Visit to Out Patients Clinic – Lam convinces young man to get better care

Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

Last weekend we did a quick weekend to Saigon to see MamaChop. We also visited Tieng Vong Group (HIV/AIDS Out Patients clinic) and delivered HK$20K / US$2,565 to them. Here’s Lam story on this visit to the centre.

“Clinic beds were full when we visited at 9.30am on Saturday. Latest patient numbers now at 3,130 – a big difference since we began helping them 15 years ago when they had 300 patients.

I was so happy about this visit not just because we delivered much needed funds, but also because I was able to directly help a young patient – Mr Phong Ho, 27 year old who speaks perfect English. Phong taken to clinic by his mum 3 days ago when he was so weak, ill and unable to eat.

He feels that he’s dying, and no wonder as his body is barely skin and bone, compared to the fit young man he used to be, from the photos proudly shown by his mum of her handsome child. Phong feels his ailing health is a tragic burden to his mum and grandma, who have already spent over US$5,000 on hospital fees and medication with no positive results.

Despite this, the ever resilient, Ms Vinh is optimistic of a positive outcome if he’s given adequate care, medication and respite. She’s seen cases like this before with many making great recovery and able to live normal lives with regular medication.

So I went to him for a chat. We had conversation in English for privacy as other patients surrounding. After my chat he agreed to go to Mai Hoà Hospice Center for better care.

I broke the news to Miss Vinh and his mother Ms Cuc. They were so happy, I received big warm hugs with tears. We soon realised the next hurdle was to convince the Mai Hoà Hospice Center to accept him – they’re very strict on the patients the accept based on bed availability, patient background and circumstances. I told Miss Vinh to start conversation first and explain his situation with the Nun in charge of center. Miss Vinh had difficulties to convince her, so I asked to talk to the Sister, as we know each other given our relationship with the Mai Hoà Center over the years. I told her about Phong’s situation and dire condition. After some conversation she agreed to accept Phong and accept him immediately. Miss Vinh later explained this is exceptional case as she never had such successful quick outcome with the Sister before as she’s very strict to her.

I felt so happy because hopefully Phong can recover and have his life back. He smiled when I said goodbye to him. I got his contact details and promised to follow up with him. I’d like to share this as I hope for amazing outcomes.

Love you all and lots of luck and love to Phong please.”

Thanks to you all for your continued support.

Lam, Chris and all the Chop Vietnam team.

Chop Vietnam team visits the Out-Patients clinic – 28 June 2018

Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

Just back from a group visit to the Tieng Vong Group HIV/AIDS Out-Patients Clinic with a group of loyal Chop Vietnam supporters – Greg, Shawn, Belle and Deb.

As always we were warmly welcomed by Ms Vinh and her team of volunteers to a busy Saturday morning clinic, where at 9am in the morning all beds were already occupied.  We were all immediately struck by a particularly sick patient, a 40 year old man, who for months had been sick at home and not able to afford any help.  Only recently did Ms Vinh get notified of his condition and brought him to the centre for some respite, with the aim to get him to the Mai Hao Hospice for full-time palliative care.  He doesn’t have long to go.

The out-patients clinic has 3,028 patients on their books, with many relying on the clinic for general health check-ups, medication (vitamins, fluids etc) and for some, food, clothes and money for basic essentials.

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On this visit, Hasbro (via Greg & Shawn) kindly donated 11 boxes of toys and games – with 2 boxes going to the Out Patients clinic, 2 boxes to the kids at the Mai Hoa Orphanage and the remaining going to the Thien Phouc Handicapped Children’s Centre. 

Deb & Belle kindly donated some children’s clothes, stationery, colouring books etc, for kids of families coming to the Out Patients clinic. 

Lam brought HK$20,000 / US$2,550 Chop Vietnam cash donation to the Out-Patients Clinic.

Many thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support. 
Much love & respect.

Lam, Chris and the Chop Vietnam team.

Update from Chop Vietnam team visit to the centres, April 2017

HIV Health & Social Support, Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

A well overdue update from Lam and the Chop Team who visited the Chop Vietnam Centres in Saigon on 1st and 2nd April 2017 to further distribute funds raised from our Sydney Fundraiser from last October, Susie & Victor’s Wedding also last October and various other donations since.  Here’s Lam’s update….

