The war in Vietnam officially ended on April 30, 1975, but the effects are still being felt. Children are the most vulnerable and suffer the most in any conflict. Children are victim of divorces, separations, economic hardships, disease and many other adversities. Vietnam is no different. Even in peace, Vietnam still has a huge number of orphans and street children.
Traditionally, Asian countries pay a lot of respect to their elders and care for them well, but not much emphasis is placed on children. Poverty and economic recession has made child labor a norm in Vietnam. There are many reasons for the unacceptably large number of orphans in Vietnam.
Children of Peace International has been working with the Vietnamese government in caring for its orphans. We provide the means for state run orphanages to care for their children with love, dignity and compassion. Besides offering assistance with food and education for the children, we also provide training in early childhood development to orphanage caregivers. Children fare better if they have constant care and love. By taking care and provide training to the caregivers; we will eliminate constant changes in the life of already too fragile for the orphans.
There are 14 orphanages, homes and schools partnering with us in our Orphan Care project.
We came to realize that the children in our neighborhoods are struggling to stay in school, and most of them are too poor to pay for school registration. These children belong to the “working poor”, single parents or are children of the indigenous tribes. Believing that education is the solution to bring the next generation out of poverty, COPI launched the “Scholarships to our Scholars” program in 1999
Each year since 1999, COPI has been awarding 400 scholarships to scholars in several provinces. The scholarships include school uniforms, school supplies and school registration fees. Our scholars do not have to be the best or the brightest academically, but they must have the desire for learning and be from an economically poor family. COPI prefers to award our scholars from his or her Kindergarten year. Besides the funding for school, COPI visits the scholars and their families to provide encouragement and guidance. In the end, the scholars become the extended family of COPI thrughout Vietnam. All of our college graduates have found jobs as soon as they finished school. Gallery
Forty percent of the children in our care are handicapped in some way. Without special training they have no prospect of finishing school and becoming gainfully employed. COPI invites artists, craftsmen and specialists to come and train these children on campus.
The children learn how to work with embroidery, sewing, cutting hair and structure painting. One boutique in Hanoi will take all of the children's products and sell them to tourists. This not only generates income for the children but it also provides more scholarships for the younger children.
Medical Mission Trips
Since 1997, Children of Peace International has been hosting medical missions trips each spring and summer. Our medical teams are made up of both American and Vietnamese, medical and non-medical professionals.
The patients we serve are students, orphans, leprosy patients and citizens of poor and remote areas. These patients often have no access to proper healthcare.
At each clinic we set up a hygiene station to teach the patients the proper way to brush their teeth and wash their hands before meals and after restroom use. The patients will have their faces washed, hands scrubbed and teeth brushed before entering the clinic. We provide our patients with plenty of information and posters to encourage healthy hygiene practices.
The triage station will collect vital information from each patient. The ear cleaning station is always busy cleaning ears and preparing to deal with infections. Our medical physicians not only give general exams but they also consult on methods of treatment for serious illnesses. In addition, COPI provides financial aid for continuing local care, if needed. We are also capable of performing minor surgery on site. To each patient who needs it we gave free medicine to treat their illness plus three to six months of vitamins. We offer free prenatal vitamins to all pregnant patients for the duration of the pregnancy.
Our dental team is always busy cleaning, extracting and filling teeth. Dental care is much needed at every clinic. The dental team is always the last group to finish the day and they never lack for patients. We bring our own dental chairs, autoclave and tools for five dentists to work together.
Throughout the mission our team will take care of 200 to 300 patients at each clinic and we hold seven or eight clinics per mission. Our intention with the clinics is not only to treat illness, but, by setting up clinics at new locations, COPI will have an opportunity to learn about the community and make an accurate assessment of their needs in order to serve them well. Since 1997 COPI has been able to provide social assistance to various communities based on our findings at a clinic.If you are interested in joining , please read the information here.