UK | Phone: +44 (0)151 270 118 | Charity Number: 1094902

VN | Điện Thoại: 0235 3940027 | VN NGO: 92/CNV-VPDA

Transforming Children's Lives

A teacher guiding a disabled child

Please help me teach for another month!

Teacher of the Month - Ms Thuy

34 year old Thuy is one of our senior teachers and our lead teacher on early numeracy and literacy. Born in Ha Nam, outside of Hanoi, Thuy has been no stranger to adversity. She was born with hemiplegia on her left side, and her father died when she was a child, leaving her mother to raise three children alone. Fortunately, Thuy was blessed with two things: a strong, caring mother who supported her daughter in all she wished to do, and her own determined spirit. Thuy enjoyed a regular education at a mainstream school, and was supported by caring friends and teachers. However, she knew that this was not the case for all people with disability and felt called to pursue a career as a special education teacher. She was not daunted when in order to do this, she had to move far from her family to the central city of Da Nang. Da Nang University was one of the few universities in Vietnam that would accept students with a disability. Thuy welcomed the challenge and the adventure.

After graduation, Thuy was unable to get a job in her chosen area; ironically, precisely because of her own disability. The only place that she could get a job as a teacher was at a mainstream school in the remote mountain region of Nam Giang, where teachers were hard to come by. She accepted it as another adventure and traveled there to take up a position as a part-time supply teacher.

It was whilst she was working there, that one of her university friends told her that the Kianh Foundation had just opened a new special school in Dien Ban, outside of Hoi An, and were looking for a teacher. She traveled there immediately to apply for the job. What other people saw as a disadvantage, we immediately saw as an advantage. Who better to understand and teach children with a disability, than a teacher who understood what it was to live with a disability?

Thuy began working with us in 2011. She became the lead teacher for our Early Numeracy and Literacy class (‘The Tiny Tigers’) and since then has had innumerable successes with helping young children to reach their foundation educational goals; several of these ‘successes’ have then been accepted at mainstream schools, when previously they had been rejected. Children not accepted at mainstream, have instead been able to join our mainstream class at the school. During her time with us, Thuy has learned to ride a motorbike (she was advised this was dangerous; she went ahead, anyway); got married to a handsome young man who also had hemiplegia following a stroke (they were advised life would be hard for them together; they went ahead anyway); and last year, (again advised that this would be too difficult for her), gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

With her quiet, determined character, innate compassion and intelligence, Thuy is a key component of the Kianh Foundation and truly stands for what we’re all about.

Click to support now (add the message "Thuy")!

From simple beginnings...

Kianh began as an epiphany in the lives of Jacci Bulman and Jackie Wrafter MBE, two strong, independent, women from the North of England . During a round the world trip, a visit to the orphanage in Hoi An, Viet Nam, in the year 2000 proved too powerful a moment for the women to turn their backs on. 20 years later, Jackie Wrafter’s leadership and stubbornness has changed the lives of hundreds of poor children with disability. Starting with daily visits to the children at the orphanage and addressing basic healthcare, the two friends created the Kianh project and began to recruit donors, volunteers and supporters.

We've achieved a lot...

Realising that many children with disability in orphanages are not actual orphans, but the children of unsupported families, the Foundation progressed to a pilot school and with focused direction from Jackie and Nick Keegan (Director of Business Development), they secured international funding from RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) to build a day centre. Starting with 40 children in 2012, the centre has educated 100’s of previously excluded children and changed the dynamics, financially and practically, of daily life for many seriously disadvantaged families in the adjourning area.

But we need your support!

Kianh’s reach is life changing and long term: Teaching families and children how to deal with their disabilities, busting myths and misconceptions surrounding their disabilities and offering the important chance to integrate into the community, education, and in many cases, employment upon adulthood. Kianh strives for meaningful change above temporary metrics. In a world of spreadsheets and targets, Kianh has never lost sight of its humanity and continues to change the lives of children with special needs.

Hear Jackie’s story in her own words...

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UK:

79 Forfar Road
Liverpool L13 8DX
United Kingdom

Viet Nam:

Thôn Cổ An 4,
Huyện Điện Bàn,
Tỉnh Quảng Nam,
Việt Nam

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