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  • Douglas Johnston

17th November 2021

Losing your parents at any age can be traumatic, but not having parents from an early age can have numerous repercussions - some big and some small. But an additional thing that most of the orphans in Hà Giang lose is their cultural identity.

In the process of being brought from the remote ethnic minority villages deep in the mountains and being placed in the orphanage in the provincial capital of Hà Giang, the children are cut off from their heritage. The staff at the orphanage are Vietnamese, the local schools they attend are taught in Vietnamese, and therefore they have no opportunity to hear their own language, learn about their unique customs and beliefs, or wear their traditional clothes.

It can be extremely disorientating to be thrown into a world where you don’t speak the same language, and are told to do things differently from how you were first raised.

Therefore moments like this pictured above are so precious and important for the orphan children.

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