This blog is written by Brett, who will be blogging from his heart about he and his care giver Jane’s experience with Huy, with Helping Orphan's HOW, and EB Awareness in HMCM, Vietnam. This is Brett's Story:
My name is Brett Murray and I have a carer Jane Teede. We are from Bunbury Western Australia and travel quite frequently to Vietnam.
We love the people and the climate. We have now become involved with HOW through some very nice people we have met. Which all started on a street corner by meeting Mr. Dat, who is an extraordinary person with a huge heart.
Mr. Dat first took us to a HOW orphanage, which was a wonderful experience. Since doing this we have met many volunteers from all over the world who all do a wonderful job for HOW.
We are becoming more involved, especially with the EB side of things, since meeting the founder Hillary Brown who is a lovely person. We are becoming more involved each time we visit HCMC and are in love with a little fella named Huy. He is just a magnificent kid and is very sick with EB but is becoming a little bit better with the wonderful job and medical supplies, which are donated from all over the world.
Every time we see Huy his wounds look a lot better and he is becoming happier and more open with us. He is learning to speak English better and converse with us through Mr. Dat
His goal is to get outside, and play with other children, as he is bedridden 100% of the time. We are in the process of organizing a mobile pram or wheelchair for him to be removed from his bed and taken outside and taken other places, which I am sure, will brighten his life and make it much better for him.
The Burma Humanitarian Mission supports community based health-care and education projects that improve lives of the Burmese people. In this article, we hear from a founding member how the Mission began. Read more about the Burma Humanitarian Mission here.
Traveling around the United States, I often see local grocery stores and pharmacies cajoling me to get my flu shot.
In eastern Burma, however, the flu season has arrived. With the Burma regime providing no community health care services, villagers rely on backpack medics and their associated village health volunteers for prevention and care. Unfortuately, the medics have their hands full as over 1,400 villagers in northern Pa-pun Township of Karen State have come down with the flu. Cooling temperatures and high humidity are viewed as the instigators of the outbreak.
Our friend and backpack medic colleague, Saw WIn Kyaw, shared that at one school, 400 of the 600 students have the flu. The medics have recommended that the school be closed until this outbreak ends. At the moment, the villages of Pla Koh and Ler Mu Plaw appear to be the epi-center of the outbreak. Backpack medics also are advising villagers to limit their travel in this area as a means to reduce the risk of the flu strain spreading to other villages.
With just 2 medic teams operating in the area, the Karen villagers are woefully short of medical care to handle such an outbreak.
Burma Humanitarian Mission supports the Backpack medics and these two teams in Pa-pun Township. The flu outbreak reminds us of the urgent necessity of our continued support to those living in eastern Burma as they have no alternatives.
HOW is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in the USA, whose staff consists of all volunteers. Its mission is to provide hope and care to neglected, abandoned, and orphaned children in deprived areas of the world with a specific focus on VietNam.
My family are from Vietnam and fled to the UK during the Vietnam war. In June this year I went back to Vietnam for the first time. It was a bitter sweet experience... it was so amazing to experience the beautiful culture and people of Vietnam, but it was also incredibly saddening to witness the poverty, the hardships and the suffering that many Vietnamese people endure on a daily basis. The stark contrast between my western life and the life I could have had, if my family had remained in Vietnam couldn’t have been any more different…
… I could have been the orphaned child on the streets, with no home to go to and no one to care for me
… I could have been the sick child, too poor to pay for medicine or see a doctor
… I could have been the exhausted lady working tirelessly from the crack of dawn to late at night, in the excruciating sun – just trying to earn enough money to feed my family.
… It could have been me.
For 20 years, Taiwan Root has deployed teams of health care professionals and volunteers to bring short-term medical relief to the neediest parts of the world. The Chao Foundation has had the pleasure of supporting Taiwan Root's committed work over the past few years; and in August 2012, Nancy and Steve got to participate in a medical mission to explore new avenues of partnership with the organization.
On August 19, we arrived in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Guatemala is located in Central America, bordered by Mexico to the north and by Belize and the Caribbean to the east. Despite its rich scenery and recent development following a 36-year-long civil war, the country remains one of the poorest in Latin America. With over half the population living in poverty and many more lacking medical care, it was understandable why Taiwan Root had selected Guatemala as the site of its next mission.
Over lunch, we convened with the rest of the 26-member team that consisted of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other volunteers. The united team then traveled the remainder of the day to a much less developed department (equivalent to "states" in the U.S.) of Guatemala called Zacapa and spent our first night at Esperanza de Vida, a Christian ministry that provides refuge to orphans and the elderly.
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