“A free children’s play area you say?!”
Long-time Tay Ho favourite, Joma Bakery Café on To Ngoc Van street, and a new International NGO to Vietnam, Care for Children, have teamed up to expand the family-friendly space on the top floor of the popular café.
This will be welcome news to many families in Tay Ho where children play areas are hard to find! Born out of a need for more family-friendly spaces faced by young families within Care for Children, the partnership provides a welcome option for a place to meet and eat – a bit of fun (for kids) and respite (for parents) from the busy streets of Hanoi. It is also an intentional effort to raise awareness of Care for Children’s project with the Vietnamese government to see orphaned and vulnerable children placed into good, local families as a positive alternative to institutional care.
The ‘Joma Kids’ Corner’ on the third floor is open throughout the week and includes a library of children’s books, a doll house, toy cars, and an art space where they can practice their budding creative skills. They are even encouraged to draw on the walls, thanks to three walls of black chalkboard! On Thursdays, families are welcome to participant in ‘Craft, Music & Reading’ hour from 10.30 – 11.30 and Joma staff have received training from Care for Children’s safeguarding expert.
Come and try Joma’s new cold brew coffee, learn more about Care for Children’s pioneering work for vulnerable children in Vietnam, and put your feet up for an hour while someone else reads your kids a story. Joma offer a free babychino for every purchase from 10-12 on a Thursday. Come enjoy!!
Bringing Foster Care to Vietnam
Care for Children arrived in April 2017 from invitation from the Vietnamese government to respond to the lack of alternative care options for orphaned and abandoned children in Vietnam – notably local foster care. The Vietnamese government is looking to transition away from orphanage care but lacks the infrastructure and knowledge to implement a best practice family-based (foster) care solution.
It was 20 years ago that Care for Children launched its first family placement project in China. What has been achieved since has gone beyond anyone’s expectations, with a generation of orphaned and abandoned children placed into local foster families, alongside the implementation of new and improved national policies, guidelines and legislation. In 20 years, Care for Children has partnered with 200+ orphanages in China and Thailand, delivering 276 workshops and training over 5,000 people. It has been estimated that Care for Children’s work has resulted in over a million children being moved out of orphanages and placed in local foster families.
With this wealth of experience, we are training and equipping government staff to make the transition to family placement successful through training workshops and onsite technical training whilst inspiring the government and other care institutions.
There are approximately 22,000 children in Vietnam growing up in government-run orphanages (known locally as Social Protection Centres) without the nurturing, protective care of a family.
In Vietnam, social exclusion and poverty are driving factors behind the placement of children into orphanages. Families give up their children because they are too poor to care for them, or they feel that it is the best way to help them to access basic services such as education and healthcare. Discrimination and cultural taboos mean that girls, children with disabilities, ethnic minorities, children with HIV/AIDS and children born out of wedlock, make up a disproportionate number of children abandoned into alternative care.
With a lack of family-based alternative care options in Vietnam, orphaned and abandoned children most likely end up in orphanages.
Decades of research show that institutional care simply cannot provide the one-to-one care, love and attention a child needs to develop. Researchers have documented structural and functional changes in the brains of children who grow up in this environment. As a result, their physical, cognitive and emotional development is severely damaged.
When they eventually leave institutional care, young adults may then struggle to reintegrate into their communities and face high rates of homelessness, unemployment, chronic poverty, depression and even suicide. Many also fall victim to trafficking and sexual exploitation. Some even return to institutions such as prisons or psychiatric hospitals, isolated from the rest of society.
When orphaned and abandoned children cannot be reunited with family members, foster care that is well monitored and supported is an extremely effective alternative, ensuring they can grow up and thrive in a safe, stable, and nurturing family environment. When children receive love and support in a warm family environment, they are better able to take on the childhood tasks of exploring their world and learning new skills. They also learn from the family environment how to connect to other people and build healthy relationships. Children who learn the skills of building healthy relationships are more likely to grow up to become confident and resilient individuals.
Care for Children
107 Xuan Dieu, Quang An, Tay Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: 024 7300 3993
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Clayton Green, Country Manager