Monday, June 29, 2009

Reporting from Viet Nam - June 28, 2009 from Hanoi

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Arrived in Hanoi almost 24 hours after I left my home in Sammamish (Washington). Viet Nam is ready for the AH1N1 (aka swine flu) and the country wants no part of it. I encountered a health screening system at the airport similar to one used for the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Hanoi is still suffering a long drought, and the temperature is in the 40s Celsius (+110 Fahrenheit) and humid. During this summer vacation time, many of the wealthy take off for the beaches to escape from the heat. Others in the city pack the parks and areas around the lakes to cool off. Rolling electric outages are the daily norm.

As the sun is setting, the streets wake up and fill with motorbikes and bicycles. I met up with the TM2F kids (orphans in the Teach Me To Fish Program) and we enjoyed dinner on a fifth floor restaurant overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake. The strong breeze keeps us cool as we watch the jammed packed streets below. The streets in the Old Quarter are closed tonight for the weekend Night Market.

After dinner, I take the kids through the Night Market but we did not last long as the heat and the crowd was quite overwhelming. We stop at the supermarket so the kids could load up on daily necessities and our night ends there.
View more photos at:

Reporting from Viet Nam - Summer 2009

Kids Without Borders Founder Son Michael Pham makes his usual summer trip to Viet Nam, June 28 - July 7, 2009.

Follow Chu (Uncle) Son's reports on programs and projects of KWB.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

World Refugee Day - June 20th

On World Refugee Day, Rekindle a Child’s Hope

Seattle, Washington - On June 20 the world will honor the courage, resilience, and determination of refugees. Thousands of organizations in hundreds of countries will focus global attention not only on the plight of refugees and the causes of their exile, but also on their will to survive and the contributions they have made in their new communities.

The United States is the only country in the world that accepts the most vulnerable refugees on earth: refugee children without an adult caretaker. Eighteen child welfare programs in the nation resettle these youth in loving, stable homes. Since 1980, Lutheran Community Services Northwest has been honored to share this responsibility.

Children in LCS’s Refugee and Immigrant Children’s Program were born into conflict – in Asia, Africa, and Central America – and grew up with extreme trauma and loss in their lives. Alone and in sibling groups, they fled war and persecution. They witnessed and endured the unthinkable. And they dreamt of feeling safe and loved.

To commemorate World Refugee Day, please consider opening your heart and your home to a deserving refugee child. Become a foster parent. If you aren’t in a position to provide long-term foster care, please consider providing short-term or respite care. A monthly stipend covers all of the refugee child’s expenses.

If you would like to learn how to rekindle a child’s hope, please contact Erika Berg at or (206) 694-5780. Current opportunities are available to open your home and heart to Burmese tennage girls.
Photo of two Burmese young girls.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Polio Fight Connects Seattle & India

Watch our friend/supporter/volunteer/colleague/fellow humanitarian Penny LeGate in action:

Polio Fight Connects Seattle & India
CityStream Thursday, June 11, 7 p.m.

SEATTLE — This week on CityStream, Penny LeGate travels to India to report on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s $355 million partnership with Rotary International to eradicate polio.

Once polio ravaged the entire world, including the United States, but through the use of vaccine, the disease has been virtually eradicated except in four countries: India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Over the last twenty-four years, Rotary International in partnership with the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF has achieved remarkable results reducing cases of polio worldwide from 350,000 cases in 125 countries to 2000 cases in the aforementioned nations. The key is to deliver oral vaccines to the population most at risk of catching the deadly paralyzing disease: children under five.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $100 million in 2007 and $255 million in 2009 to help carry out Rotary International’s effort. In India, CityStream’s LeGate documents Rotary’s efforts and interviews Seattle Rotarians about why they return year after year to seek out children who have not been vaccinated. She explains that poor sanitation, rampant malnutrition and the presence of other virulent disease contribute to South Asia’s relatively high rate of infection. And she brings back footage of the children who are being saved by this program and those that have already been stricken by polio.

WATCH THE STORY by following this link:

This week’s CityStream, Thursday night at 7 p.m., SEATTLE CHANNEL, Cable 21 or watch it online at .

International Children's Day