Fears for future of special needs school in central Vietnam

The founder of a charity in Vietnam who was awarded one of the UK’s highest honours for her work with disabled children fears the doors to her school may soon close forever.

Jackie Wrafter was awarded the MBE by His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in 2018, after setting up The Kianh Foundation in 2001.

Fears for future of special needs school in central Vietnam
Jackie Wrafter receives her MBE medal from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. — Photo courtesy of the Kianh Foundation

Her school has helped hundreds of children get a vital education, but after the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world into an economic recession, many of the donations vital for her school have dried up.

“Our school is run mainly on international donations, but now in foreign countries many businesses are closing down, countries are beginning to go into recession, people are losing their jobs, people just don’t have spare money to donate to charity anymore,” she said.

“So that is really severely impacting our monthly intake that we get to run the school.”

Jackie and her friends set up The Kianh Foundation in 2001 after visiting an orphanage in the central province of Quang Nam.

“I was backpacking around the world for a year,” she said

“I had left my job in London and I visited an orphanage in Hoi An in Quang Nam Province.”

Jackie said her trip was a life-changing moment and led her to create a centre in Dien Ban District to help disadvantaged children in the area to live a normal life.

She added: “When I met the disabled children at the orphanage, they were just locked inside this one room, they never got to leave the room. They would just lie on their beds all day. No one took them outside and played with them.

“But when you started to give them some attention, a lot of them opened up and they were very funny little characters with really strong personalities.

“So we set up The Kianh Foundation to try to provide services and improve the lives of the children.”

Fears for future of special needs school in central Vietnam
Jackie Wrafter sees her trip from 20 years ago as a life-changing moment which urged her to set up the Kianh Foundation and help disabled children in Quang Nam Province. — Photo courtesy of Jackie Wrafter

The school currently teaches 82 students from the age of one to 19 years old with many kinds of disabilities.

It is an enormous task for the teachers as they have to care for children with various disabilities including autism, down syndrome, microcephalus, deafness and blindness.

“It is a big job for our teachers because most schools might focus on one or two kinds of disabilities and here we have everything,” Jackie said.

“We have various programmes to meet all of the children with different needs.

“Some of the children are able to learn the mainstream Vietnamese curriculum, so we have the mainstream classrooms for them.

“Finding the way to communicate is the biggest issue for many of our students so we provide behaviour management programmes, physical therapy, occupational therapy and communication therapy.

“We also have lots of lovely creative things for them to do like yoga, dance, music and drama.

“For older children, we prepare vocational programmes for them.”

Ho Phuong Dieu, 19, has studied at The Kianh Foundation for seven years.

 

She has had cerebral palsy since she was born.

“I have changed a lot during my time at the Kianh Foundation. I was a shy girl before, I didn’t communicate with other people around me,” Dieu said.

“But when I went to the school, I realised that I am not the only one who is disabled, there are people with worse problems than me. So that’s the motivation for me to keep living.”

During her time at The Kianh Foundation, she's discovered many things she didn’t think were possible. 

The school has buoyed Dieu from her previously gloomy life.

She added: “I have a chance to study. Besides what I learn at school, I also have other skills such as self-sufficiency and communication.

 “If I didn’t go to school, I would be stuck at home only communicating with my parents.

“I only have one friend at home who plays with me. When I'm at school, I have more friends and I'm more confident.”

There are many students like Dieu studying at The Kianh Foundation. Most of them are from farming families living in difficult circumstances who can’t afford school fees.

More than a hundred children are still on the waiting list to enrol at the centre. The list grows every month with new families registering their children nearly every day.

“The children are so happy when they turn up at school every day,” Jackie said.

“It is so exciting for them because it's the first time in their lives that they can learn to do something for themselves.

“When they come here all of the students make new friends. They get a chance to have a normal childhood, the kind of childhood that every child should have.”

Many graduates from The Kianh Foundation have found jobs and now make a living for themselves.

“We would love it if we could get jobs for all of the kids when they graduate, but unfortunately it’s not possible in this area of central Vietnam and probably in many areas around the world.

“But we have managed to find work for some of our students.

“Actually, quite a few of them work at one of the resorts here in Hoi An, and some also work at our school.”   VNS

If you want to help The Kianh Foundation by making a donation, visit their website at https://kianh.org.uk/

Minh Phuong 

People with disabilities to get more assistance

People with disabilities to get more assistance

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a programme to support people with disabilities in 2021-2030.

Man devotes his life to helping children with disabilities

Man devotes his life to helping children with disabilities

Tran Hoang Minh is unmarried and has fathered no children, but he has become a father figure for dozens of kids.

 
 

Other News

.
HCM City needs about 56,000 workers in Q4/2021
HCM City needs about 56,000 workers in Q4/2021
SOCIETYicon  06/10/2021 

According to the HCM City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, local enterprises will need about 56,000 workers and about 90-92% of the demand will be met.

