Diem, aged 8
Diem is an eight-year-old girl living with her grandparents in the poor Phu Ninh District in Central Vietnam. She is in second grade at the local primary school. She loves school and enjoys playing with her classmates. She is well taken care of by her grandparents.
Diem was born HIV positive, and her mother died of HIV/AIDS shortly after in 2009. Her father was a drug addict and HIV positive. He was frequently sent to jail for stealing and fighting. When he returned home from prison, he was often sick and therefore unable to take adequate care of Diem, so she went to live with her paternal grandparents. Diem’s father died from AIDS in 2016 in a prison hospital.
Diem’s family is poor, as her grandparents are elderly and can only do casual labor which is not often available in their area. Supporting themselves is challenging as they do not get any support from the local government, and supplying Diem with essential nutrients, like milk, is sometimes difficult.
When Diem was five years old, the teacher discovered her mother died from HIV and subsequently prohibited Diem from attending school. Diem’s grandmother found another kindergarten that was willing to accept Diem.
Over the time that we at VNHIP have known Diem, she has developed from a shy, skinny girl into a confident young woman who is happy to take the microphone at our activities and sing beautifully in front of an audience. She enjoys attending VNHIP’s Summer Trip, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Tet Celebration. Her personal development is a credit to the loving care she receives from her grandparents.
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