VIETNAM: Families receive food, medical and other support
Funding also provided 250 scholarships
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Vietnam were able to assist more than 3,000 families with much-needed food essentials such as rice, noodles, cooking oil, sauces and milk thanks to the Australian Salesian Missions Overseas Aid Fund. The people receiving food aid live in remote areas and face many economic difficulties including unemployment.
Many seniors in the region live in dilapidated houses and are faced with poverty and medical conditions. With the funding, individuals received wheelchairs and walkers, cataract operations, and heart disease treatment. One patient was supplied with prosthetic legs.
Funding has also provided clean drinking water, and five homes were provided for very poor families. In addition, funding supported 250 scholarships. Many youth in the region are not able to go to school because their families cannot afford the school fees.
In the Diocese of Dalat, a typhoon destroyed walls and roofs of several structures. After 12 months, repair work was completed with the help of donor funding. The support given to these essential relief projects is much appreciated by those in Vietnam.
“Many poor families in Vietnam don’t have even their most basic needs met,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “While Salesians are primarily focused on education, they also provide feeding programs, offer scholarships, and help to meet needs like shelter and medical support.”
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.
Photo courtesy of the Australian Salesian Missions Overseas Aid Fund
Salesian Missions – Vietnam
World Bank – Vietnam