The French association Pour les Enfants des Rizières (APER) was created in April, 2003 at instigation of adoptive parents and of people interested in questions pertaining to the welfare of Vietnamese children. Its’ primary function is to help poor children of Vietnam, but particularly those of the province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu.
The head office of the Association is located at Puteaux in France, close to Paris. Members live throughout France and a small percentage of members live in (Canada, USA, England and Australia).
The association was authorized by PACCOM in Vietnam in June, 2006. APER works in close cooperation with the administration of the province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu.
Amongst APER’s main accomplishments, so far, can be noted:
- The renovation of the former Vũng Tàu centres
- The construction and the management of Trung Tâm Bảo Trợ Trẻ Em Long Hải
- Education and training programs for the children at Trung Tâm Bảo Trợ Trẻ Em Long Hải
- The sponsorship of more than 200 children
- The distribution of scholarships
- The provision of aid to handicapped children who are victims of agent orange in cooperation with Vietnam Central Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA)
- The implementation of health and medical needs, such as the supply of medicines, vaccination drives and financing of surgeries
- The sponsorship and support of poor families within the local community
- Financial assistance to build houses for poor families
Mr Christophe is the father of three children adopted from Vietnam. He lives in Puteaux in France, close to Paris. Mr Christophe is an engineer and works for Thales group.
In 2002 Mr Christophe met Mrs Lê Thị Trang Đài, the founder of The Centre of Social Protection of Children in Vũng Tàu. The children were then living in a small rented house, which was not adequate. Despite Mrs Trang Đài’s hard work and inexhaustable energy, Mr Christophe saw the need to improve the living conditions of the children.
On return to France, with a couple of other French families, Mr Christophe decided to create the Association Pour les Enfants des Rizieres in order to help the centre in Vũng Tàu, and more generally the children of the province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu.
Ms Le Thi My Huong is the Vũng Tàu representative for the Association Pour les Enfants des Rizières (APER).
In 1975, at the age of five, Ms My Huong was adopted to Australia from Vietnam. She returned to Vietnam in 2004 to search for her birth mother, whom she was reunited with. Since then she has remained in Vietnam.
Ms My Huong has adopted two children from Trung Tâm Bảo Trợ Trẻ Em Vũng Tàu. Her first son was adopted in early 2008 and at that time she became involved in volunteering at the centre. In March 2009 she took on the position to represent APER in Vũng Tàu. In April 2012 she was appointed as vice-director of Trung Tâm Bảo Trợ Trẻ Em Long Hải.
Ms My Huong has a lot of experience working with children having previously worked with street children and orphans in Zambia, Africa. Prior to moving to Vietnam she worked in Australia as the coordinator for a drug and alcohol counselling service.
Ms My Huong is one of the few Vietnamese war adoptees to have returned to Vietnam, found her birth mother and made the commitment to permanently reside in Vietnam. She has a keen interest in adoption issues and supports other adult adoptees returning to Vietnam. Over the years she has assisted several in finding their birth families.