Viet Nam

Vietnam: Transit stations help distribute water and food to people in need

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(MissionNewswire) Salesian parishes in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, have set up transit stations to distribute water and other necessities for people in lockdown during a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted the city in recent weeks. Those who have been quarantined have no way to provide for their families, and many are relying on the assistance of Salesians to get by during this time.

When a special quarantine order was issued in Ho Chi Minh City on July 9, Salesian priests and younger confreres with the Rinaldi Theologate community brought drinking water to families. They worked in collaboration with young migrants and the Pastoral Council of the Don Bosco Xuan Hiep Parish.

Three large water tanks were transported to isolated areas, where families took the water from the tanks and transferred it to special containers. In addition, basic necessities were also distributed. Other Salesian parishes in Ho Chi Minh City, including Ben Cat and Ba Thon, have also carried out the same initiative.

Salesians in the city of Da Lat and in the communities of K'Long contacted garden owners to collect vegetables and send them to Ho Chi Minh. To date, vegetables have been sent to the Rinaldi Theologate community and the Don Bosco Xuan Hiep Parish where Salesians have been distributing them to people in need.

The pandemic situation in Vietnam remains serious. According to the Ministry of Health, since the end of April the number of infections in Vietnam has risen to 59,165 with Ho Chi Minh City having the highest rate of infection. Over the past week, Ho Chi Minh City has registered between 1,000 and 5,000 new cases every day. With the new quarantine, traditional markets are temporarily closed and entry and exit from the city is tightly controlled. Many workers and poor people are in extremely difficult situations.

The Archdiocese of Saigon sent a letter inviting the religious communities in Ho Chi Minh City to volunteer, especially to help the health sector. There are already 531 people registered to participate. They will be trained and vaccinated before working in hospitals and health facilities.

According to the World Bank, close to 14 percent of Vietnam's population lives in conditions of poverty. The country has seen a drastic reduction of poverty over the last 20 years when the poverty rate was close to 60 percent. Vietnam has also made remarkable progress in education. Primary and secondary enrollments for those in poverty have reached more than 90 percent and 70 percent respectively.

Rising levels of education and diversification into off-farm activities such as working in construction, factories or domestic housework have also contributed to reducing poverty in the country. Salesian programs give impoverished children and families opportunities that are typically only available to the middle and upper classes so that all people can have hope for a better future.

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Sources:

ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS -- Vietnam -- Salesian parishes become "transit stations of love"

Salesian Missions -- Vietnam

World Bank -- Vietnam