Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Local Child Protection Committees are pivotal to identify and support vulnerable children

Nam sells lottery tickets five kilometres away from his house © UNICEF Viet Nam/2013/Truong Viet Hung
I had seen them before, children who are selling lottery tickets in the markets and on the streets. Yet I had never bought a lottery ticket from a child because I didn’t want to encourage them to keep selling lottery tickets instead of going to school. After my field visit to An Giang, I have realised that some children, without support, simply do not have the option of going to school.

It is Tuesday morning and we are driving in a minivan from Long Xuyen city alongside the river to Phu Tan district. It is almost Tet, the Lunar, a.k.a. Chinese, New Year, and in front of many houses the Vietnamese flag is proudly waving accompanied by a yellow Tet tree. I am part of a UNICEF team who is going to visit families to listen to their experiences with the local child protection authorities, in order to improve their functioning.

Social workers help children with HIV

Mai talks to social worker Trung at the residential centre
© UNICEF Viet Nam/2013/Truong Viet Hung
Thirteen-year-old Mai (not her real name) lives at a shelter for vulnerable children in An Giang, Viet Nam. She’s an orphaned girl living with HIV. After her parents died three years ago, she was looked after by her grandmother. They were very poor so instead of going to school, Mai worked in a rice shop. Her grandmother sold lottery tickets to make ends meet but she was 80 years old and in bad health. In the end, she was unable to look after Mai properly and contacted her local commune authority for help.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ly’s blog – trip to An Giang, day two, exciting working day

Nguyen Huong Ly, Twenty-two year-old, she has been interning at UNICEF Viet Nam’s Communication section in Ha Noi for the past four months. On 3 February, she embarked on a four-day mission to Viet Nam’s southern province An Giang to find out more about UNICEF’s work and remaining challenges for children.  Check out her blog!


My view from the ferry

I woke up at 6 am, right when the alarm went off. I put on my UNICEF T-shirt and took my time preparing what to bring for the whole day. We had a really nice breakfast with “Hu Tiu” – a type of noodles from the south of Vietnam. I was handed a few documents about breastfeeding and the situation in An Giang.