The Provisional Revolutionary Government in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). the capital of South Vietnam,?
The Provisional Revolutionary Government in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). the capital of South Vietnam, has recently launched a full-scale campaign to provide care for the large number of orphans in the country. In Saigon alone there are estimated to be about 18,000 orphans, and approximately 5,000 of them are children under fifteen years of age.
The first stage in their rehabilitation is to identify those with personality or psychological problems. The "difficult" children are sent to specialist orphanages, where their particular problems can be studied and treated by experts.
Orphans who are categorised as "stable" or "normal" are provided with homes at such orphanages as Dieu Quang, which is situated in a suburb of Saigon. The Revolutionary Government has taken over the responsibility of feeding, clothing, educating and training them.
Before being taken into care, many of the orphans lived a wild life among the streets of the city, and for this reason they are prohibited from leaving the immediate vicinity of the orphanages. Many of them would return to the wild life if they were allowed to stray too far before their rehabilitation is complete. If they fall sick and have to be sent to hospital, a member of the orphanage staff has to a company them to make sure they do not run away.
It is estimated that abut half the orphans do have at least one parent still living, but usually they have either abandoned their children, or else take no interest in where they live or how. Many of the parents have returned to the province,s abandoning their children in the city.
The orphanage at Dieu Quang is one of two new ones the Government has set up. The other one, situated at Di An, twenty kilometres (12 miles) north-west of the capital, can take about 170 children - most of them with personality or behavioural problems. The Dieu Quang orphanage provides places for about a hundred children.
When admitted, many of the children are suffering form disease, worms and skin infections. Health facilities are therefore of major importance in the early states of rehabilitation.
Children who still have parents that can be traced, stay in the orphanages for a period of between three and six months. The others begin training courses that will equip them with skills for earning a living for when they are grown. They are chiefly taught agricultural techniques and animal husbandry.