Worldwide Orphans Foundation Vietnam: For A Happy Childhood

Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO), an U.S.-based NGO, was founded in 1997 with the unique mission is “to enrich the lives and enhance the physical, emotional, social and intellectual well-being of orphaned children throughout the world.” Throughout its time in Vietnam, WWO has implemented many activities delivering comprehensive support to grant evidence based uplift of the children’s development.

(VNF) - Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO), an U.S.-based NGO, was founded in 1997 with the unique mission is “to enrich the lives and enhance the physical, emotional, social and intellectual well-being of orphaned children throughout the world.” Throughout its time in Vietnam, WWO has implemented many activities delivering comprehensive support to grant evidence based uplift of the children’s development.

For the Brightest Smiles

Since 2005, WWO has provided medical, educational, and psychosocial support to over 4,000 HIV-positive, disabled and vulnerable children and youths with 26 partners in 11 provinces including Ha Noi, Hung Yen, Phu Yen , Dong Nai, Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City, Long An, Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Can Tho, An Giang. The Foundation also trained over 1,000 adult caregivers—including healthcare providers, and social workers—on how to most effectively care for and support HIV-positive young people. In addition, WWO has provided psychosocial and well-being supports and improved communication, interaction and caregiving skills for more than 1,500 adults who are parents and caregivers of children.

Worldwide Orphans Foundation Vietnam: For A Happy Childhood

Children in Ho Chi Minh City participate in a WWO group activity on future job opportunities. (Source: amfar.org)

More than 800 volunteers, trainees, and other members of the community were trained on these topics to participate in effective childcare activities. It is the strength of the community that makes WWO’s program sustainable in its persity and comprehensive approach.

More than 10 years of operation in Vietnam, WWO has successfully deployed in some local projects such as Comprehensive care for orphans, children, and adolescents; Psychosocial interventions and referral support for at risk children and children and adolescents with disability; Residential summer camp for children and adolescents with serious diseases; Computer classes for underprivileged children and adolescents; and Toy Library for younger children with developmental issues.

According to WWO representatives, due to limited resources, the Foundation makes the impact possible through the community itself and its counterparts (locally hired staff and volunteers) throughout the project cycle. In addition, a large force of foreign volunteers also contributed a small part and these results.

WWO provides children with a sense of intimacy by way of their one-to-one program that recruits adults to pair with children. The importance of this project is reflected in children who begin to understand what it means to be attached to a loving caregiver

To assist families considered at high-risk of abandoning their children, WWO focuses on providing them with skills and confidence to adequately raise children. In situations where children have already been orphaned, WWO will work to reintegrate children to their families. WWO's main role is technical support and guidance.

These successes of WWO also have an integral support of central and local authorities while its projects are being carried out.

In 2018, WWO continues to provide full-time care and support for disabled, HIV-infected children and at-risk adolescents in 11 provinces across the country, including 26 partners include disability schools, social work centers, shelters, etc. and in the community. Supportive care includes physical health care, mental health and education, vocational training and employment. Another important activity is to improve the capacity of local partners and volunteers. WWO will provide necessary training courses for staff in line with the situation at each unit; and assist in the monitoring, evaluation for more effective care and services to the target population of children.

WWO’s “Rabbit” Doctor

Dr. Le Ngoc Oanh, a medical advisor of WWO Vietnam, is an outstanding professional and human being whose impactful contributions are always appreciated by WWO. Her nickname is “Rabbit Doctor”, a very endearing and lovely name to children supported by WWO.

It seems that Oanh was born to be a doctor for disadvantaged children. In the WWO clinic of the Model Centre, she does not to wear a white blouse to make children feel safe and comfortable.

Worldwide Orphans Foundation Vietnam: For A Happy Childhood

The “Crisis management” training, run by Dr. Le Ngoc Oanh (black T-shirt) on 7th May, 2016 at the WWO Center for Excellence. (Source: Worldwide Orphans Foundation Vietnam)

Surprisingly, Oanh remembers every name of her small patients although it counts up to thousands. She is loved by her patients, perhaps because in addition to taking care of the health of the children, she also paid much attention to their feeling. She is among a very few doctors who have knowledge, skills and experience of social psychology to help children become healthier, more self-reliant and more optimistic.

As one of the first members of the organisation, Oanh is present in every WWO intervention. With many years of experience, she is always eager to share knowledge and skills with colleagues, partners, carergivers and volunteers, enabling them to help children grow better. Oanh's contributions are not only in medical interventions, but also in the Toy Library, Life Skills, Recreational Therapy and Camp of Colours and Love for children affected with HIV. She is an example inspiring young people in the social work industry. “To have peace of mind, what we can do is doing the right things,” Oanh said./.

Translated by Chau Pham

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