Tieng Vong Group – Out-Patients Clinic:
On 1st and 2nd April I along with some of our choppiness… Louise, Susie, Victor and Rainer, visited HIV Out-patients clinic Tieng Vong group where Chop Vietnam brought much needed funds of HK$40K / AU$6,970 and some children clothes kindly donated by Vanessa & Michael in Sydney. 

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The latest patient numbers at the clinic is 2,914 with many of these being regular patients we’ve got to know over the years.

We had great news from Ms Vinh that the Church is building a new clinic next door, and will finally provide safe cover for the outpatients and staff from the current building the major cracks in the walls.

Mai Hoa AIDS Hospice & Orphanage visit:
On Sunday 2nd April, we visited the Mai Hoa AIDS Hospice and Orphanage, where Chop donated HK$30K / AU$5,100, also Lady Louise added HK$10K.
There were around 25 orphans where 2 girls just arrived few weeks ago. There were also 25 adult patients.

The centre has not started to build the new separate orphanage centre on the purchased land, as they still don’t have enough funding. Also it plans to build 3 new buildings on the existing premises – one will be for sewing room, another for handicrafts and last one for making Alter wine especially for adult patients.

At the Orphanage we met Giang, she is 19 years old and just returned to Centre about 1 week prior to our visit. Giang was orphan at centre who ran away about 2 or 3 years ago.  Since running away, she didn’t take any medication and recently got so sick, people took her back to the centre. We don’t think she will make it. 😢


Thien Phuoc Handicap Children Centre:
After Mai Hoà Centre, we visited The Thien Phuoc Handicap children Centre about 1km away. The centre is at its operating capacity looking after 70 children full-time. ChopVietnam donated HK$30K/AU$ 5,100.  Susie and Victor’s donations from their wedding last October in France were also distributed in the funds at all three centres, but they specifically donated 1,000 Euro on behalf of some of their guests to the Thien Phuoc Handicapped Children’s Centre.

Many thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support. Thanks also to Rainer for capturing some amazing photos during this visit.

Much love & respect.

Lam, Chris and the Chop Vietnam team.

Amazing Results from our Chop Vietnam Sydney Fundraiser, Sunday 18 September 2016

Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

Thank you to our loyal and new supporters in Sydney for their generosity at our recent Chop Vietnam Fundraiser in Sydney on Sunday 18 September 2016, where we raised over AU$21,500 – which will go direct to the three centres in Saigon, Vietnam and provide much needed help. It was a fun afternoon catching up with old friends and making new ones.

chopsydsept2016Thank you to our amazing sponsors and supporters in donating fantastic prizes – from Craig Ruddy, Tetsuya’sCafe Sydney, The BoathouseMahjong Room, The Camp FitnessSanctuary Skincare, Bilpin Gourmet Hampers, James & Co., Oasis Homewares, Lemon Zebra Kids, Scott & Cathy Lawrence, Toby Berryman, Joe T, Hamish, Tommy Fung, Rob & Roger, Clive & Ian, DJ Nicc Johnson and The Oxford Hotel.

chopsyd-team-sept-2016Finally, Thank you to our amazing Chop Team of volunteers in making this event happen – Hamish, Loretta, Alasdair, Gary, Bill, Vanessa, Emily and our amazing raffle ticket sellers.  The event would not have happened or been the success it was without you.  Thank you.

We will keep you all posted on developments at the Chop Vietnam Centres through our newsletter updates.

Once again, thank you for your generous support.

With love and respect.
Lam and Chop Vietnam Team


Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

1st August Chop Vietnam distributed generous care packages to: HIV/AIDS Orphanage & Hospice (The Mai Hoa Centre) and the Handicapped Children’s Centre (Thien Phonc Centre).

Mai Hoa Centre Care Package Delivery Aug 2015In true Chop Vietnam style, Kerryn Haig sent a call out to all her friends and connections in Saigon to donate food and any unwanted children’s toys, books and clothing. Within a couple of days she was receiving boxes of goods and food. Particular thanks to Phil Tran who rallied his staff at Glass Egg Digital Media to donate whatever they could plus cash donations of US$160 (AU$120). Jason & Michelle from Paper Wings, international children’s clothing company, donated boxes of products worth hundreds of dollars. Joe & Kiera donated all their toys. Sandra Morgan collected bags of rice, cooking oil and children’s clothes. David Campbell (Villa Royale Saigon) & Linh donated a variety of practical household goods.

