This project is for those in special situations such as medical or physical need. Over the last 12 years or so more than 60 houses have been built for older people or those with a physical disability
Grants of up to £1500 are given and this encourages relatives of beneficiaries to assist producing houses of varying quality and size. Of course the prices of materials have increased since the building of the houses started when a one or two bed roomed house could be completed for £500. Many people in the countryside live in bamboo shacks which are vulnerable to typhoons, very heavy rainstorms and subsequent floods.
Referrals are made via local communes or churches to the Da Nang City or the Quang Nam Province Associations For Charity and Protection of Children’s Rights. The referrals when approved by them are passed to our Vietnamese representative Mrs Nguyen Phan Lien Ha who invites me to visit the families for a final assessment. Sometimes the referrals are refused because our resources are so limited, even though there is often great need and the referrals are appropriate. When the houses are completed I am invited to visit again ensuring that the grants are managed correctly.
Over the many years that I have been visiting Vietnam I have also taken redundant equipment for those with visual impairment – such as speaking clocks and watches, folding symbol canes and liquid level indicators kindly given or sold at a reduced price depending on their quality by Somerset Sight. Many of these items would have been thrown away. Such items are greatly appreciated in Vietnam. Sadly my baggage allowance is limited. We have also provided radios and chess sets some of which were bought locally.
Currently I visit Vietnam in the Spring and Autumn of each year. Reports of these visits are available on request to Siloam’s office.
South East Asia Voluntary Representative
Siloam’s Vietnamese representative Nguyen Phan Lien Ha with her husband Thanh, who is a civil engineer.
Mr Tuan is blind and he lives with his daughter. His house above was in very poor condition.
He is a happy man now living in a new house built for £1200. His house was built with the help of a donation from St Mary the Virgin, Upottery, Devon.