It seems to me that one of the greatest tragedies of our human kind occurs when a child’s innocence and purity are removed from them. Even greater, when lost before they enter the world and take their first breath. Such is the case when a child arrives carrying the burdens of the mother. These are the children of the Mai Tam Shelter, one of many shelters in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam caring for those infected with hiv/aids. All these young souls greeted this world carrying an infinite weight imparted to them by their mother. Most are too young to understand.

The shelter cares for about sixty children in two locations, as well as several dozen mothers who reside with their children. They also provide support to several hundred patients and families living outside in society, which even still today can prove to be uneducated and fearful of this plight. The center is well funded by the Catholic Church of Vietnam, though also receives support from all over the world.

Here are several photographs I made of the children over a few visits. Only time will tell if they will have the strength and courage to overcome this battle they were chosen for.

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