Vietnam: COCOA South East Asia
In Vietnam COCOA South East Asia (COCOA SEA) is a locally registered NGO owned and controlled by GMP Australia. John and Lan Dean, who have headed up COCOA SEA, have developed strong working relationships with the provincial, district and village People’s Committees (local government) and more recently with the Binh Phuoc Association for the Disabled, the Poor and Orphans (BPADPO). COCOA SEA works in cooperation with these groups in all of its work.
Only one third of the rural population has adequate sanitation facilities and in poorer, Ethnic Minority areas such as Binh Phuoc Province, this number is even lower. Of those who have access to sanitation only 17 per cent know how to use their facilities hygienically, increasing the risk of contracting water-borne diseases. COCOA SEA has provided wells and then built toilets in schools and areas of greatest need.
John Dean passed away, after a long battle with cancer, on 4 June 2014. A project assisting people with disabilities in the repair of houses and the construction of toilets continues.
BPADPO Community Support
Working with Binh Phuoc Association for the Disabled, the Poor and Orphans (BPADPO), COCOA is making sanitation available to disabled people in Binh Phouc Province. BADPO identifies the neediest families, and toilet facilities and access equipment are installed. Mrs T, who assisted with the earlier wells programs, is taking a bigger role in managing this project, supported by John Gilmore in Australia. As well as improved health, having a toilet opens up increased opportunities to be involved in and accepted by the local community.