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2017 Project Compassion Week Four: Nguyet's story


Nguyet lives with a severe disability, and has suffered isolation in her native Vietnam as a result. A Caritas-supported program offered her education, creative outlets and much-needed community interaction.

In a small town in Vietnam, a severe disability kept young Nguyet behind closed doors. Constrained by the high demands of her condition, her parents were also isolated from their neighbours. There is a high level of disability in Vietnam, particularly as a legacy of war, but little support for families whose children have disabilities. People with disability have poorer health outcomes, lower educational achievements, lower economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people without disability.

The future seemed bleak for the whole family, until Nguyet’s family became participants in a program supported by Caritas Australia. A neighbour kindly introduced the family to the Capacity Building for Parent Associations Supporting Children with Disabilities program, which has given them support on several levels.

The neighbour, a teacher, has been able to offer Nguyet home-based education, and there is capacity building for her parents and others in the same situation, through their local Parents’ Association. At Association meetings, Nguyet’s mother has been able to increase her skills for managing her daughter’s condition, and share her experiences with other parents of children with disabilities.

Nguyet has learnt to read and write and better manage her physical needs, and her creative gifts have been unlocked. Now she is increasingly engaging with her neighbours, and she and her parents are more confident about her future.

View the video of Nguyet’s story here.

Click here to find out more about Vietnam where Nguyet and her family come from.



“To live as true children of God means to love our neighbour and to be close to those who are lonely and in difficulty”
                                                 Pope Francis

Family conversations:

Talk with your children about how they may “be close to those who are lonely and in difficulty”.

Pray together:

For our sisters and brothers throughout the world who face discrimination and are prevented from reaching their full potential: May the love and support of family and community sustain them as they participate fully in decisions that affect them.

We Pray as One.

For our community of nations: That basic rights and respect for all peoples may be established and become effective in all nations and states.

We Pray as One.We Pray as One.

Act together:

Vietnamese paper flowers are sold in the markets. Due to the heat, they are used instead of fresh flowers to decorate.  Like Nguyet and her neighbours, join the Vietnamese paper flower making tradition and make your own beautiful handmade paper flowers using Caritas’ ‘Vietnamese Paper Flower’ how-to guide available here.  

Use #ProjectCompassion online to tag photos of your paper flowers