Looking back at 2021’s social welfare programs

Sai Gon Giai Phong (SGGP) Newspaper in 2021 has joined forces with authorities, businesses, and readers everywhere to set up meaningful social programs to support people in need while HCMC was under social distancing during the 4th Covid-19 outbreak.

Rice and essential goods for the quarantined

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As the Covid-19 epidemic raged on, the HCMC Party Committee, People’s Council, People’s Committee and Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in HCMC deployed two packages to support workers affected by Covid-19. The city also established the Center to Receive and Deliver Essential Goods and regularly direct localities to provide essential food, medicine and cash to unfortunate people.

Meanwhile, SGGP Newspaper has coordinated with government agencies, private businesses, and benefactors to bring over 160 tons of rice, 20 tons of food, vegetables and fruits, nearly 20,000 beverage products, and more to underprivileged families across the 21 districts and Thu Duc city.

In addition, SGGP Newspaper called for financial support from well-off families in the “Families for each other” program, with each support package being VND2 million in cash (about US$88).

Speaking on the matter, Standing Vice Chairman of Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in HCMC Nguyen Thanh Trung said the cooperation of all those involved have shown solidarity, social responsibility and the spirit of sharing within the community.

Supporting pregnant women in times of need

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The Childbirth Companion Program deployed from September 10, 2021 was a collaborative effort between SGGP Newspaper, the HCMC Women’s Union, HCMC Midwife Association, HCMC Association for Women Executives & Entrepreneurs, Phu Nhuan Jewelry JSC (PNJ), and the Hero of the People’s Armed Forces Phan Trong Binh Social Work Fund.

The program successfully sponsored 1,710 pregnant women with a total budget of VND5.1 billion (US$ 224,655).

The beneficiaries were pregnant women from poor households confirmed by the locality. Particular priority was given to pregnant laborers, single mothers in boarding houses, and those who have lost their jobs and have no income. Each pregnant woman was offered VND3 million in cash and consultations on antenatal care and delivery.

During the program’s duration, the HCMC Midwife Association has helped many at Tu Du Hospital, including a visually impaired couple in Binh Tan District who lost their job during the pandemic. Getting infected with Covid costs Nguyen Thi Minh Trang and her husband a lot of their savings even before their child was born. Thanks to the program, Trang was able to be hospitalized and was taught how to take care of her newborn at Tu Du Hospital.

In one particular case, a pregnant woman was hospitalized with little money left, having just lost her husband to Covid-19. She received financial support from the program and was allowed skin-to-skin contact with her newborn. According to the Vice President of HCMC Midwife Association Nguyen Thi Tuyet Hang, the timely support had helped the woman stay calm after giving birth and gave her motivation to live on.

Deputy Editor-in-Chief of SGGP Newspaper Pham Van Truong also shared his thoughts on the meaning of the project, saying the children born in these special circumstances would definitely become special individuals when they grow up.

Commemoration to maintain the memories

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According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam up to now has seen more than 24,000 deaths due to Covid-19, of which over 17,500 cases were in HCMC.

At the fourth plenum of the 13th Party Central Committee on October 4, 2021, the delegates commemorated their late compatriots and soldiers who gave their lives fighting Covid-19. Previously, on the morning of August 24, 2021, at the third session of the 10th People’s Council HCMC, delegates also spent a minute of silence in memory of deceased Covid-19 patients in HCMC.

On October 6, 2021, the SGGP Newspaper proposed to have a memorial day for those who lost their lives to Covid-19 and received positive feedback from readers and intellectuals, including the Permanent Deputy Director of the Vietnam Buddhist Academy in HCMC Thero Thich Nhat Tu and Prof.Academician.Dr. Tran Ngoc Them.

On October 12, 2021, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a meeting on Covid-19 with the HCMC National Assembly Delegation also suggested a method of memorial for those who passed away due to Covid-19, which got the agreement of many delegates.

On the evening of November 19, 2021, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCMC jointly held a memorial ceremony for those the nation lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.