The Kianh Foundation was established in 2001 to address the urgent gap in services for children with disability living in the government-run orphanage in Hoi An, Central Vietnam. During its years working at the orphanage, Kianh Foundation witnessed families who had children with disability, giving them up to the orphanage as the only means of finding some support for them. This was traumatic for both child and family.

Since April 2012, KF has therefore been running a purpose-built day centre for such children, in the poor, rural area of Dien Ban, a large catchment area for children being put into the orphanage. Dien Ban was in the 10% of districts most heavily bombed in the American-Vietnam war and was extensively sprayed with dioxins. This, coupled with huge poverty, means that Dien Ban has an extremely high occurrence of disability, special needs and congenital disorders, and next to no services to deal with them.

Our centre provides education, physiotherapy, speech therapy, education in various life skills, and a happy place to be a child for many of these children. Very importantly, it keeps the children with their families. Our day centre project has 3 main aims:

  • to support every aspect of these children’s development, with the aim of improving their quality of life whilst preparing them to live their adult lives with as much independence and  fulfilment as possible
  • to support the parents and families of these children, who are often almost as isolated as their children, with no support network and not even the most basic knowledge about their child’s disability
  • to make a measurable impact upon an almost untouched rural area in terms of disability intervention

Voluntourism

Voluntourism, closely linked with Orphanage tourism, often results in very little benefit to local communities. The focus seems to be more on the “experience” of... Read more →