Doctors discovered Ngoc Vy’s congenital heart defects months before her birth. In her first year of life, she cried constantly. It was the only way she could express her struggle to breathe.
Living in poverty, Vy’s parents could not pay for surgery. Her father was a driver and her mother stayed home to care for her. The parents watched their baby’s shallow breaths as she slept. They worried that their daughter would not see the light of morning.
Ngoc Vy is one of 16,000 Vietnamese babies born every year with congenital heart defects, or CHD. These are the children VinaCapital Foundation works to save. VinaCapital Foundation, or VCF, is a NGO working primarily in the healthcare and education sector. Its programs empower local women who play a key role in alleviating poverty and building the middle class throughout the country.
“One of the worst causes of poverty is a sick child at home. Women are always the caregivers,” said Rad Kivette, CEO of VinaCapital Foundation. “Our commitment to improving the health and welfare of children is grounded in the need to empower women as game changers in the battle against poverty. With healthy children, a mother will improve the economy of her family, her community, and ultimately, Vietnam.”
Despite a rise in Vietnam’s economy, healthcare inequality between the rich and the poor is still a major problem. The doctors from VCF’s outreach clinics travel to poor areas and give children free screenings for congenital heart defects. VCF’s grassroots program, Heartbeat Vietnam, funds life-saving heart operations for children diagnosed with CHD. Ngoc Vy was the 7,000th beneficiary.
For mothers to self-actualize after their children are healthy again, their kids have to stay healthy. With VCF’s Continuing Care grants, the poorest children receive medical check-ups, proper nutrition, and money for school. This allows the mother to cultivate economic opportunities in the outside world.
All of VCF’s healthcare-related programs expand women’s potential through children’s health. VCF’s Critical Response and Survive to Thrive programs have given more than 1,300 doctors and nurses emergency and neonatal training. Many of these trainees are women. Teaching them increases their capacity as female professionals. VCF’s Hearing Mission program has equipped almost 5,000 people with hearing aids. Children becoming less dependent on their mothers means those mothers can become independent outside the home. Resources and knowledge are key.
Besides healthcare, girls need a quality education to rise out of poverty. This is especially true of ethnic minority girls. Without an education, they are more likely to enter into child marriages.
VCF’s A Brighter Path program awards scholarships to ethnic minority girls in high school and college. The girls also meet every year to learn about financial literacy, career planning, and sexual and reproductive health. VCF nurtures their self-worth so they can become the game changers Vietnam needs.
The scholarship recipients transform from shy students to confident leaders. The 45 girls from the first cohort returned to their communities to create positive change. The second cohort is about to enter college. Graduating from college creates more opportunities for them, and their ethnic communities, in the future.
VinaCapital Foundation works tirelessly to strengthen Vietnam’s most underutilized source of change — its women. Little Ngoc Vy’s heart will keep beating and she has a chance for a fulfilling life.
“She is gaining weight and is strong enough to play just like her twin sister Kim Vy,” said Trịnh Thị Ngọc Ngân, Ngoc Vy’s mother. When Ngoc Vy recovers, her mother can find work and raise the family’s income.
If you support VinaCapital Foundation’s mission, you will be part of this game-changing movement.
Support VinaCapital Foundation
- Donate through a bank transfer or credit card/Paypal: Every donation goes towards a child’s life
- Start your own campaign: Set a goal and choose which of our programs you want to support
- Make a pledge: If you cannot donate right away, show your support with a promise
Contact VinaCapital Foundation’s office
- Address: 14E21 Thao Dien, Thao Dien ward,
District 2, HCMC, Vietnam
- Phone: +84 28 38278787
- Fax: +84 28 38217294
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt