A SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY IN THAILAND

Mother’s Day celebrations took on a special meaning for one little boy in Thailand this year.  Five-year-old Zaw Win* had lived at Compasio’s Children’s Homes since he was 2 weeks old. As part of Compasio’s commitment to supporting the best interests of children without parental care, a loving foster family was found for Zaw Win*. After the carers completed the training and assessment process, Zaw Win was placed into their long-term care in May and for the first time since he was 2 weeks old he had a mum and a dad.

Compasio’s case worker explained that when she arrived at the home, the family was observed to be like any other family going about their daily life with the children playing ‘house’ together, whilst mum cooked dinner and dad was on the phone. When Zaw Win saw her he ran across to her with a big smile and bright eyes saying, “Do you know my mum came to my school today for Mother’s Day!”.  Zaw Win excitedly went on to tell her all about the celebration as his mum smiled as she listened in the background.

Zaw Win is just one of 18 children who are now in loving homes since Compasio joined the Kinnected program. In 2017, Compasio was able to find families for the remaining children in their care allowing them to close the last of their children’s homes. The focus of their work now is to strengthen and preserve vulnerable families and advocate globally for children’s rights to be raised in families.

In 2017, Compassio helped 52 families at risk of separation through their family preservation programs including emergency housing and food. A further 132 families benefited from projects aimed at strengthening families by providing them with access to day care, income generation opportunities, positive parenting training and much more.

*Name has been changed

ADOPTION MADE POSSIBLE IN CAMBODIA

In Cambodia, Children in Families (CIF) exists to place vulnerable children in loving families. When a child cannot legitimately remain with their family of origin, it is vital there are family based alternatives available such as foster and kinship care, to ensure children can still realise their right to be raised in a family. In 2017, CIF supported
95 children in foster families, including
40 children with disabilities through their ABLE program.

In 2017, a er years of advocating and eagerly waiting for domestic adoption to be made available to families in Cambodia, CIF nally saw 3 families within their programs legally adopt their long-term foster children. This was a monumental achievement for not only Children in Families, but for the countless children and families across Cambodia that will be impacted by this legislation change.

Chanty has been waiting to have a child to call her own for over 20 years. In early 2018, Chanty and her husband, Sinath, became another CIF family to adopt their foster children. They been fostering Dany and Sambat for the last six years, since the boys were three months old. Chanty and Sinath are the only parents the boys remember and adoption will provide them with a stronger sense of belonging and identity. Adoption also legitimises them as a family in the

eyes of the wider community, which is so important in a society built around strong family ties and connections.

IMPROVING FARMERS INCOME IN VIETNAM

Despite a strong work ethic, many rural farmers in Vietnam struggle to grow enough 

food to feed their families. AOG World Relief simply comes alongside local farmers – who already have the skills and know-how to grow crops – and help ll the gaps that might be preventing them from realising their goals.

In the case of a community in the Dai Tan district of Quang Nam, AOG World Relief worked with the local farmers’ union to support farmers to grow new crops. ACCI eldworker Deb Hilton explains, “The community’s plan was to select 20 farmers who had school aged children, had land and who personally wanted to look at ways to change their own economic situation.”

The farmers came together and determined what they believed would work for them
to increase their personal family income.
In the case of this community, it was fruit trees. Based on their decision, the local farmers’ union then worked with the farmers to give the necessary guidance, advice and further training to ensure the success of their additional agricultural endeavours.

And the results?

“My family situation is be er now,” one of the farmers involved in this program says. “Now that the seedlings I have received from AOG World Relief have grown, I now earn 150,000 VND ($9 AUD) per season on each tree ... my family income is higher and our quality of living has also increased. Since we joined the program, our family environment has become more enjoyable. We have also learned many new skills that we didn’t have before.”