and the level of hosting the Vietnamese still give us when they are truly down to their last cup of rice.