Water Sanitation and Hygiene Infrastructure and Education
As the foundation of our work, we have successfully installed and maintained water filtration and sanitation systems in Saigon and Kon Tum Province benefiting 2,000 people. We seek out areas with no easily-accessible source of clear water and provide life-saving water to areas relying on contaminated runoff and areas where rivers have been dammed for irrigation.
Built upon a sustainable model, our systems are mainly underground well-based, locally contracted and constructed, and maintained along with being managed by community leaders. Community members are asked to pay a small fee when possible to help with maintenance costs. While we do not have current quantitative data on infection rates and transmissions due to the lack of diagnosis, we are seeking to gather and analyze this over the next few years. We intend to expand to rural areas in Northern Vietnam soon when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Systems range in price ($1,000 to $5,000) depending on the level of need and land conditions.
Partners: Lasallian Brothers of Vietnam, Lasan Ba Ninh Alumni Group, Lasallian International Foundation, Hope for Tomorrow, and the Diocese of Kon Tum
As a project under Hope for Tomorrow's purview, We provide renewable need-based scholarships ranging from $250 to $1,000 for college and vocational schools depending on the academic achievement, character, and leadership potential of applicants. Applications are reviewed and some candidates are interviewed by a group of volunteers which include college students and local professionals. Recipients are encouraged to return to their communities and serve in some capacity.
To give them the resources to do so, our program seeks to provide multi-level mentorship, career enrichment workshops, and assistance with internships, job placements, and professional licensing. We are seeking additional partnerships and placement organizations to support our students. If you are interested, please contact us!
During 2019-2020, our first scholarship cycle, we received over 70 applications for 10 scholarships totaling over $5,000. Our second year of the program has provided funding to renew many of these scholarships in addition to supporting 9 new students. Our current students' fields of study include social work, psychology, education, and health/medical sciences. Two of our students have graduated and are currently working as an assistant in a veterinary clinic and another as a kindergarten teacher.
We are currently in the 2021-2022 cycle and plan to review previous scholarship awards and support four new medical students. This goal is to have these students be trained and open pharmacies/clinics in their local villages. The students can then manage and operate these facilities with the funding and organizational support of LEAD Vietnam and international health-oriented NGOs.
Partners: Hope for Tomorrow (primary sponsor), Sisters of Charity, and Thien Nguyen Ra Khoi
Community Health Workers and Education
Many areas in Vietnam's Central Highlands are difficult to access and lack healthcare, and LEAD Vietnam focuses on community-based health approaches to provide the first line of healthcare for vulnerable and marginalized communities.
In collaboration with Hand-In-Hand Share Missions, we work to train local leaders and caregivers including nuns, priests, and young students to recognize and treat a variety of basic illnesses, engage with community members to address their health needs, and provide indicators on the health of the overall community. In the past following Hand-In-Hand's annual missions, we provided support for in-person lectures and classes taught by Vietnamese and American board-certified physicians on topics ranging from hypertension and musculoskeletal injuries at Hoa Lu Parish in Pleiku, and Phuong Quy Parish, Kon Tum, which are home to over 5,000 parishioners. On a more limited scale, we have also taught health workers and supported doctors at the Kinh 7 Clinic in Kien Giang Province and Mai Khoi Clinic in Vietnam.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked with Hand-In-Hand to develop a curriculum on diseases such as gout, respiratory infections, and diabetes over Zoom. Those who were trained included community health workers from the Caritas Chapter of Kon Tum as well as priests, nuns, and community leaders from various parishes and villages throughout Vietnam's Central Highlands. Some of these community health workers have assisted COVID relief efforts and provide health education and support at weekend-operated clinics at Phuong Quy Parish in Kon Tum.
In the future, LEAD hopes to expand health education efforts by working with these community health workers to conduct needs-based assessments and organize locally-catered health workshops that increase community understanding of childhood malnutrition, heart pressure, diabetes, alcoholism, etc. Due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also hope to provide a temporary telehealth program to provide medical evaluations in remote areas.
As we hope to train more community members to be health workers, we strive to provide a small living allowance, where needed, to help support some and their own families. In addition, our workers are in need of basic equipment including blood pressure cuffs, wheelchairs, etc. in order to better provide care for their communities.
Like the clinics operated at Phuong Quy Parish, we are seeking to turn community centers into health stations where CHWs can operate. We hope to also develop a secure, mobile platform to help gather community data and patient information for personalized care while allowing doctors from abroad to quickly provide expert knowledge and remote care. With interest from internationally-based engineers and scientists, we hope to pilot this intervention in the next few years.
If you would like to collaborate and support the education aspect of this project or software development, please let us know.
Partners: Hand-In-Hand Share Missions, Caritas Kon Tum, Sisters of Charity, Order of St. Camillus
Primary and Secondary Education Support
We provide yearly support to the Sisters of Charity to boarding programs that help feed and educate children who would otherwise drop out of school and be forced into labor due to the remoteness of their homes, challenges faced at school, and lack of familial support and financial means.
In 2020 and 2021, we were able to provide educational programming and nutrition support for 65 students from H'Nor Village and Dak Ha District. You can sponsor a student's education, books, and food for $20 a month! We measure progress based on school performance, attendance, and completion rates.
Partners: Hope For Tomorrow, Love2Yeu, Hand-In-Share Missions, Sisters of Charity
Village Medicine Boxes and Emergency Aid
We help supply village community centers with a variety of basic medications that help treat an array of common illnesses including fever, stomachaches, allergies, etc. Our medications are sourced from large suppliers in Saigon in addition to those donated by urban clinics and international NGOs.
Medications are administered by local pharmacists and community health workers who give advice and directions to local community members. As illnesses and infections are ever-present without the presence of sustainable health care, we are in constant need of donated medicines and medical equipment. If you are interested in donating or are aware of any opportunities, please contact us!
If community health workers identify patients in dire need of surgeries or treatments due to accidents, sudden onset strokes and heart attacks, and chronic conditions like cancer, we also provide financial support for transport and treatment at the provincial hospital and if needed, find health care in the large cities.
Partners: Hand-In-Hand Missions, Sisters of Charity, JakCares (Arizona-based), and Clinics operated by the Order of Saint Camillus
In 2021, LEAD Vietnam partnered with Los Angeles-based Love2Yeu and the Gia Lai Province Chapter of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters to pilot a vocational training program for young, vulnerable ethnic minority women.
Oftentimes, due to the lack of educational and financial resources, many of these women are married off early, are discriminated against in broader Vietnamese society, and/or exploited for their labor in the agricultural and service industries. To combat these issues and empower young women, the program teaches students how to sew in addition to providing them a monthly salary, education on finances, cooking, and family planning as well as a community to live and support one another.
After the first year, 9 young women acquired advanced sewing skills and have completed the training program. These students have returned to their villages, where some are currently working as seamstresses for boutiques while others are waiting to receive sewing machines and start their vocations independently. In 2022, the program has grown and is currently supporting 19 students.
Partners: Love2Yeu and Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Gia Lai
In addition to infrastructure construction and capacity-building projects, LEAD Vietnam provides short-term gifts and aid. This includes providing food to underserved orphans and families and donating to COVID-19 relief efforts. If you are interested in providing gifts such as toys, food, and/or anything that you may have, please contact us!