“What if my mom did not pass away that early, and my brother and sister did not turn out to be with disability during their grown up, perhaps my dad would not get mentally ill… Imagine if similar thing happens to my children, I might fall into the same situation”, said Pham Thi Nhung – the second daughter and the only one who luckily stays in normal condition of Pham Van Lanh.
Photo featured Pham Van Lanh and his first child – Pham Thi Huyen
Nhung shared the youngest of three sisters and brothers – Pham Van Du – was living with and taking care of her father and sister. “I got married and am staying with my husband’s family. I feel hurt of not caring my beloved in blood day by day, but this is the Vietnamese tradition, I also bear great responsibility on my husband’s side.”
When Du was met, he was a bit shy but showing everyone around the house. Where they used to live was a double storey house, furnished with toilet, kitchen but all were severely degraded. The land was shattered during the past, resulting in a zigzag pathway leading to the nest. Lanh and Huyen stayed on the first floor, but the oppressive atmosphere caused them to feel worse throughout the night, both screamed out loud and needed special care.
“I have done everything I can to look after my father and my 40-year-old-sister; she lost her vision at the age of 17 and turned physically disabled not long time after. Now every day I am supporting my auntie to run a food cart and earn 400,000VND (nearly 20USD) per month from that. I sometimes do shoes polishing on the street and other seasonal part-time work to get a bit of extra money” said Du, whose vision is also uncompleted due to cataract.
“Who will marry me, I am like this”, Du giggled, a speechless sadness overwhelmed his smile.
16 January 2015 was a special day for Mr. Lanh, Huyen and Du, as after myriad efforts from donors, different organizations and agencies, their house was extended to the new part. The story of change started as a miracle for real, bringing lots of happiness to not only the Du’s family, but also the surrounding community.
Three months before, ADRA in Vietnam was communicated to receive 33,000,000VND valued assistance (roughly 1,600USD) from the Edsers – long-standing supporters who have been involved in several ADRA projects. A special contact was immediately established with the Thai Binh Provincial Blind Association. There was a demand to look for an extremely difficult case, so that the support could deliver prompt impact on the beneficiaries. Being considered among few profiles, the Du’s family became highlighted due to the economic household context, and the fact that all of members were with impairments.
The planning and implementation of house’s construction confronted numerous challenges. The first proposal was about repairing the old structure and extending the living space. This eventually was constrained by existing factors like the roof connected with the next door’s building, the land was scattered so it seemed impossible to make a consistent and linked structure.
Decision was drawn out as a new 22m2 room would be constructed; this took the entire Edsers’ donation. The blessing to Du’s family did not stop there, as the help loop was extended with the involvement of local authorities and community, and the Blind Association of 2 levels, provincial and city. Another floor providing similar area was added to the sketch of construction. And so the house once finished was named the Great Solidarity, reflecting the joint-work of different parties, who were brought together by the inspiration triggered by ADRA donors and supporters.