Mai Hoa Centre Aug 2015At the HIV/AIDS Orphanage & Hospice, Sister Chau warmly welcomed us and showed us around. Most of the kids were at school but for the handful that were around they were able to choose their Paper Wings outfits. Unfortunately we didn’t have boys clothes but they got plenty of books and toys.

Meanwhile, the new Handicapped Childrens Centre is a few kilometers from the HIV/AIDS Orphanage & Hospice Centre and Sister Thi proudly showed us their new permanent more spacious home. A few of kids helped us unload the cars and proudly secured the cream of the crop of Joe & Keira’s toys. The plush toys were gladly received and distributed to all the children. Sister Thi explained a new wing of the centre, currently under construction, will house homeless elderly people who have no family support.


Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

mycause_certificate_105957_04082015Many thanks to Alasdair MacDonald for raising AU$2,500 by not drinking alcohol in July. His campaign cleverly focused on classic first-world problems such as no WiFi, no Facebook, stuck in traffic, fight delays, yoga class is overbooked! etc. Then flipping it to imagine being born with a disability and being dumped by your parents? Or finding out that your husband cheated on you, now you have HIV and your family disown you? These comforting scenarios helped illustrate the every day occurrences of people supported by Chop Vietnam. AU$2,500 will help provide food and care to the hospice or allow approx. 600 visits of out patients to receive their free medication.

A huge thanks to everyone who’s donated to Alasdair’s campaign.


Chop Vietnam Supporters visit the Centres in December 2014

Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

We were in Saigon over the 2014 Christmas break and visited all three Centres with the highlight of the trip bringing a group of 40 Chop Vietnam friends and family from Australia, Hong Kong and Spain – many of whom have supported the cause from day 1 and for most this was their first time to the Centres.

HIV/AIDS Orphanage & Hospice – The Mai Hao Centre – we donated some children’s clothes, toys, books and Chop Vietnam donations of HK$20,000 (AU$3,400) and on-the-spot donations by those in our group. While there another local group brought donations of food. We inquired why the number of orphans is still the same as previous years, and advised that 18 is maximum number of orphans they can take, given the large number of adult patients requiring complex medical treatments. The Centre’s funds and accommodation simply cannot stretch any more. They are however hoping to build a new orphanage next door that would enable the children to grow up in a less confronting environment as well as take in more orphans.

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Handicapped Childrens Centre – Thien Phouc Centre – we donated some children’s clothes, toys, and Chop Vietnam donation of HK$20,000 (AU$3,400) plus some on-the-spot donations from our group. We met with Sister Lan, who has been running the Centre for many years. She advised they are at maximum capacity of 70 children aged from 2-18 years old. Due to government regulations they can only keep children up to 12-14 years old, but as most of the children are severely disabled and abandoned by their families, they have nowhere else to go. She told us the Centre is being returned to the landlord, but a new permanent Centre is being built about 2Km away on church-owned land, costing approx. US$350K. It’s based on the same layout of the existing Centre but bigger, so they can take more patients.  The basic elements of the new Centre is nearly complete, but some of the utility rooms such as laundry, kitchen, storage areas) are not yet being built due to funding constraints. Many in our group were confronted by the harsh reality of the Centre and found it difficult, but all agreed it was a sobering and worthwhile experience.    


Children at the Thien Phouc Centre we donated some children’s clothes, toys, and Chop Vietnam donation of HK$20,000 plus some on-the-spot donations from our group


