In northwestern Vietnam, ethnic minority groups live in extreme poverty. They lack health care and education, surviving on little food. But for the last decade, nuns from the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Hung Hoa have quietly built and served many Catholic communities in those provinces. One of the nuns, Sr. Maria Do Thi Quyen, spoke to GSR about their work.
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Sr. Anna Ngo Thi Phuc provides free medical treatment to leprosy patients at a state-run hospital in south-central Vietnam. Many patients live in poverty, abandoned by relatives. Phuc visits them daily, tends to their wounds and listens to their feelings. She spoke to GSR about her ministry.
Several Sisters of Divine Providence are working to sustain impoverished ethnic villagers in the Binh Phuoc Province, bordering Cambodia. They have been working with Stieng ethnic villagers in An Khuong Parish since last August when they built a convent. The parish has 700 Catholics among the population of about 7,000. Many villagers live on incomes of $31-44 per month and suffer from starvation, so the nuns cooperate with a group of local Catholic women and Fr. Joseph Nguyen Minh Chanh to give pastoral care to parishioners and help feed ethnic villagers.
For the past five years, Sr. Mary Do Thi Thuy of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate has quietly brought health care to hundreds of villagers with HIV in the Chinh Ly Commune of Ha Nam Province, northern Vietnam.