Main fundraiser photo

Home for Chi

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Pictured is little Chi, who lives with her mother and brother in a mud shack in a remote Vietnamese village.

Since the family's fisherman father died from cancer which racked up medical debt that brought screaming loan sharks to the door, the three have lived in appalling conditions.

Three walls
Two other family members – both boys – sleep rough outside the mud shack, which only has three walls. Effectively a lean-to, it's propped against a neighbor's house.

The family's only means of support is small-scale farming - an apple orchard - and a motorbike repair stall, which generate a pittance.

Urgent need
Please donate toward building the family a new, brick house. All funds will go directly to building new accommodation.

There is no set deadline but the shack could fall any moment in flooding or gales, because it is top-heavy and has bad cracks. If that happens, the occupants could be crushed.

The money would mean everything to me and the family, boosting its welfare for the indefinite future. The sum we are shooting for is in line with local estimates. If we can find a way to cut the funding target, we will.

Why this family?

Because their problem can be solved with just a few thousand dollars. Because they are a hard-working, honest family who, besides the burden that squalor brings, bear the shame of living among neighbors who all have brick houses.

Imagine living your whole life to date in a mud shack that could collapse and crush you any time.  The three remaining mud walls are badly bowed and only make partial contact with the ground, meaning the shack is a death-trap.

Visitors express shock that anyone has to live like this now.

Every storm that rolls in is the trigger for intense anxiety. Dogged by  stress, the mother has a heart condition, and the youngest daughter is constantly sick.

I am a close friend of the eldest daughter, Qui, who I met on a travel writing expedition. Today, she travels and lives with me in Cambodia and has nowhere that she could call home to return to.

Update: with funds raised so far, we are building a super-cheap brick house that can serve as a shelter for the whole family. 

The next step in the home for Chi campaign is to build a second house that will enable the family to live with dignity.

The price of the second home will be closer to 4k. The reason: the first house was built on high ground. For the second one, there is only space on flood-prone lower ground, meaning we need to allocate funds for higher foundations.

More info
If you have any questions about the Home for Chi campaign please contact me personally.

A journalist and friend of the family, I support the family's other, eldest daughter, who operates as my assistant in Southeast Asia.

Here is the basic intel on the family -

Mother: To Thi Nga - age 51;
Eldest brother: Nguyen Quang Vinh, 32;
Eldest brother's: bride-to-be: Nguyen Thi Kim Hue, 24;
Middle brother: Nguyen Vinh Quang, 30;
Eldest sister: Qui Nguyen, 28;
Youngest brother: Nguyen Khac Cuong, 18; 
Little sister: Nguyen Hoang Minh Chau, 16.
[As of Jan 2017].

As you see - even discounting travelling Qui - that's a lot of people to squeeze into one house.


Ink-stained Wretch
Cremorne Point NSW

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