Duy’s Story – A Spark of Self-Care

4 weeks ago

On a spring afternoon back in 2018, our staff ventured out to the village of one of our successful recipients. The path along the drive was filled with various kinds of blooming wildflowers and the air filled with the sweet scent of spring and visions of the vibrant bees hard at work, a gentle representation of the home we were on our way to visiting. As part of our program initiatives, the beginning phase incorporates a collaboration effort between our staff and the potential beneficiary and their family. The destination of this trip was the single floor home of a new potential participant in the Increasing Opportunities for Children with Disabilities.

Diagnosed with intellectual defects and autism from a young age, Duy grew up with additional struggles that many of us will not know. Cognitive function, particularly with engaging in tasks of self-hygiene played a heightened disruptive role in Duy’s and his family’s lives. He could not actively, and self-sufficiently take care of his personal hygiene and control his behavior. A pulling focus, the hope and desire for Duy to be self-sufficient in his self-hygiene prompted the collaborative initiative to create change and shift old limiting narratives of Duy’s future potential. He was enrolled in the Increasing Opportunities for Children with Disabilities program in 2019 with a tailored-approach plan catered to his specific needs, a plan that takes into consideration the phases of growth and layers of poverty. His enrollment continues today from 2019-to 2023 to best integrate his learning and progression for an independent life growing up.

The financial support from joining Children of Vietnam offered Duy the foundation needed to alter the course of his life. Duy’s progress became noticeable in every home visit throughout the years. Perhaps, the most significant was the incredible change in attitude in both Duy and his family. From the first initial survey, there was a feeling of loss of hope and stagnant energy of potential change – a nonchalant and uncooperative attitude. This is a very common attitude due to cultural opinions and misunderstandings, along with past experiences with programs where promises were not fulfilled.

Initiating action, Duy was sent to Thanh Tam Vocational, a school that provides high-quality specialized education for children with Disabilities in Da Nang city. In addition to the school’s tuition, he received financial support for private tutoring lessons. The financial backing from Children of Vietnam also supported various livelihood means for him and the family. For example, buying new tools for making rice cakes to increase the parents’ own sufficient income. Over a quick time period, we saw reduced uncontrolled behavior and an increase in self-sufficiency and overall health (mental, emotional, and physical). In our staff’s most recent meeting, we were welcomed into a home of Duy and his mother was smiling and laughing with radiant energy. 

His mother shared with us many stories about his great improvement in even the little things that once seemed out of reach: knowing how to say hello, thank you when meeting other people, doing house chores (cleaning the house, frying the rice cakes, cutting fruits, washing clothes or even taking care of his mother when she was ill.) Sharing about her child’s happiness: “Actually, I cannot believe the great changes I have seen in my son. He knows how to take care of himself such as washing his face, knowing how to feed himself, and being more receptive to listening and discipline. He rarely shows bad and strange behavior compared with the time before going to school. All thanks to Children Of Vietnam who brought and continues to bring a great learning environment to my son, which creates a big change in his life and my family.  now we feel comfortable and concentrate on our work to earn money for his learning.” 

Duy’s story is one that shines a light on how just a little change can spark a tremendous outcome of opportunities. 

Thank you for your donations to support children like Duy! Because of you, we are able to provide essential needs for children with disabilities.