Giving It Back To Kids is a 501(c) (3) based in the United States. We are a non profit corporation dedicated to helping kids achieve their maximum potential through medical care, education, nutrition and love. GIBTK's desire is to be relational in transforming lives. With all of our programs we continue to follow up and see how they are doing in the future. This is true with the kids in our homes, those that have received surgeries, wheelchairs, or homes. We can celebrate successes and identify areas where more assistance might be needed. We have been licensed to work in Vietnam for 14 years and our administrative office has been operating in Da Nang, Vietnam since 2007. Additionally, this year we have completed official licensing for our homes in Cambodia. We have recorded 5,475 volunteer hours and our total operating cost in 2015 was $4,069,698.
Under Project New Hope in Da Nang, we currently have six homes for 110 children and young adults. Three homes are for children between the ages of 4-18. We have two additional homes for young men and women completing their education through university or vocational courses. Additionally, we have one home for unwed mothers and their children, which is the first of its kind in Vietnam. In Cambodia, we have two homes for 26 girls at-risk from trafficking.
GIBTK also provides scholarships to other students not living in our homes that are completing college or vocational courses. Including the 31 students living in our two homes for young adults, in 2015 we had a total of 43 students continuing to complete their education and six graduating. Of those, five graduated with degrees in accounting, teaching, and chemistry. All but one are now working full time. The sixth student finished a course in tailoring and is working as a seamstress.
Surgeries are provided for children from poor families. This year sixty-six children received life saving heart surgery, and three children had eye surgery. Thanks also to a donation of two containers of medical equipment, and in conjunction with the local hospital and government, we were able to send medical outreach teams to remote areas for patient exams and identifying surgical needs. Due to the above donation to the hospital, we were able to coordinate and provide a total of 422 people with orthopedic surgeries!
Our newest program was started in August. Project Legacy (in honor of co-founder Dorothea), is an outreach to children living in the local community. In creating a Community Center we hired four new teachers. Classes are taught in English, computer technology, math, chemistry and physics. One teacher also focuses on primary students. We provide a safe place for primary kids to come for half a day when their school is over instead of being home without parents. Our teacher helps them with homework, prepares their lessons for the next day and provides fun activities. Once a week they have an English class and GIBTK staff teach them an Emotional Health lesson. Twice a week they have an opportunity to attend a karate class. They may also attend computer classes. Tutoring is provided for secondary and high school students along with computer classes and Emotional Health lessons. Computer classes are provided at the different levels and needs of the students from primary through college age. We especially try to equip college students with knowledge that can help them find a job when they graduate. We have twenty students attending a soft skills class every two weeks to build their confidence and learn the best ways to present themselves in job interviews and personal life. There are currently 75 students attending community classes which includes 20 primary and 55 secondary and high school students. The children and their families were so happy to see all the positive progress the children made academically in the first semester with this additional help. It gives the children an opportunity to improve their education that their families could never provide.
In another new program this year, we partnered with One ATTA Time to provide clean drinking water to poor families and students in remote areas. Their water was previously obtained from contaminated streams which required time consuming daily boiling (especially in schools with large numbers of children), purchasing expensive water, or just suffering with gastrointestinal issues. We were able to facilitate the installation of 177 water filters this year in schools and individual homes.
In partnering with Free Wheelchair Mission in 2015 we delivered 14,850 wheelchairs to handicapped people all over Vietnam. Our construction program builds Compassion Homes for extremely impoverished families living in unsafe shacks and kindergartens in remote and rural areas of Vietnam. Three compassion homes were built in 2015. Additionally through donations, ten bicycles were given to disadvantaged students who had to travel long distances to school. Fifteen pigs and cows were delivered to impoverished families to provide food and economic opportunities.
The following are two examples of transformed lives:
Ly was born to an extremely poor family. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother was ill and died when she was in first grade. One week after her mother died her father remarried and left her with her grandmother. Her grandmother could not afford to send her to school so four years later she was sent to an orphanage. At 18 she had to leave the orphanage and returned to live and support her grandmother by working as a waitress. She met Tam, our SE Asia Director and shared her dream to become an English teacher. She moved to Lighthouse, our home for young women, and was in a safe place to pursue her dream for four years. She graduated from Duy Tan College and is now an English teacher in Binh Dinh province. She is very passionate and happy to transfer her knowledge to the children she loves to teach. She is an example and an encourager to others that you can achieve your dream and transform your life.
Huong was the fourth child of a poor family who worked in the rice fields. At age six she was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease which required surgery. Her mother was ill with Parkinson's disease and her parents were not able to pay for her surgery, but they would not give up seeking help. In 2009 they found GIBTK, she received her surgery and her health became much better. The years have passed and her health remains good. She has been working as an accountant for three years in Da Nang. She was married in 2014 and now has a one year old son. She is so grateful that she is able to work, and with her new son, that there will now be a second generation for her family that would not have been if she did not have her operation.