After 4 months of lockdowns and social distancing to combat the spread of Covid-19 in Saigon and other provinces in Vietnam, citizens already in difficult financial circumstances fall further into financial hardship as they lose their jobs and no longer can afford food. Most evidently, in September 2021, an outbreak in Binh Duong resulted in the cries for help from neighbourhoods and quarantine areas when residents no longer had food, milk for their babies, or money to pay rent.
Witnessing the fall of many into poverty, in October 2021, Ban Bác Ái Tỉnh Dòng Thừa Sai Đức Tin (Charity MF Vietnam) implemented another stage of their program: ‘Emergency support for individuals and families affected by Covid19’ – focusing on those with difficult financial circumstances in quarantine areas in Binh Duong. This program is sponsored by SC. Johnson and Saigon Children’s Charity, aiming to support and provide food to people in difficult financial circumstances, and help them overcome any difficulties during the lockdown period as the outbreak continues to complicate.
From August to October 2021, the outbreak situation continued to worsen; motels and residential areas were under strict lockdowns; citizens were not allowed to leave their areas. In order to effectively deliver food support packages to people in difficult financial circumstances in lockdown areas, the coordination board maintained contact with the team leader – the representative for coordinating with local authorities and staff on duty at lockdown checkpoints when support is needed. A total of 4000 food support packages were prepared to be provided to families in difficult circumstances affected by Covid19 in Binh Duong. Each support package is valued at 350.000 VND and includes 10kg of rice, a box of instant noodles, 400ml bottle of oil, a bottle of soy sauce, 900ml bottle of fish sauce, 1kg of salt, 1kg of sugar, 500g of peanuts, 500g of dried fish, a jar of fermented tofu, and 7kg of assorted vegetables.
A gift of 350.000VND – including 10kg of rice, essential seasonings, and vegetables – is a very meaningful gift for those in difficult financial circumstances during this challenging pandemic situation, as it allows a small family to get by for 2-3 weeks.
Upon receiving the packages, many were moved and filled with joy – expressing their gratitude for the generosity of the benefactors, and bursting into tears as they said their thanks. They feel the care, the solace, and the support from their community, inspiring them to have more faith and motivation to live happily and healthily – to have strength in the face of an adverse situation like this pandemic.