How ATTA is Changing Lives in Vietnam
This week, in an interview with Tam Tong from Giving it Back to Kids (GIBTK), we were able to get first-hand information from those who are partnering with us in Vietnam. Tam provided answers to questions about ATTA’s work in Vietnam, bringing clean water to children in desperate need of clean water for healthy lives. We are truly making a difference to thousands thanks to our donors, leaders and partners like Tam Tong and Giving it Back to Kids. The following describes the interview with Tam and the amazing responses.
How has ATTA impacted Vietnam with the water filters?
It is reported that in Vietnam only 39% of the rural population has access to safe water and sanitation. Many people are living in the areas with a severe risk of polluted water sources that affects the public health. People usually use water from the drilled well, ponds, streams, and rain water even though the water is usually contaminated or they buy bottled water. Therefore, people often have stomachache and diarrhea which affected their health.
As a result of ATTA’s work in Vietnam, thousands families, children and students in remote areas have access to clean water. They no longer face the shortage of clean water. The families are happy in using the filtered water for drinking and cooking as it is easy to use – requiring no electricity and almost no operation cost. They no longer need to boil water or buy it from stores.
The water filter helps not only clean dirt but also remove bacteria and parasites, preventing many infections. Through the follow up, there is no case of stomachache and diarrhea found. People save their money on costs for water and become healthier, especially the elderly and children.
ATTA helps bring improved community health through each and every water filter. It's exciting to see the huge impact that such a small, transportable product creates in the lives of thousands of people. This brought great benefit to poor people and gained appreciation from the local government.
Which geographic areas have been helped the most?
Through the GIBTK team and its partners, water filters have been mostly delivered to rural populations and schools where access to clean water is quite limited. Quang Nam province in the Central and some provinces in the South of Viet Nam are the areas we have reached out so far.
Could you please give us a few words from either you or someone from your team or someone who has received a filter about the clean water that is being provided?
Some stories about the recipients in Binh Lang commune, Tan Tru district, Long An – Vietnam.
Mr. Vo Van Cau, born in 1936, is one of filters’ users. There are 5 members in his family. Every day they have to boil water many times by burning wooden pieces for fire, gas, or electrical boiler to drink. “Now having the filter, we don’t have to boil water any more. It saves a lot of money. My children and grandchildren have better health thanks to using filtered water. I hope more families like us will be helped to have clean water”.
Mrs. Huynh Thi Do shared: “There are 3 members in my family, my disabled daughter, a younger daughter who is the breadwinner and me. I’m old and my health is not good enough so I cannot work. We don’t have any water tank. We use rain water to drink. We often have stomachache and diarrhea. I was very happy to receive the filter. We can use water from well and rain water, pour it into bucket and then we have clean water to drink”. “Thank you to ATTA and donors who sponsor the filter for us. It makes our life easier, safer and better. We feel your love”, said Do.
Mrs. Vo Ngoc Hoa, born in 1932 shared with us her story. “There are 4 members in my family. My children work as hired hands. We boil water or buy bottled water to drink. Because my health is not good, I often throw up and have diarrhea when using boiled water. At first when I received the filter, I wonder it is safe or not so I didn’t try it until my neighbors used it. I like it very much. Thank you UGOC and ATTA for helping a part of my life. I appreciate it very much. A lot of people in my neighborhood still need this.”
What is currently happening there now?
In the recent years, about 1992 water filters have been delivered to the needy people through GIBTK team and its partners such as the Social Affairs Department, the Red Cross Association, Charity Association and churches. Doing a follow-up survey is one of the important steps carried out to make sure the water filters are delivered to the right people. We have done it by either group distribution or individual visit to each household. To each filter delivered, we make sure people are guided how to use, clean and maintain it.
What do you hope/long for in the future?
A lack of clean water is still one of Vietnam’s most pressing environmental concerns. So, GIBTK would like to institute a long-term project, providing more water filters to the needy people throughout Vietnam. We do hope more families will receive access to clean water through the water filters from ATTA in the future.
To do this, we are going to strengthen our collaboration between our local partners in terms of doing surveys, training on use and maintenance and reporting. GIBTK will create a form that saves data so that we can get a better overview of the needs of each community and maximize the benefit of the water filter program to the needy people in Vietnam.
About the Giving it Back to Kids team:
GIBTK is a 501 (c) 3 based in the United States. Giving It Back to Kids’ mission statement is to transform lives through medical care, nutrition, education, and love. Our projects are throughout Vietnam. In addition to working as partners with ATTA to distribute the water filtration systems, teach and follow up regarding the improved health of the recipients, GIBTK does many health and well-being related things to help those in need in Vietnam. To date, GIBTK has provided about 152,000 wheelchairs to disable people, helped more than 8,000 orthopedic patients, 754 heart surgeries and 84 eye surgeries. They have 7 homes for orphans and less-fortunate children, for unwed mothers and homes for older students with programs designed to enable them to attend universities or colleges or higher vocational schools, including 2 in Cambodia and 5 in the central of Vietnam. They have run two community centers where they provide free tutoring classes to disadvantaged kids in Math, Physics, Chemistry, English, computers, life skills, leadership skills and emotional education. These two community centers serve about 400 students each year. GIBTK also partners with Da Nang Education Department to teach life skills and emotional health to students in school systems in Da Nang this year. In addition, GIBTK has provided 14 containers of medical items and equipment to hospitals to enable them serve more disadvantaged people and has built 417 compassion homes for disadvantaged families with children.