Duyen’s family is barely surviving. Before COVID, her mother worked in an industrial zone, leaving early in the morning and arriving home late each evening so her father had the responsibility for caring for her and her two younger sisters. He also tried to earn extra income to feed the family as a construction worker when he could, as they were not able to have enough food from their small rice field. Since COVID, her mother has become unemployed and so has joined her husband in looking for local laboring jobs to try and support the family.
Duyen is only fifteen but gave birth to a son in June. The child was born with some health issues. No one was aware that she was pregnant until she was about 6 months along, so she did not have adequate prenatal care. Because Duyen developed an infection, she needed to be treated with antibiotics and has not been able to breastfeed her son. The baby is now 5 months old. He has a problem with his liver and requires hospital treatment in Hanoi each month. He was also born with extra toes and will require orthopedic surgery.
Duyen’s baby at 5 months-old
We met this family because they are part of our cowbank. Their cow has also given birth to a calf which in the long-term will help this family, but we are looking for other ways to help them in the near-term such as providing formula for the baby, helping them with medical expenses, as due to COVID and the scarcity of public transport, the costs of the monthly treatment and transportation is pushing this family further and further into debt.
Duyen and the family cow that they received from YWAM Mercy’s cowbank