Family Life Transformation
We are compelled to bless the least of these, and that means Family Life Transformation. We want families moving from dependence to independence. Put another way: we find blessing in the delivery of rice to hungry families, but ultimately, that family providing for its own needs is the goal. That’s what our Keeping Families Together program is all about. We don’t want a destitute, single mom looking for an orphanage to place her children in.
Today, you meet Phuong. The emotions of Phuong’s story run the gamut – from despair to joy and you’ll see why.
“I Don’t Want To Leave My Mother!”
With three children, ages 10, 8 and 3, Phuong and her husband, Duc, had family riches, even though as the world reckons they were poor. Duc worked as a builder’s helper which paid enough to put food on the table. Phuong stayed at home with the kids. Given that Phuong is deaf which makes finding a job difficult anyway, she was happy.
The family’s life was upended when Duc died of a stroke one year ago. Like a bolt from the blue, Phuong’s life suddenly and drastically changed.
After the funeral, with mounting bills, no income and the emotional loss of her beloved husband, Phuong sank into deep depression. She could barely function. Neighbors and friends provided food for the children.
At the nadir of Phuong’s grief, fearing that she couldn’t feed her children and send them to school, she arranged with a lady from a neighboring village to adopt her oldest daughter, Nguyen. Everyone thought the adoption best for Nguyen and the family in the long run, but not Nguyen! She cried out: “I don’t want to leave my mother!” That stopped the adoption!
At that point, local leaders asked Orphan Voice for help. Soon afterward, Phuong and her children were accepted into our Keeping Families Together program. Check it out to see what happened.
“Have I not wept for her who is in trouble?
Hope is Born
During our staff’s first visit, Phuong and her children were visibly depressed. First, we got food into the house. We then obtained needed medical care for the children. Several counseling sessions followed. Only slowly did hope arise in Phuong’s heart. But it did arise!
We needed to find a way for Phuong to support her family. Her deadliest enemy continually discouraged her. Many negative, even compelling facts, supported failure: 1) Phuong is uneducated; 2) she’s deaf; 3) she’d never worked outside the home and thus had no to skills to build on. Overwhelming, huh?
But, Phuong lives near a busy road. With encouragement and hope, that busy road provided a way forward!
Making More Money
After much prayer and Orphan Voice-provided training, Phuong opened a food shop along the busy roadway near her home to sell sandwiches (banh my) and sugar cane juice (nuoc mia).
We employed a multi-faceted approach. First, Phuong grew vegetables to use and sell in her new business. Second, we purchased a sugar cane press and cup sealing machine to equip her to make and sell nuoc mia. Third, we mentored her to buy vegetables and bread at the village market, add value to them by making sandwiches, and then sell the sandwiches (banh my) and sugar cane juice (nuoc mia) for a profit. We also trained her in book-keeping, budgeting, and business planning.