Yesterday 2 other volunteers, CEF staff Ngoc and I drove to Da Nang to visit 14 children and their families who had previously lived in Hoa Van Village. This village was designated as a leprosy village some years ago but now it seems the government wants the land back so they have compensated and relocated all the families to Da Nang.
Most of the families now live in "block" houses which are rather dreary buildings, offering little opportunity for residences to continue their life -long livelihood of fishing and gardening .On top of that no skill development is provided. A few even live right next ( I mean right next) to the railroad tracks.
Despite all of this, most of the children seem happier to me than last year as they are all closer to school and friends and some have been re-united with families after some years of living with relatives during term time to be able to attend secondary education. All were happy to receive their TET "lucky" money from us too.
I do worry about what kind of future many of these families and children have….
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