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


  

Rad 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 , 090-440-2731

www.hannahspromise.org