At the end of last year I travelled with UNICEF to document some of their projects in the south of the country. The second part of the trip focused on some of the shelters set up by UNICEF-supported charities, such as Thao Dan, and their work with vulnerable children and those infected with HIV. I was also trying to capture images which showed some of the risks these children face in rapidly developing urban centres, such as heavy traffic, forced labour, prostitution and drug use.

I saw parts of Saigon that I normally wouldn't, saw poverty, pollution and favela-like living conditions, and met people who showed me how close everyone, at least those in developing nations, are to falling through the cracks; a job lost here, a wrong decision there, and the ground opens.

But I also met inspiring people who are working hard to connect with those in these precarious positions; to find them, help them, and to offer them alternative, safer paths. And the people they are helping are an inspiration themselves; I don't know if I could be as strong, as cheerful as they are if our roles were reversed, and it's humbling to meet them.

It's a privilege to do this kind of assignment, and it's nice to think that my photos will play a small part in helping UNICEF to raise funds to continue their programmes.


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