HANNAH’S PROMISE INTERNATIONAL AID
Dear friends and family,
Thank you for your support in
2016. The New Year is the time to take stock, thank those who have played
such a large role in your life’s work and make plans to do more and better in
the New Year. The Lunar New Year is today, January 28, and for those of us
who live in Asia, slowly but surely we adapt the local ways including the
local calendar. Lunar New Year, or Tet, is such a gigantic celebration here
in Vietnam, it is impossible to ignore. The Lunar New Year stops
everything here for a week or even 2 and impacts every activity in the
family, community and country. I am told that in the old days
the celebration went on for a month! Tet and its lunar origins lie far
before the creation of our Gregorian calendar which itself has roots in
the ancient Roman lunar calendar.
For many of you it is a ‘thank
you’ for your support over the years. We could not save these young lives,
improve children’s futures and change communities without your prayers, the
time you volunteer and the funding you provide for these high impact social
program activities. In 2016 Hannah’s Promise International Aid continued to
bring top doctors in their fields- urology surgery, neurosurgery and digestive surgery, to teach and provide clinical training
to Vietnamese doctors. This capacity building activity has a long lasting
impact on the outcomes of thousands of patients for years to come. In
addition we provided free heart and eye surgeries for disadvantaged
children whose families make less than a dollar a day.
Much of my time was spent
assisting others who bring medical assistance here by developing and
scaling programs, seeking out funding sources, training and mentoring young
Vietnamese and raising awareness of the enormous toll that untreated
non-communicable diseases take on public funds, family financial
futures and in children’s lives. Helping others is a major focus of
Hannah’s Promise work. Emergency medicine, equipment donations and
continuing medical education are also important program areas. I also continue
to assist other non-governmental organizations to register in Vietnam so
that our resources are multiplied.
Despite great progress in all
areas, Vietnam, the 14th largest populated country in the world, still
has over 20 million people living under the $1.35 a day poverty threshold.
With the new World Bank poverty threshold this could rise above 30
million. Certainly including the ‘near’ poor we are talking about a third of the
population living on less than $60 per month. Vietnam has more impoverished
people with poor access to healthcare than the entire populations of Laos
and Cambodia combined. Once you leave the cities, and 67% of
Vietnamese live in the rural areas, the standard of living, quality of
education, and access to health care drops off precipitously.
On top of all this, late 2016
and early 2017 have proven to be some of the coldest weather on record
in Vietnam. Running along the western edge of Vietnam are the Annamese
Mountains where most of the 13 million ethnic minorities live. They are
almost all poor- extremely poor. Many are the ‘montagnards’ or
‘mountain people’ who fought with the Americans 40- 50 years ago and
discrimination against them has made life nearly impossible. Many still
live in near Neolithic conditions. I started my work here 16 years ago in Lao
Cai province with these beautiful but heartbreaking people and in 2016 Hannah’s
Promise returned to the those mountain roots. The northern mountains are
always cold, rainy and windy in winter, but this winter even during the daytime
it is hovering around freezing. The schools like all homes have dirt
floors, walls made of bamboo and a few boards- no electricity or running
water and the children are barefoot, no coats, gloves, socks, warm shirts or
pants or hats. Many walk to and from school over several kilometers.
They have a real toughness in their genes from very hard lives but no 4-
10 year old children can withstand this. Respiratory diseases are rampant, health
care is inaccessible, and since children are likely to be born at home, often
their heart breaking suffering and death goes completely unrecorded.
My wonderful wife and Program
Director, Huong, took some terrific photos of her 2 trips into the northwestern
mountains- Dien Bien, Lai Chau and Lao Cai, Son La provinces in 2016. She and
assistants collected donations for Hannah’s Promise, and purchased warm
clothing that they distributed through elementary schools to hundreds of disadvantaged
and underserved children. These children will survive the winter now, but what
about the hundreds and thousands of others freezing? Hannah’s Promise is
committed to source good clothing and shoes at the best prices and
delivers these to the children who need it most. A warm coat is only $5 and with socks, shoes, hat and gloves, we can prepare a
child for freezing weather for right at $10. You can see in the photos the
children and their needs below.
In the background of the photo of Huong and her assistants with the children, I included a photo of
the elementary school some of these children are attending. It
is shocking. Most of their homes are very similar. For about $32,000 we can
build these precious children a real school so that they are out of the
elements and able to learn, qualify for college, get a job and help their
families break the bonds of poverty. That is only 32 people giving $1,000 per
person. I know there are 32 people out there who care. If giving directly
to the children is of more interest, then $100 will clothe 10 children.
For $1,000 you can clothe 100 children! Coats are the most important single
article of clothing, so if you just want to help with coats then $50 will
buy 10 of them for some very happy and proud children. $100 dollars will
put 20 children in coats at least.
Hannah’s Promise will continue heart, cancer and eye surgeries as well as bringing over experts to teach in the medical field, but we will add clothing for freezing children and they deserve a school to attend. Your gifts are tax deductible in the USA to the extent allowed by law. And I don’t really know what motivates anyone, but if you would like it, I can send you photos of the child or children that you help wearing your new clothes or before and after their surgery. The children would be glad to even write you a thank you note that I will send you along with the translation to English if you would like that. We are so used to having everything we need and want in the western world- I know I take these things for granted. These children need the basics and they will show their appreciation to you. Perhaps one day you will come here to visit them and hear them tell you firsthand what a lifesaving difference you made in their lives with these simple, inexpensive answers to life’s serious challenges.
Thank you again for your past
help. Please consider starting this year off by clothing some
freezing ethnic children or by helping to provide a school that enables
them to receive an education and escape poverty. As always, medical help
is deeply appreciate. It clearly saves lives.
Happy New Year again to our
dearest friends and family, I hope and pray the Year of the Chicken is a
healthy, happy and prosperous one for you and yours. Please keep us in
your prayers and send me any questions or comments you may have about the
work. You remain in our prayers. I look forward to hearing from you and to
partnering with you again in the New Year!
Happy New Year!
Rad and Huong Kivette
CEO and Country Director
Hannah's Promise International Aid
120 Juniper Drive, Boone, NC 28607 USA, Mobile phone, 828-773-0668
112 Le Loi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Mobile , 090-440-2731www.hannahspromise.org