Our non-profit began three years ago as a partnership with The Kianh Foundation providing special education, physical therapy and healthcare services to children with disabilities at a government-run orphanage in Hoi An, Vietnam. We ran successful programs there until 2010. We are now serving the greater community.
On April 11, 2012, The Mulligan Project joyfully celebrated the Opening Ceremony of the The Dien Ban Day Center, a full-service special education facility that not only provides programs to children with disabilities but also benefits their families.
Most of the children at The Dien Ban Day Center suffer from Down Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy. One in ten children in Dien Ban are born with Down Syndrome. Dien Ban has over 1,000 children with disability, the majority of whom have no access to basic education. We are changing that.
The Dien Ban Day Center is the first of its kind in the region and addresses a critical gap. Many of the children at the Center have either never been in school or were rejected after failing their first year. If a child cannot succeed in the government school in Dien Ban, his or her choices become almost non-existent. The Mulligan Project offers children with disabilities a tailored program where they can maximize their mental and physical potential. With our programs, the children are thriving. They matter. Children have learned to walk. Children have learned to read. These are major milestones they could not reach before The Dien Ban Day Center. We also work directly with the parents and offer them training regarding their special needs child.
WHY DO SO MANY CHILDREN IN CENTRAL VIETNAM HAVE A DISABILITY?
Dien Ban has one of the highest proportions of disabled and disadvantaged children in Central Vietnam. It is widely supported that the staggering numbers are due in part to the heavy spraying of defoliants that Dien Ban endured during the war with the United States. Approximately 20 million gallons of herbicides were sprayed on Vietnam between 1962-1971. There are numerous studies into the effects of exposure to dioxins, such as those found in Agent Orange, on health and the environment. These studies indicate increased risks of genetic disorders, birth defects, cancers, low birth weight and damage to reproductive systems can result from prolonged dioxin exposure. Although the war ended over forty years ago, Agent Orange can still be found in the water and food supply today. Someone once said, "It isn't news if it happens everyday." Everyday in Dien Ban a child goes unattended, uneducated and uncared for simply because he or she has a disability. It gets very little attention in the U.S.
We are pleased that the U.S has recently pioneered a cleanup of Agent Orange in Central Vietnam addressing this critical and overdue issue. Read more. . . .