International_Day_Family_2020_Vietnam_TestimonyMrs L and her children, victims of a violent husband and father, have found support from Planète Enfants & Développement and its partners in Vietnam. Let’s take advantage of the International Day of Families to highlight their courage, their will and the commitment of our social workers to families in difficulty.

The story of Mrs L and her children

Mrs L is 46 years old. She grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in difficult conditions. Her husband, a taxi driver, left her without giving her any news for almost 9 years, leaving her alone with 3 children who are now 11, 13 and 16 years old. Because of her religious beliefs, she did not seek a divorce.

Very courageous, she struggled to raise her children as well as possible while working. She used to sell noodles on the street below her house but she didn’t have many customers. She finally sold their house to get by and pay off her husband’s debts. One day, he decided to come home from time to time… It was then that he became violent towards her but also towards the children. It was too much. Mrs. L took her courage in both hands to warn the authorities: her husband had already fled, but now she was no longer alone.

The Family Support proposed by the social workers

Alerted by the family’s situation, our social workers made several follow-up home visits. Quickly, we noted the anxieties of this mother and these children. They were afraid to be alone at home, to meet their father who had already hit them in the street. We listened to them, reassured them and put Ms. L in touch with SCDI, a local partner association, and with the local authorities (the local Women’s Union) so that they could deal specifically with this problem of violence. They tried to meet with the husband without success and set up a warning, mutual aid and protection system in the neighbourhood in case of recurrence of violence in order to prevent Mrs L and her children from being subjected to further violence.

Thanks to regular psychological follow-up, Mrs. L and her children now have peace of mind.

Thanks to the advice provided by social workers and partner associations, Mrs. L has turned to sewing to supplement her income. This was not enough to pay school fees for her three children.

We then referred her to the associations Enfance Espoir Vietnam and TFCF who distribute food parcels and school scholarships.

Mrs L and her children are now much happier and are redoubling their efforts to overcome their difficulties and move forward.

The method of Family Support

The Family Support method consists of providing families with information and psycho-social support to help them solve their difficulties on their own.

During the 6 months of follow-up, the social workers do not provide any material help but put the families in touch with the social services best suited to the problems encountered.

Thanks to the support of the social workers, the families gain self-confidence, improve their living conditions and regain their dignity.

In addition to the follow-up of families who have expressed the request, social permanence is made available in the social centres and offers advice and support to families in the neighbourhood, even if they are not beneficiaries of the programme.

The programme proves to be very effective for 2 reasons: the good collaboration with local actors on the spot and the involvement of the families in their reconstruction.

The watchword of Family Support is not “do instead of“, but “do with“.

Learn more

May 15th, 2020