From the hearts to the hearts

The caravan moves on
The caravan moves on
Meeting with official representatives in My Tho (Province Tien Ciang)
Meeting with official representatives in My Tho (Province Tien Ciang)

19. February 2010

Xin Chao dear friends,
it´s moving on
sincerely Reda

Friday, the 19.02. we went on to the Province of Tien Ciang, as mentioned in the last report, to visit famelies with heart diseased children and investigate their living conditions.  

The team of Claus Ruff German Economic Foundation for Humanitarian Help/WHH consited of the driver Tai Nhuyen, Vu Quy Phuong, Madame Thi Hong, Brother Jerome Man and his niece Lien Man.  
This team guarantees continous medical as well as social care of the diseased children.
The team is, for example, in contact with with the proper authorities of each province, organizes or guarantees the transport of the children to the medical check-up and to the surgery.  They conduct the communication between the clinic and the patient, coordinate the appointments for the surgery, and settle the hospital bill.  And the team visits the children before and after the surgery.

The team regards it as their duty in providing hospitality towards the needy who heard of the poject “From Hearts to Hearts” and came to seek help at the home of Lien.  Prior to  a surgery appointment, families frequently stay overnight, because they lack the contacts or resources for Saigon.  Our team guarantees administration of the various projects on location. In addition we are accompanied by the photographer Bui Quoi Toan.

Now to Tien Ciang.
In the capital of the province My Tho we met with representatives of local health and social services.  After the official welcoming speech and discussing the schedule we were invitied to diner.

The next morning the local administrative representatives accompanied us to the Mekong Delta, where we visisted in differnt villages and settlements 9 families.   

These first families we met live in territories that are, at some extent, unaccesseable by car. Due to this we received in one village a motorcycle with a driver, who brought us after a few kilometers on narrow dirt tracks to our destination.  
Our team was accompanied by local authorities, a local broadcasting station send their camera team, so that we gathered a small crowd.  Luckily, some of the officials left after a few family visits for more important tasks.  

What we found among the different families was always moving, often frightening, and sometimes unspeakable.  It moved me to find that each familiy is determined to put its hopes for recovery of the child into action.
Witnessing the living conditions of many of the visited families, and the subsequentual physical/emotional condition of the children (the babys) and parents turned out to be frightning.  I was shocked to see the two year old Vo Hoai Bao who suffers, next to his heart condition, from mental retardation and a tumor of his testicles.  Having met the thirteetn year old Nguyen Thanh Danh it is difficult to accept that he suffers from a diseased heart, a diagnosed tumor of the pancreas, an enlarged liver, and just weighs maximal 20 kg.  
Unbelievable, but I watched a young couple and their thirteen month old son Ngyuen Tan Bao utilizing water contaminated with pesticides, obviously uninformed about its long term health hazard.

I have to stop myself, otherwise I end up as a hatemonger against corporations, globalsation, and unjust politlical systems.  Besides all this horror we experienced wonderful moments.  We visited the family of the four year old Huynh Thi My, who Carmen Knoebl and my daughter Lola had already visited in 2008.  It was the assumed the child was to weak for surgery.  Now the family received our OK,
we also decided to replace their home with a new one to guarantee the enduring health of the child.  The sun of hope began rising again.  

We guaranteed seven out of nine families the complete covering of the expenses for the operation including the extras.  Two families showed no hardship according to vietnamese standarts, and the condition of their children is stable,these are given time to come up with means for self help, and my then be helped further if neccessary.  

I keep in contact!
Reda El Scherif

More pictures from the journey