Alison has been the driving force behind ACCV from its inception in 2006 to its closure in 2017. From her return to Australia after the initial visit to Vietnam, she worked tirelessly to establish an organization that provided an opportunity to a better life to those in need. The Vidotto family and associated company fully supported Alison’s work in Vietnam. The entire Vidotto family made a huge contribution and the Vidotto Group P/L funded all costs associated with ACCV’s Administration so that 100% of all donations went directly to those in need.
It is Alison’s passionate belief that all children are entitled to the opportunities necessary to reach their potential. This includes vital medical care, nutrition and education. As a mother of six healthy children herself, Alison empathises with the plight of mothers she has met in Vietnam; those women who are devoted to their children but are unable to meet their basic needs because they are trapped in poverty.
In 2007, Alison met a young blind man and his mother, it was to be life altering. Quan became blind at aged ten as a result of illness. For eight years he sat in a shack in a remote village. There was no support network or education, he was destined to a life of dependency, toothpick making or begging. Quan’s mother held very real fears for her child’s future.
As a direct result of getting to know Quan and his mother, Alison developed an English Language and IT program for blind people. An English language teacher herself she realized that this skill would give these young blind people employment options for a brighter future. It took two full years of planning and hard work before the first English language class began (Quan was a student in that class). A number of the students are now working, furthering their education and making plans for the future.
According to Alison “Our main philosophy at ACCV is that it is only the eyes of these people that don’t work. Their brains are healthy, individual and sometimes amazing, and like my own children I would like to see them reach their potential. If that potential happens to be massage or making broomsticks and it is what they want to do, then great, let’s support and help them achieve that. But if there is a teacher, a lawyer or a social worker inside those minds, then let’s support that dream too. Everyone should be given the opportunity to reach their potential. That is our goal.”
In early 2010 ACCV began a partnership with the National Hospital of Paediatrics to support families living in poverty with seriously ill children. Alison was once again touched not only by the children but also by the desperate plight of their parents. She could only imagine the heartache that goes with not having the funds to pay for your child’s surgery or the heart wrenching decision of whether to purchase rice or insulin for your children. The situation was untenable to her and so the Christine Edith Medical Sponsorship program (CEMSP) in honour of Alison’s mother was launched.
The ACCV Christine Edith Medical Sponsorship Program ran from 2010-2016 and in total helped over 120 disadvantaged families of severely ill children.