Mr. Can returned to his home village in Thanh Hoa
after the war with two bullets still embedded in his body. He has a bad
limp and cannot walk far without help. He has five young children; his
wife is the only member of the family who can do physical labor. Mr. Can
tries to help his wife, but it used to be very difficult:
like I was a burden on my family because I could not even help my wife
collect water. She would use the neighbor’s open well, but in the
summer, it would get very low and there would only just be enough water
for eating and drinking. The children would bathe in the pond, but I
always worried about them drowning. They were often sick with spots on
their body, which the doctor said was from dirty water.”
When the IDE hand pump program came to his commune,
Mr. Can bought a hand pump on credit using a loan from the Veteran’s
Association. His family’s standard of living has improved dramatically.
whole family can collect water - even the 3 year old. We always have
plenty of water and life is much easier.”
In spite of his disability, Mr. Can can now collect
water for the house and has even started an ice-making business, which he
runs from home. Last summer, he and his wife bought a freezer to sell ice
to his neighbors. Now he can earn up to $6 a day during the summer months.
He can help his wife and feels that their life has improved immeasurably.
“I could not see how our
life would ever change - but the hand pump has given my family a
future,” he says.