In 2016, the Community Aid Committee (CAC) supported more than 17 community based projects that are designed to help improve the lives of the most vulnerable women and children in Hanoi.
Not only does the CAC, with the endorsement of the HIWC Board, provide much needed funds to these projects, our dedicated committee members spend a valuable amount of time visiting the beneficiaries. Here, Laura Sheehan, one of our project coordinators gives us a little insight into one of the charities she works closely with – the Asia Injury Protection Foundation (AIPF).
AIPF’s beginnings trace back to a day more than ten years ago when Ms. Trai Lai Ahn adopted a tiny baby boy who had been left to die in the jungle after he was mauled. The boy was in desperate need of specialist care. Ms. Anh started a search for a surgeon who could help. Her search led her to Italy, where she found Dr. Roberto De Castro, a pediatric urologist who was willing to help.
After he performed the first surgery on Ms. Anh’s adopted son, Dr. De Castro traveled to Vietnam annually to check on the little boy and to perform additional surgeries and medical treatment to ensure the boy’s full recovery. During his trips, not only did he fall in love with Vietnam, he also discovered that many Vietnamese children were in need of his medical expertise. Since then, Dr. De Castro has been coming to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and smaller villages all over the country simply to help children in need.
Fellow CAC member, Lucy Debreil and I recently visited the Department of Pediatric and Neonatal Surgery in the Viet Duc Hospital in the Hoan Kiem District of Hanoi where AIPF was hosting its annual outpatient clinic for children with genital injuries and deformities. We met with the AIPF team, the doctors performing the surgeries, and the amazing woman, Ms Anh, who started this program more than ten years ago. In that one day, more than 80 patients were seen! It was a truly inspiring experience.
To find out more, please go to: http://aipf-vietnam.org/