Happy Lunar New Year!
2020 was a challenging year for many people all around the world. Vietnam has been widely praised for its response to COVID-19. Thanks to strong early action, outbreaks of COVID-19 in Vietnam have been promptly controlled to date. Although the spread of COVID-19 has been very well controlled, the impact of the global pandemic has still been huge. As we approach Tet (Lunar New Year), it is nearly a year since all international tourism has been suspended. This, combined with necessary lockdowns / imposed social distancing to control the virus, has severely impacted many livelihoods. In addition to COVID-19 challenges, in October 2020 central Vietnam was hit by the worst flooding since 1999. In Thua Thien Hue alone, over 50,000 homes experienced flooding and over 200 hectares of agricultural land was damaged. In the central region as a whole, over 233 people lost their lives. The estimated property damage in the central region is over $1.52 billion USD.
The challenges posed by 2020 have meant that our work in Vietnam is needed more than ever. Thanks to the support of our donors and partners, we were able to:
- Provide swimming training to 800 children and water safety education to 15,000 children – helping equip them with skills and knowledge to prevent child drowning.
- Provide technical support and training to assist with national drowning prevention initiatives through our new partnership with the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI)
- With our partners, develop national guidance on keeping children safe from drowning during COVID-19 lockdowns and guidance on running swimming lessons safely during the pandemic.
- Continue to provide recreational activities, educational support and university scholarships to children at Hue Children’s Shelter
- Provide emergency relief to 220 families affected by severe flooding in Thua Thien Hue province
Swimming for Safety
In 2020, we established a new partnership with the Global Health Advocacy Incubator. Under this programme, Hue Help has been working alongside the Department of Children’s Affairs (under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs) to support a national drowning prevention initiative operating now in 10 provinces. Hue Help has worked as a consultant to provide technical support to this valuable national initiative, including providing training in swimming teaching and water safety education. This work is set to continue in 2021.
We also continued our partnership with LuxDev, implementing swimming lessons in Thua Thien Hue province under climate change adaptation programme VIE/433. This work is set to continue in 2021. The programme trained 1.800 children to swim. Due to the impact of flooding and COVID-19 related school closures, some of the lessons have been postponed to 2021.
In 2020 we also launched a new Swimming for Safety programme in Pu Luong, Thanh Hoa province, supported by Topas Travel and the Jungle Marathon. This programme trained 10 swimming teachers and 80 water safety educators, who went on to train 200 children to swim and train 14,319 children in water safety education.
Hue Help is committed to committed to preventing child drowning in Vietnam and we will continue to develop our drowning prevention programmes and activities in 2021. Learn more about our Swimming for Safety programme here:
Hue Children’s Shelter
Despite some COVID-19 related disruptions, we were still largely able to continue our activities at Hue Children’s Shelter. Our team of 7 tutors provided extra education to the children at HCS, including special needs education. We organized a summer trip away for the children to Phong Nha- Quang Binh, as well as a number of trips out and recreational activities around Hue city! We have also been supporting one student through university education.
2020 also marked the first year that all school aged children in the shelter are now in full time education. It has been our aim for a number of years to ensure that all children at the shelter receive full time education, and we are really pleased that last year we were able to meet this important milestone.
In 2021, we will continue our support for Hue Children’s Shelter to ensure that all children get the education and opportunities they need to succeed.
Learn more about Hue Children’s Shelter here.
In October 2020, Hue Help launched an Emergency Appeal to provide assistance to families and communities severely affected by the extreme flooding. Thanks to the great response we received, we have so far been able to provide emergency relief to 220 families.
In addition to this immediate relief, we are also now working on livelihoods assistance. Many people lost their only source of income during the floods. Now that the immediate needs of the communities have been met (in terms of food, clothing, school books), we are working to help people get their livelihoods back on track. Updates will follow shortly after Tet!
Our Emergency Appeal remains open! Your donations help families recover from the impact of these severe floods. You can learn more and donate online here.
We would like to say a huge thanks to our supporters, donors and partners for helping us continue to prevent child drowning and improve the health, education and future prospects of disadvantaged children in 2020. We wish you the very best for 2021!