[Sunshine Coast Daily, 3 May 2015] Australia’s “Sunshine Coast Daily” has published an article about AusCham NGO Member, Heart Reach Australia.

An edited extract of the article by Kristy Muir is reproduced below.

The original and complete article may be viewed by clicking here.

FOR 25 years Chris O’Dempsey has dedicated his life to helping the people of Vietnam.

In this time the Buderim man has helped more than a million people through the two humanitarian aid organisations he founded…

During Mr O’Dempsey’s first trip to Vietnam (in 1990) he visited an eye hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and saw how treatable conditions were not being fixed.

The former paramedic said there was not only a lack of basic medical help for the Vietnamese people during this time, but also limited educational opportunities across all professions…

Mr O’Dempsey founded Project Vietnam soon after and began his grassroots humanitarian work funded by Australians who heard of his work…

In the year 2000, Mr O’Dempsey severed ties with Project Vietnam (which is still running) and started up Heart Reach Australia.

“In 25 years about $500,000 has been raised to help the people of Vietnam,” Mr O’Dempsey said.

“The medical and humanitarian programs developed have seen some amazing life-changing events and personal stories from the Vietnamese people,” he said.

“The people we have helped over the years have been the basis of many long-lasting friendships.

“To be part of helping kids gain a greater quality of life, physically, emotionally, practically, has given all who have been involved at any point in time great satisfaction.

“It is both Vietnamese (who love to help their own people) and foreigners (including Aussies), who have all given so much…

Mr O’Dempsey is in the process of raising the last $8000 needed to buy an ambulance boat to donate to the Vietnamese people to give those living in isolated villages a way to seek medical assistance…

“We are making a real difference.”

Mr O’Dempsey will return to Vietnam next month.

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