Ho in Vietnam
Vietnam is a one party communist state mainly remembered for the war involving America but now one of the fastest growing economies. The BBC gives us some of the basic information on a country which looks set to become a developed nation very soon but, meanwhile, still has a history of suppressing dissent amongst the people including the poor tribes that inhabit the hills. UNICEF map the current position for you. The tensions between their powerful leaders and developing status are seen in the government ban on bloggers raising "inappropriate" subjects. The timeline of their history covers their early period as a French outpost through to the reconstruction after the war.

Vietnam is a relatively new country for
Plan International but there's plenty of need amongst its poorer people. Ho himself lives in the central area of Vietnam. Home for Ho and his family is a small wooden house with a corrugated metal roof. The latter allows them to collect water all year round by the use of a rain attachment and a barrel or a trek to the river around 1km away works too!

Plan International has developed a large, global network of support for children. From this, they were able to introduce us to Ho Van. The organisation was started in 1937 by a couple of journalists shocked by the orphaned children in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Today, the organisation operates at a number of levels in 45 developing countries. They get involved by working with governments, development partners and communities to help to improve specific facilities in deprived areas. They key point is that everyone can buy into the local projects to safeguard the future of the community and, in particular, the children. When a local family is involved in these projects, people like us get the opportunity to sponsor their children for the duration of the community project. These projects are based around five key elements that support the development of the children and, hence, the future of the community. These are health, education, livelihood, habitat and building relationships. Nobody can argue with that and Plan International does a wonderful job across many parts of the world. Pretty obviously, Mr Kite thinks that it would be great if you got involved, too. Read about sponsoring a child here.

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