Vietnam to use Sputnik V vaccine this week
Vietnam to use Sputnik V vaccine this week
SOCIETYicon  06/10/2021 

Vietnam is anticipated to use Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for the ongoing national vaccination campaign this week as soon as the factory certificate of the imported batch is secured.

Hanoi plans to start economic recovery while living safely with COVID-19
Hanoi plans to start economic recovery while living safely with COVID-19
SOCIETYicon  06/10/2021 

Hanoi will work towards a safe and flexible living situation with COVID-19, in a bid to begin the capital's economic recovery, the city’s leader has said.

EC to review Vietnam's efforts against IUU at online meeting
EC to review Vietnam's efforts against IUU at online meeting
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

The European Commission will convene an online meeting with the Directorate of Fisheries on October 27 to review Vietnam’s efforts against illegal, unreported and undocumented fishing.

New COVID-19 cases down on October 5
New COVID-19 cases down on October 5
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

Vietnam recorded 4,363 new COVID-19 cases, including three imported ones, in the past 24 hours till 5pm on October 5, reported the Health Ministry.

VN lecturers win first prize of Social Business Creation 2021
VN lecturers win first prize of Social Business Creation 2021
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

A group of lecturers from International University (Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City) has passed 264 teams from 80 universities of 24 countries to take the first prize of the 2021 Social Business Creation Contest.

Commercial railway transportation to resume from October 7
Commercial railway transportation to resume from October 7
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

Vietnam Railway Authority has issued a document asking for feedback from localities on the resumption of railway transportation while ensuring COVID-19 safety.

HCM City is bustling on the first day of 'new normal' week
HCM City is bustling on the first day of 'new normal' week
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

Crowded streets, busy traffic on the morning of the first Monday in the new normal - people in Ho Chi Minh City have returned to work after a four months of social distancing.

People from covid-hit areas keep flocking to the Central Highlands
People from covid-hit areas keep flocking to the Central Highlands
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

Tens of thousands of people from southern provinces that are Vietnam’s pandemic hotspot are flocking to the Central Highlands provinces, posing great pressure for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic in these localities.

Don't use COVID-19 antibody tests incorrectly, health ministry told health authorities
Don't use COVID-19 antibody tests incorrectly, health ministry told health authorities
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has asked that local health authorities do not use COVID-19 antibody tests for the wrong purpose, as it is both costly and unnecessary.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 5
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 5
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

Poor students to find it easier to access online learning

Gov't approves finance ministry's credit line to help poor students with online learning
Gov't approves finance ministry's credit line to help poor students with online learning
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has agreed with the Finance Ministry’s proposal to help needy students with electronic devices to help them learn online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam receives 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from COVAX
Vietnam receives 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from COVAX
SOCIETYicon  05/10/2021 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a ceremony in Hanoi on October 4 to symbolically receive 1.5 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility with the assistance from the US Government.

HCM City prepares to inoculate students above 12
HCM City prepares to inoculate students above 12
SOCIETYicon  04/10/2021 

The HCM City Department of Education and Training has proposed a plan to the People’s Committee to vaccinate more than 642,000 students aged between 12 and 18 against COVID-19.

Vietnam reports 5,383 new cases of COVID-19 on October 4
Vietnam reports 5,383 new cases of COVID-19 on October 4
SOCIETYicon  04/10/2021 

Vietnam recorded 5,383 new cases of COVID-19, including one imported, in the last 24 hours to 5pm on October 4, the Ministry of Health announced.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 4
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 4
SOCIETYicon  04/10/2021 

Over 3 million labourers in HCM City subjected to unemployment insurance allowances

Delta variant challenges Vietnam’s resilience
Delta variant challenges Vietnam’s resilience
FEATUREicon  05/10/2021 

Having struggled with Covid-19 for two years, Vietnam has step by step controlled the outbreaks. The reduction in the number of infections and deaths shows that the country is on the right track.

Private kindergarten owners to sell schools due to COVID-19
Private kindergarten owners to sell schools due to COVID-19
SOCIETYicon  04/10/2021 

Faced with financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the owners of many private kindergartens are putting their schools up for sale.

Hanoi to tighten management on hospitals to prevent spread of COVID-19
Hanoi to tighten management on hospitals to prevent spread of COVID-19
SOCIETYicon  04/10/2021 

Authorities in Hanoi will tighten the management of hospitals under a request by the municipal deputy chairman Chu Xuan Dung.

Air transport to Hanoi may resume from October 5
Air transport to Hanoi may resume from October 5
SOCIETYicon  04/10/2021 

The Ministry of Transport is waiting for Hanoi's opinion on the reopening of domestic air routes to and from its Noi Bai International Airport from October 5.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN