How Orphan Voice Partners Saved A Four-Year-Old Boy

Eight year old Tro’s life began well, but by the age of four his dad and then his caregiver grandparents were dead. At that time, a drug addict entered his life. This abuser forced Tro to beg in order to feed his habit. If Tro didn’t beg enough cash, the man beat or starved him. His mother couldn’t protect her son from her “boyfriend.” To protect himself, four year old Tro often slept on concrete in the market. 

Fast forward four years. Tro eats rice, fish and vegetables until full – three times daily. He sleeps in a bed with a blanket – under roof. Caregivers hug instead of beat him. He’s no longer alone.

How did his life change so?


Tro was born into a poor, mountain family, but his needs were met.

When his father died, Tro lived with his grandparents because his mom’s new “boyfriend” didn’t want him around. His grandparents loved and cared for him, but then they died. At that point, Tro returned to his mom and her drug addicted “boyfriend.”

The addict “boyfriend” forced Tro to beg to feed his habit. If he didn’t beg enough, the abuser withheld food. Tro experienced the sharp pains of hunger. Flesh disappeared from an already thin body. Some days, he had only water to drink.


Today, Tro weighs enough. Each morning, he drinks milk and eats banh my (bread), eggs and rice. At noon, he rushes to Promise House Group Home from school where steaming bowls of rice, spring rolls, pork, and fish await him. He wolfs it down.

After school, Promise House cooks greet him with more rice, beef, morning glory vegetables, green beans, bread and fruit. At every meal, he eats to the full.



Imagine yourself as that five-year-old boy. Could you or I have comprehended what was happening? Or made any sense of it?

Precious Tro could only react. He could only rebel against his circumstances. To protect himself from beatings, he slept away from “home.” In the Central Highlands, the temperature falls into the 50s, even the 40s. He learned to sleep on concrete in the market or on the ground along the road.



The room where Tro now sleeps is above the Promise House kitchen. He likes sleeping there because of the murals on the walls. A bathroom, which he learned to use, is only four yards away. He also showers – a new experience!

His bed’s warm blankets engulf him during the cold, rainy season. Their softness comforts him. But the lingering smells from below bring the most comfort! At night, he can still smell the pork, rice and vegetables that he ate for supper. Best of all, he knows that more food awaits him when he wakes.



Vu is a compassionate man, a family man. He lives in Danang and drives tourists, round trip, to the Loatian border three times each week. He drives them to Tro’s village, where an immigration post allowing them to visit Laos, is located.

Over several months, Vu noticed a painfully thin, young boy begging money at the gas station where he bought fuel for his van. Vu sometimes bought him food. The boy always seemed to be around. His face was dirty, he smelled bad and he wore ragged and soiled clothes. Surely, “he’s an orphan,” thought Vu.

Vu asked villagers about the “orphan.” He learned that the boy’s name was Tro and about his plight. Wanting to help, Vu asked a government friend in Danang for advice. The government worker recommended Promise House as a place of safety for orphans.

Vu took charge. He decided to take Tro to Promise House. He first obtained the mother’s consent. Then, permission from the city of Danang. Within weeks, he led Tro into the Promise House gate! In doing so, he opened a wonderful new world for Tro – a world where he could be a child again!


The big day arrived! Tro again didn’t understand all that was happening, but he was HAPPY. He was with Vu going to a better place!

While Vu drove, Tro picked up the papers which his mom had signed giving Vu the right to take him to Danang. Since he had always dreamed of attending school, he mistakenly thought the papers were permission for him to enroll in a Danang school. He proudly held those papers up to the other passengers saying: “I’m going to school! I’m going to school!”



Vietnamese children attend school all day by age four. Tro, now eight years old, attends school for the first time. He’s behind his classmates, but he loves it.

And he has a loving teacher. Miss Linh invests extra time in him, helping him catch up. He needs the extra help. He’s never learned the Vietnamese alphabet! But now he’s to the letter E!

Orphan Voice
P.O. Box 910410
Lexington, KY 40591
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