HIV Outpatients Clinic – Tieng Vong Group Clinic – the clinic still has no license or Doctor so it operates on a limited basis for 3 days a week (Mon, Wed & Fri). Chris & Lam were the only ones who visited the Centre on this occasion, and donated HK$20,000 (AU$3,400) from Chop Vietnam.  The Clinic still has major cracks in the wall, with no immediate plans to fix them or build a new clinic. Ms Vinh had a full house of patients with all beds occupied including a long-term patient Ms Nga – who was receiving drip fluid treatment as she was feeling weak and has chronic asthma, but overall she was in fine spirits. She told us she had received good news and photos of her daughter who is now 12 years old, growing tall and well looked after by her adopted Italian family.  She is happy for her daughter but also misses her.  Ms Nga is doing well and now lives in the local community and has a small coffee shop that helps pay her rent and food. We also met a gorgeous young baby boy and his parents. Ms Vinh explained their remarkable story – the mum already had four children and fell pregnant with this her fifth. But given her and her husband’s HIV+ status, ill health and poor background, she felt she could not proceed with the pregnancy. Ms Vinh convinced her to carry on and gave her some financial support from the clinic.  After her boy was born, she still felt she couldn’t support the child and wanted to give him up for adoption, but again Ms Vinh convinced her to spend some time with her child, plus some more financial support. Now after nearly 2 years, she totally loves her child and will not give him up for anything. Good news is that both her and husband are in much better health and have steady jobs to support the family.

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In addition to the Chop Vietnam donations given during this visit, we have received approx. AU$11,430 in additional donations at the end of 2014 as follows:

  • Louise Flanagan raised AU$2,500 while packing up her home in HK to return to Australia.
  • Stephen Anderson in Macau raised HK$4,000 (AU$680) from patrons in his Macau bar.
  • Donations via Australia = AU$5,330
  • Donations via HK = HK$31,000 (AU$5,300)
  • Donations via EU = Euro 200 (AU$300)

We thank you all for continued support.
Much love & respect. Lam, Chris and the Chop Vietnam team.

Lady Louise raises AU$2,500 for Chop Vietnam – November 2014

Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

Lady Louise

Louise Flanagan raised AU$2,500 for Chop Vietnam while packing up her HK home to return to Australia.  A delightful evening where guests were able to auction on items not being packed up – such as wine, household items and additional Vietnamese items left over from our
HK fundraiser earlier this year.

A huge thank you to Louise and all that attended and contributed. Every dollar helps.


Chop Vietnam visit the HIV outpatients clinic, Saigon – September 2014

Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

Lam and Chris recently visited the outpatients clinic to present HK40,000 / AU$5,000 on behalf of Chop Vietnam from the HK fundraiser earlier in the year. The Centre now supports 2,649 patients, 30 of which require Ms Vinh and her volunteers to visit them at home due to their poor health.

During our visit we met Ngoc Thanh Tam – a 24 year old woman who has been attending the clinic weekly for 4-5 months since she became HIV+.

Dao Van No – a 35 year old man who has been HIV+ for a long time but came to the Centre in July as he was critically ill with a brain, throat and lung infection. He cannot afford to go to the hospitals, however, Ms Vinh sent him for blood tests and head scans as well as provides him with general medication and fluids. His health has improved significantly over the last couple of months and he’s gained weight. With Chop donations he can now go for further brain scans that costs VND2million / US$100.

Biu Trung Linh

A critically ill patients needs help & medication

Bui Trung Linh – a 36 year old man, is in critical condition requiring urgent blood transfusion following a recent bout of pneumonia. With Chop funds, he can now receive a life-saving blood transfusion. He has 2 children aged 2 and 13.

Truong Thi Hong – 38 year old woman has been attending the clinic for urgent treatment to a tumour on her neck. She can’t afford to attend  hospital for treatment but Chop funds provide the medical support she needs and a weekly check up at the clinic. They recently asked a local doctor for guidance on her specific condition, but he refused to help as this treatment was his ‘bread & butter’ and he didn’t want Ms Vinh to know the details!

The Centre still has major cracks in the walls from damage caused by the next door building site. The construction company is planning to rebuild the Centre but no details or time line has been set. The Centre will relocate a few doors down the road during the reconstruction.

Outpatients Walls

The centre still has major cracks on the wall

As you can see every dollar makes a huge difference to those in need.

Thank you to all our sponsors for their support – March 2014

Vietnam HIV Health & Social Support

Chop Vietnam’s first Hong Kong event was proudly supported by the following sponsor organisations, enabling us to raise over HK$82,200 / AU$11,300 and in Australia we raised another AU$1,752 giving us a grand total of over AU$13,000. Thank you everyone for your generous support. and will make a huge difference to those that need it most. Thank You.