Vietnam has experienced tremendous economic growth over the past 20 years,and is now considered a middle-income country. But deep poverty still exists, especially in rural areas and on the fringes of cities. Children with disabilities and illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, are frequently handed over to orphanages by desperate families who do not have the financial or emotional resources to care for them. But residential facilities are never the best option for children. For every three months in institutional care, a child loses one month of development. WWO is working with government agencies, universities and NGOs to improve the conditions for children living in orphanages, while also supporting community-based services for orphans and their caregivers to prevent further children from being abandoned. Our programs focus on:
- Strengthening capacity of medical and psychosocial service providers, caregivers and families through hands-on training and coaching, and facilitating professional networking.
- Providing comprehensive support services to families at risk of abandoning their children.
- Providing attachment, play, psycho-social and health services to children living in orphanages.
FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS AND CAPACITY BUILDING
To prevent at-risk families from abandoning HIV+ or other high needs children, WWO has developed Family Resource Centers to provide nutritional counseling, referrals for medical care, assistance with school registration and fees, psychosocial support, guided play activities and life skills training to over 1,000 children and families. We also provide training for community groups of adults living with HIV and AIDS to help children and caregivers in need of assistance to access services.Outreach to social work students and caregivers includes training on case management, protocols for disclosure for children living with HIV/AIDS and stress management for service providers. WWO works with three government orphanages that are home to a total 285 children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. With our technical assistance, children receive a comprehensive health program that also includes dental care. Medical staff receives coaching from pediatric AIDS specialists.
EARLY INTERVENTION AND EDUCATION
Children under the age of six receive one-to-one support from community volunteers or “Aunties,” who play with them and nurture attachment. Children with disabilities receive support for physical and psychomotor therapy. Children with learning disabilities receive tutoring and older children receive life skills training and vocational/computer training to help with school and job readiness. We train trainers to impart these best practices to other providers, including the importance of attachment in children, how to use standardized assessment of child development to identify delays, and the early intervention of care and treatment issues, developmental delays and learning needs.
Because HIV+ children face unique health challenges and stigmatization, WWO works in partnership with SeriousFun Children’s Network to run two residential camps – one in the north, one in the south – serving nearly 300 children living with HIV/AIDS from orphanages and surrounding communities. The camps teach children the importance of adhering to HIV treatment and provide a refuge to build resilience, hope, self-esteem and peer relationships.
Learn more about Camp Colors of Love
Learn more about Educational Support
Learn more about HIV / AIDS Treatment and Training
Learn more about One-to-One HRT Program