Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion campaign this week introduces Thu from Vietnam, who has learnt essential skills through a program supported by the charity.
When Thu was 12 years old, he lost his leg after stepping on an unexploded land mine from the Vietnam War. Living with a disability in rural Vietnam presented many challenges for Thu, who worked mainly as a rice farmer. After his wife, Linh, suffered a stroke, he had to take on the additional role of her carer.
Thu joined the Empowerment of People with Disabilities program, supported by Caritas Australia through its local partners, the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD).
Through the program, Thu learnt livelihood, financial and independent living skills. He also joined a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) where he could interact with other people with disabilities and earn income by making incense sticks.
The VSLA helped Thu to obtain a loan so that he could set up a barber shop and earn extra income to support his family. The program also helped Thu to build an accessible toilet for Linh, who has become more independent thanks to the support of a physiotherapist.
During Lent, Catholics are invited to take up the call to fast, pray and give alms. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many crises that have struck the world over the past 12 months mean that many communities are in great need of support.
Supporting Project Compassion is a way for Catholics to proclaim the faith and help those in need.
Project Compassion – Week 2 (Caritas Australia)