Our staff member Minh getting suited up to deliver the food!
Lining up to receive food!
Handing out the food to families.
After successfully containing covid-19 through all of 2020 and into the early months of 2021, Vietnam is now experiencing a serious outbreak of the very contagious delta variant. Through March of this year, the entire country had recorded a total of less than 2,000 cases. In the 4 months since, 173,000 cases have been identified. The death rate now stands at over 2,300 and growing daily. Less than 1% of the population has been fully vaccinated, and the healthcare system is close to being overwhelmed in the more heavily infected locations.

Unlike many western countries, Vietnam does not have adequate medical or financial resources to combat this outbreak. In an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and save lives, the government has resorted to extreme ‘social distancing measures’ - neighborhood lock downs, stay-at-home regulations, curfews and travel restrictions. The lives and livelihoods of many are being affected, especially lower-income market workers, street vendors, day laborers and factory workers.

The epicenter of this outbreak is in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), our home base in Vietnam, with over 106,000 cases. These are no longer statistics for us, but reflect real suffering and hardship among a people that we have come to know and love over the last 3-4 years. Almost one third of the population of 13 million are men and women who come to Saigon to make a living in these lower-income jobs. Most resort to renting small rooms or even tents to have a place to sleep after their day’s work. Now, because of the lock down restrictions, many are forced to stay inside these small and narrow rooms day and night in the oppressively hot summer weather. Most of these workers live day-to-day and do not have food or funds put aside to sustain themselves during this time. Many are finding it increasingly difficult to get their “daily bread.”

How We Are Helping

We have a unique opportunity before us now to help workers and families in one local community. One of our staff members who lives on the outskirts of the city has made arrangements to deliver food and funds to indigents in this area. For a little over $20 per household, we can provide for basic food items (rice, noodles, oil, eggs) for a week. Our first efforts underway now are focusing on 225 workers / families, and we want to continue helping this way until the lock down and curfews are lifted.  

On a different front, we are continuing to provide food for families and children in our partner hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. (The many small food vendors near the hospitals are no longer able to operate.) Most of these are children who have been in the hospital long term since very few new patients are being accepted during this lock down. We are providing good meals for a bit over $5 a day per family, giving them one less thing to worry about while their children are hospitalized.

We fully expect to see new children coming for medical care and our guest house full again before year-end, but for now we will direct our efforts to helping those in need during this current crisis. 

For those who would like to help, we are accepting donations.