ASIA CONNECTION INC. February 2017
Last year was a busy and productive year. I have one year of retirement under my belt and keeping busy with the work of ACI and enjoying what I am doing. I am able to make extended stays in Viet Nam and rent an apartment in Quy Nhon. It is still an issue to obtain permission and find living quarters in Kontum. I am able to make my visits to Kontum and check in with Ya Gabrielle and others there. I have also nurtured a relationship with the Department of Social Services, Handicapped and Orphans, Quy Nhon.
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 U.S. Equivalency Determination with the assistance of the Quail Roost Foundation.
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. Sang), 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 sponsors40 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, are 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.
Other Grants distributed included assisting two children from Kontum receive cleft lip repair during a Cleft Mission in Quy Nhon under the auspices of ACI. The Cleft Mission successfully repaired 49 cleft deformities during our weeklong Mission in April 2016. We are currently looking at doing another Cleft Mission in November and a Burn Mission in October 2017.
In 2016 ACI inaugurated assisting ASBHO (Social Welfare Department, Quy Nhon) Projects. These included construction of a home for a poor Montagnard Family in An Lao, providing two families with a cow for breeding. Selling the manure from the cows for garden fertilizer will also be an income source.
The following websites provide more detailed information on many of our 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 in the poorer Montagnard villages.
In the Fall 2016 I had the honor to accompany Kate, a writer from New Zealand, to Kontum. She is writing a biography of Edric Baker, she interviewed some of the Minh Quy workers he worked with and trained. During that visit we were permitted to walk around the Minh Quy Hospital Compound. This is the first time I have been able to walk the grounds since my evacuation in March 1975. It is currently being used as a Military Orthopedic Hospital
We are always deeply grateful for your support and we look forward to continued progress in 2017 and beyond. To be able to continue the current Grants, projects and start new projects your donations would be greatly appreciated by those we assist.
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 Advisors