It has been six months since the fourth outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic arose in Ho Chi Minh City on April 27, 2021. This unprecedented pandemic has infected more than 450,000 people, killed nearly 16,000 people, and greatly affected the economy, society, and people’s lives in the city. According to statistics until October 18, 2021, by the Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (DOLISA), 48 orphans lost both parents or caregivers, and 1,805 children were orphaned from either one of their parents. This number may continue to increase due to the complicated and unpredictable developments of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam and the world. Along with financial and education difficulties, the loss of a loved one has left behind psychological and spiritual trauma for the orphans.
In order to support disadvantaged children affected by Covid-19 to stabilize their lives, ensure their rights as prescribed by law, and narrow the gap in living standards between Covid-19 orphans and other children, on the afternoon of November 25, 2021, VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) in collaboration with the Youth Union of Ho Chi Minh City (YU of HCMC) organized an MOU Signing Ceremony and implement “Care to Rise – Yêu thương Nâng bước” program, to support disadvantaged children affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Care to Rise (CTR) is an outgrowth of the existing successful partnership between VCF and YU – the Grassroots Assistance Program (GAP). GAP addressed Covid-19-generated lockdown problems in HCMC such as Vietnamese families’ nutritional and other critical needs, assisting indigent dislocated foreigners, and the provision of support services for healthcare professionals battling the pandemic.
The “Care to Rise – Yêu thương nâng bước” purpose is to provide for, protect and encourage the 2,000 orphans created by the Covid-19 pandemic to adulthood. To accomplish this, the program begins with a survey visit to every Covid-19 orphan and/or disadvantaged child to fully assess each beneficiary, and their new environment and to then determine 3 crucial areas of need: nutrition and other basic needs, health/vision issues and possible anxiety disorders caused by the abrupt loss of parents and dislocation, and the ability to attend and/or perform school education requirements that currently require internet and communication devices.
The project is divided into 2 stages- assessment, short-term remedies, and the future.
Stage 1 of Care to Rise is a 4- 6 week project with plans to survey 1,400 children to provide relief in the 3 areas mentioned above.
Care to Rise individual children’s surveys will be turned over to volunteer Public Health Professionals, Social Workers, to determine the course of action for each child. Doctors and nurses will be engaged for any required medical diagnosis and/or treatment. The partnership with the Faculty of Medicine – the National University of HCMC to provide Public Health Professionals and Medical Ph.D. candidates to be advisors and trainers/teachers for the YU volunteer ‘surveyors’ is also confirmed. National University professionals will perform the higher level ‘in-home’ assessments if necessary. The database will be shared with DOLISA after project completion. Care to Rise will also share and connect with the “Vòng tay yêu thương – Braces of love” program of HCMC Women’s Union, the “Gia sư áo xanh – Tutors in blue” program of the Student’s Association and HCMC Young Pioneer Council to join hands and provide the best support for children.
Budget estimates are preliminary but range from $300,000- 500,000 depending on the survey assessment.
VCF’s specific roles in the Care to Rise project are as follows:
- Raise funds via the public Care to Rise campaign as well as ‘gifts in kind’ for the project.
- Recruit volunteer Public Health Professionals for teaching/training YU volunteer ‘surveyors.’
- Train the Youth Union (YU) volunteer ‘surveyors’ in how to survey effectively.
- Recruit volunteer Public Health Professionals to review surveys and follow up on medical issues.
- Provide volunteer medical services from doctors and nurses.
- Develop the orphan/indigent child database to follow up until adulthood.
- Co-manage the program and provide standards and quality control for the project.
- Exercise continuous measurement and evaluation (M&E) of the project.
- Provide all necessary public communications and communications material.
Through the Program, VCF is committed to supporting the government of Vietnam, priorities to ensure our commitments to strategic development priorities, and providing critical leadership and resources for the full development of the thousands of orphans created by the pandemic.
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