Last month, I traveled nearly 8,000 miles to Ninh Thuan Province, a rural region in Vietnam’s south central coast, and one of the most disadvantaged areas in the country.
The stunning coastline of Ninh Thuan Province is a stark contrast to the barren, hard-to-reach hillsides and dilapidated wooden homes inland, where most people live, enduring the daily struggles that come with extreme poverty. These struggles include lack of access to quality health care and education; food insecurity caused by climate change; lack of clean water and sanitation; and an overall absence of opportunities.
I spent four days in this region with UNICEF, meeting children and families affected by some of these struggles, and getting an insight into what is being done to tackle the inequities that some of the country’s most disadvantaged children face.
“The 30 kids I met at the Quang Son Special School are probably some of the fortunate few. There are some 1.3 million children with disabilities in Vietnam, and less than half of them are able to access school. I couldn’t help but wonder what these children’s lives would be like if the school wasn’t here for them. Who would they play with? How would they learn to communicate? What would they do all day while their families work in the fields? What would their futures be like?” …
Katy Perry is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.