Rehabilitation Center Daily Activities

The Duc Pho Day Care and Rehabilitation Center opened in January 7, 2015.  It was built with government assistance but relies on donations from individuals and local charities to help with operational costs.


Activities of the Rehabilitation Center

Day Care:

The center opens at 7 AM and closes at 5 PM. This enables their parents or guardians to work outside their homes and know that their children will be safe, cared for and receive a nutritious lunch.  Many of the children due to intellectual, physical or social disabilities from Agent Orange have not been able to go to regular schools. Some children repeated the first grade multiple times before coming to the center. If they have the mental capacity to attend school, children living with the effects by Agent Orange often have special needs that require additional care; the cost for this care puts an additional financial burden on the households, which they often cannot afford. Often, mothers/wives are the ones left at home to care for the directly affected person, rather than maximizing the household’s earning potential. Families who have members with special needs often must focus their energy on care and have less time to spend on important livelihood activities. The Day Care center enables the parents to spend more time earning money for their families.


Esther is the MCC Occupational Therapist who started working at the center in February 2016. Some of the therapy supplies were donated supplies by Esther from her former business in the USA. MCC assisted with providing other supplies; swing hangers, therapy mats, wall mirrors, and white boards for the therapy rooms. For children their occupation is play but many due to their disabilities cannot play like normal children. The therapist assesses each child’s needs and carefully selects play activities that will keep the children’s interest and at the same time help them be more successful in the basic activities necessary for daily care and play.  A few children with Cerebral Palsy come to the center just for therapy, as they are too young to attend the day care. There are plans also for home visits to other families who live too far from the center.


Huỳnh Thị Hương Thảo, Esther Bucher, Lê Nguyễn Bảo An, Grandmother of An – Photo Paul Bucher

Esther Bucher, Trần Thị Như Ý, Nguyễn Tấn Khải – Photo Paul Bucher

Esther Bucher, Trần Thị Như Ý, Nguyễn Tấn Khải – Photo Paul Bucher


Esther Bucher, Nguyễn Thị Minh Nguyệt – Photo Paul Bucher


Huỳnh Thị Hương Thảo, Esther Bucher, Huỳnh Tấn Tài – Photo Paul Bucher


Group daily exercises and time with an exercise bike, treadmill or weights are organized as appropriate by the staff for the children throughout the day. MCC helped with purchasing exercise equipment and training on using physical exercise and range of motion to prevent secondary disabilities.



Those children who have the ability to learn letters and numbers, are given more formal educational lessons.


Music and Dance:

Each day time is set aside for group singing and or dancing.

Free Play:

Children are given free time to play on their own and with the other children to learn to interact with their environment and learn social skills.

Nguyễn Lê Tiến – Photo Esther Bucher

Nguyễn Lê Tiến – Photo Esther Bucher

Lunch and Rest:

A nutritious lunch is prepared for the day care patrons by the staff.  If necessary assistance is given to those not able to feed themselves.  After the children eat, they all lie down in the sleeping rooms for the usual noon rest.  Staff who are staying on or who elect to purchase a lunch then eat together.  MCC and many other local persons and organizations help subsidize the lunches.  We join in the lunch.



Cao Văn Kiều, Đặng Phương Thảo, Nguyễn Lê Tiến, Nguyễn Trường Ngọc Hân – Photo Nguyễn Thị Tường Vi

Vocational Training - Future:

For those who are able, the center would like to provide vocational training so that they could be more independent.

Organic Garden – Future:

Space is being prepared to have an organic garden at the center to raise some of the vegetables used for the lunches.