Tran Song The, 19, was born into a poor family in Hoa Vang, a rural district of central Vietnam’s Danang province. At birth, he was diagnosed with a congenital deformity. While the condition was not fatal and did not affect his mental development, it caused the muscles and bones in his neck and shoulder to grow abnormally
When Hieu Trinh Thi married five years ago, she knew that her husband Truong might be HIV positive since he had been an intravenous drug user in the past. In Hai Phong, Vietnam, where the couple lives, 44 percent of people who inject drugs are infected with the virus.
In a quiet alley in the southern part of the capital city of Hanoi, a man and a woman are seated on small plastic stools, conferring in low tones. The man drinks a glass of tea while the woman pulls out a sheaf of perforated papers—referral slips—and begins filling one out. She hands the slip of paper to her companion and explains its purpose as he sips his drink, nodding.
Nguyen Thi Hang, a mother of two school-aged children, lives in Vinh Long province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, where high poverty rates are prevalent among ethnic minority groups. For the last 14 years, Hang has earned a living for her family by making baskets and carpets from water hyacinth.
Le Thi My Dung has a rice paddy of less than 1 hectare—almost equivalent to a football field—to support and feed her family. Until recently, although she and her children worked the field every day, her earnings from rice sales barely covered her costs. Her field only yielded about 4 tons of rice per hectare, less than other farmers' similarly sized fields that yielded around 7 or 8 tons
Last updated: November 20, 2015