April 2015—When Tho Nguyen was born 10 years ago in Danang, Vietnam, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy—a congenital condition resulting from abnormal brain development that affects muscle coordination and movement.
Surrounded by almost 2,000 quacking ducks, Le Thanh Thuong reflects on the changes he has made on his duck breeding farm and hatchery in Can Tho, Vietnam. Previously, his ducks were free range—they drank water from a nearby pond and grazed on small fish and shrimp from rice paddies, which left them undernourished and susceptible to diseases like salmonella and parasites. Poor sanitation and insufficient separation between residential and production areas put his family and workers at risk for picking up diseases from the ducks.
When Dinh Thi Yen Ly’s 18-year-old son, Nguyen Dang Khoa, told her he was gay, she felt they were the most painful words she had ever heard. She didn’t understand what it meant for him or for her family; she thought being gay was a sickness. And Ly was not alone. Some studies show that many parents in Vietnam still think homosexuality is a disease, a trend or an abnormality.
For Y Nguyet, during the rainy season in Vietnam, just going to and from school was a fearful experience. Without knowing how to swim, she had to pass through treacherous, fast-flowing streams, which have been known to sweep people away.
Each summer, as typhoons and tropical depressions hit Vietnam’s city of Danang, the Lighthouse Corp. braced for strong winds, heavy rains and floods, hoping direct damage to its warehouse, factory, office and construction materials would be minimal. Unfortunately, many times the construction company was not spared from collapsed windows, doors and walls, damaged goods and products, and an interrupted supply of materials as damage was repaired.
Last updated: November 20, 2015