ASIA CONNECTION INC. January 2016
The 2015 Annual Report starts off with some sad news. A long time friend of some us from Minh Quy, Edric Baker, passed away this past November. Edric was a New Zealand surgeon from the New Zealand Surgical Team in Quy Nhon, who came to work at Minh Quy in 1972. When the Western Staff evacuated in March 1975 Edric and George Christian stayed behind to continue giving care to the Montagnard. Edric then worked over 30 years in Bangladesh at a small clinic hospital, Kailakuri. The funeral ceremony was held at Kailakuri and he was placed in a burial plot in the garden behind his house. As you can imagine Edric was greatly loved and will be just as greatly missed by all those he worked with and served.
2015 was also a year of change for me. I officially retired after working 36 years at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. My plans are to devote more time to ACI and the many Programs we have in Viet Nam. I will be making extended stays in Viet Nam, the first being in November 2015 until March 2016. I will return in April 2016 with a Cleft Surgical Mission to Quy Nhon and stay for 6 months and possibly longer.
In 2015 Funds were dispensed to Kailakuri, Bangladesh and Indradevi, Cambodia. That funding comes from donations sought by Edric for Kailakuri and Don Luce for Indradevi. Indradevi works to improve the lives of those impacted by AIDS in and around Phnom Penh through educational programs, small loans, a rice bank, sewing courses, school building and mental health projects.
Our major grants continue to go to Projects in Viet Nam. Funds were distributed to the following projects/programs:
(1) Midwife Training Program, administered by Ya Gabrielle and Ya Xavier, trains midwives to work in over 40 villages. They are trained and receive ongoing education through this program. The Midwife Program has been a great success and has made a significant improvement in the morbidity of both mother and child.
(2) Family Science Program (Ya Pauline). Under this program young women are taught to cook, sew, and handle finances, basic childcare and home management. Upon completion of the course they receive the sewing machine they used to help provide a source of income and clothing for their families.
(3) Village Feeding Program (Sr. Nhung), under which feeding stations are set up in 2 of the poorer villages to provide a meal a couple of days a week for the elderly and young children in need.
(4) The Girls’ Education Program (Sr. Sang). ACI now sponsors 40 young girls from outlying villages attending school in Kontum. We assist with room and board, tutoring, and school fees.
(5) Medical supplies for three local clinics in/near Kontum, administered by the Sisters of the Miraculous Medal.
(6) Nguyen Nga Center for Special Needs (Quy Nhon). This is a Vocational Training Center providing
education or vocational training for disabled children and young adults. They may have physical deformities from polio or tuberculosis, be blind or deaf, or manifest some other physical handicap. Along with training, the Center provides adaptive devices, start-up assistance to those starting new businesses and funds to help them purchase equipment.
We also provided funding to refurbish a building for a school for children from poor families in Ho Chi Minh. Sr. Le Mai, Administrator.
We were also able to help some families undergoing specialized surgeries in Saigon and Qui Nhon with some of their expenses. In 2015 we assisted a 6-month baby from a village out beyond Kontum with surgery for Impervious Anus, vaginal-anal fistula and umbilical hernia in Quy Nhon. All surgeries were successful. We also assisted a young man correct his Club Feet that he has been living with all his life. This month he had pins removed and was fitted for shoe braces. Following the surgeries it is the first time he has walked on the soles of his feet. Previously when walking he walked on the sides of his feet. Partial funding for contracture releases on a youth with burn scarring.
We remain the Fiscal Agent for the Kailakuri Health Center in Bangladesh, Indradevi Association in Phnom Penh and the Nguyen Nga Center. Nguyen Nga Center has also received recertification of their Equivalency Determination with the aid of the Quail Roost Foundation.
The following websites provide more detailed information on many ofour projects:
Ya Gabrielle, Nglau and Ya Francoise remain well and continue their selfless work on behalf of their communities. Nglau hopes to be able to retire soon. It is a long drive for him to come into Kontum from his
village. He would continue to hold a clinic in his village. Kontum continues to grow: many new buildings, homes and roads. Even with the growth many needs remain.
Hilary in collaboration with Kerry completed the writing a brief history of Minh Quy Hospital and Pat’s time in the Highlands at the end of 2014. If you are interested in purchasing a copy please contact Kerry Huebeck and he will provide you with the information to obtain the book.
We are always deeply grateful for your support and we look forward to continued progress in 2016 and beyond.
Chairman, Viet Nam Program Director
On behalf of the ACI Board: Mary Held, Vice Chairperson; Ted Rose, Treasurer;
Lily Ackerman, Secretary; Kerry Heubeck and Hilary Smith Board Member Advisors