September 3, 2020
Saigon Children’s Charity is now launching its second emergency COVID-19 appeal in an effort to provide relief to the most affected areas of the new COVID-19 wave and continual support to its recipients. The organization first called for COVID-19 appeal in April and has raised over US$400,000, thanks to generous corporate and individual donors.
Since the second outbreak of COVID-19 first appeared in Da Nang at the end of July, Saigonchildren has witnessed a great need to expand its relief support, aimed specifically at supporting impoverished residents of the Da Nang and Quang Nam provinces. This is essential as the pandemic has hit tourism areas such as these particularly hard and low-income seasonal workers struggle to find enough economic resources to keep their families fed and educated.
The Da Nang economy shrank by 3.61 percent in the first half of this year, its first contraction in the 23 years since it became a centrally administered city. According to the Da Nang Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, there are 216,387 uncontracted and freelance workers being affected by the pandemic in the city. Over 50,000 people in the city’s poor and near-poor households are amongst the most impacted by social distancing measures and the closure of businesses.
Due to the restrictions currently being applied, Saigonchildren will partner with the local NGOs and Union of Friendship Organizations to help distribute the support packages, comprising of food staples and other necessities. Saigonchildren is aiming to raise enough to support children from poor families based in Quang Nam and Da Nang, previously not under the wings of the charity, as well as supporting the children already in their programs.
This second COVID appeal will aim to continue the incredibly effective mission of the first – improving food security to alleviate the pressure that families feel around providing an education. However, it will additionally be reaching out to children whose households have been impacted by COVID-19 in an attempt to provide more scholarships for deserving and hardworking children.
The children’s charity first launched a COVID appeal at the start of April to raise funds in order to provide relief packages for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. By tackling hunger within homes, saigonchildren was allowing families to continue to support their children’s education and prevent them from dropping out. So far, saigonchildren had raised over US$400,000 from its generous donors.
These donations have allowed saigonchildren to provide 7,000 relief packages for children and their families in six provinces (Dong Nai, Hau Giang, Ho Chi Minh, Tay Ninh, Tien Giang, and Tra Vinh), helping to alleviate the strain that COVID-19 has had, particularly on families from rural and disadvantaged backgrounds. That is 7,000 homes that do not have to make the difficult choice between being fed or being educated. This has meant that the charity has been able to provide 28,000 people with food and emergency relief in spite of the hard-hitting economic impact of COVID-19. Despite this incredible success, many children’s educations are still being sidelined. As the economic hardship worsens over time, more families are feeling the pressure and children are being forced to drop out of school to support their households – a decision no family should have to make.
“We received incredible support from our supporters when we made the first COVID appeal. However, even with our relative success in fundraising, the more we speak with our beneficiaries, the more we understand that there is still a huge amount of work to be done. This pandemic has impacted the jobs of 30.8 million people, and the worst affected are women, unskilled and informal workers, those we support the most. Our goal is always helping children access education as best as they can, even if at this time it means providing them with basic support so that they don’t have to choose between staying in school and having a full belly,” said Damien Roberts, Executive Director or Saigon Children’s Charity.
Established in 1992 as a UK-registered charity, Saigon Children’s Charity CIO works exclusively in Vietnam with the mission of removing barriers to education, focusing on the school building, scholarships, vocational training, and special needs education. In its 28 years, Saigonchildren has built 207 schools in rural areas, provided over 40,000 scholarships to financially struggling students, supported over 12,000 young adults with vocational skills, and helped 12,000 children with disabilities to access education.
For details of how to make a donation, please visit www.saigonchildren.com