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COVID-19 Update: May 15, 2020

As of May 14th, there have been 288 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Vietnam. 252 patients have fully recovered and no deaths. More than 261,000 tests have been performed.

The government has relaxed social-distancing rules and has allowed the resumption of non-essential services including bars as long as they maintain preventative measures. Since our last update, schools have reopened (every child in Vietnam is now back at school for the first time since February 1st!), as have several tourist destinations. Public bus transport has now resumed as normal and domestic flights can carry 100% passengers instead of 80%. Masks continue to be recommended, but are no longer mandatory and are not worn widely now.

As a result, Hagar staff have been able to start travelling to the provinces to meet with clients and conduct field assessments again. While our Hagar staff were able to return to the office several weeks ago, they were unable to travel due to the restrictions and still had to conduct meetings and sessions with clients over the phone. However, 100% of Hagar Vietnam’s operations are now running again and a big area of focus going forward will be helping existing and former clients find new economic opportunities.

Survivor in Focus

Mai is one of the first clients that Hagar received when we first started working in Vietnam. Mai has been suffering from the trauma caused by domestic violence. Mai, with Hagar’s partnership, gradually escaped the ghost of her painful past to become more independent and self-sufficient in her life.

Thanks to Hagar, Mai had the opportunity to receive vocational training and is currently working at a restaurant. Although the work is hard and her income is low, Mai works very hard to earn enough money to raise her high-school son and manage their living costs. With every day that has passed, she has to live in panic and worry about whether she and her son would have food to eat tomorrow.

Although the case has been closed for nearly two years, our mission of “the whole journey” has included that the case manager following up on Mai’s situation during the pandemic.

“Knowing the difficulty she was facing, Hagar quickly subsidized nutrition to ensure that she was in good physical and mental health. Particularly, understanding the stress and fears of being unemployed, the case manager provides Mai with information about government support packages and guides her on how to prepare and submit the administrative documents to receive this support.”

Thanks to the care and guidance of Hagar, Mai was relieved and less tense about the economic burden when she finished the registration for a government support package.

Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for each of its clients. To protect the identity of our clients, names have been changed and images do not necessarily represent the individual profiled.

COVID-19 Update: April 28, 2020​

We asked our teams on the ground in Vietnam to provide us with some updates in their regions that we could provide to everyone.

They were kind enough to give us very informative answers to some questions we had below.

What impacts are you experiencing from COVID-19 in your country since your last update?

As of April 28, 2020, Vietnam has had:

 270 confirmed cases
 222 recoveries
 no deaths
 Hanoi is currently the most-affected city with 112 confirmed cases

More than 213,000 tests have been performed:

 No cases continue to be identified in Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, Nghe An, or Yen Bai provinces where Hagar is implementing capacity building, economic empowerment and prevention projects
 Many provinces continue to mandate a no-Hanoi visitor rule
 Nghe An and Yen Bai province informed Hagar that we can begin to visit as of next week, pending no new infections

Social distancing was relaxed almost one week ago, with the following changes:

 Some restaurants and businesses have opened
 Bars, karaoke bars, massage parlors, sidewalk cafes, religious gatherings, celebrations, cultural events, etc. remain closed and/or forbidden
 Citizens must continue to wear face masks whenever they are outside
 Temperature testing and hand sanitizers continue to be provided prior to entry into buildings, etc.
 Groups of 20 or more persons cannot congregate outside
 Schools may open for high school children May 3,2020 – each school to establish social distancing protocols, in coordination with Ministry of Education and commune/district officials

What has the impact of COVID-19 been on survivors since your last update? (considering physical, mental, emotional, basic needs, and economic impacts)

Since our last update:

• Hagar clients continue to require additional support: counselling, emergency assistance, and career planning for after COVID-19.
• Hagar partners continue to provide emergency food assistance and COVID-19 information sessions to improve preventive measures in rural and remote communities
• Hagar is partnering with a HCM-city partner to provide case management in close consultation with Hagar’s case manager team leader to a complex client case, referred to by US Embassy Consulate. This and future clients will be funded by the US Government

What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the ability to deliver Hagar’s core work, since your last update? (i.e. what additional pressures are you now facing?)

• Hagar has continued to plan for post-COVID times to deliver projects, directly and indirectly, through partners across 5 Hagar International strategic goals
• Nghe An authorities have relaxed travel regulations from their provincial capital to the village level. Therefore, the Animal Bank (funded through HAUS) project capacity development by Ministry of Rural Development training (animal husbandry) can commence at the village level
• Communications with UNTF Yen Bai and Nghe An partners – the Women’s Unions – confirmed with changes in travel restrictions (i) Nghe An UNTF project launch scheduled May 20, 2020 (ii) scheduling for provincial, commune, and frontline training being progressed (iii) baseline data collection and training participant needs assessments scheduled (iv) revised work plan and budget if/once approved by UNTF can achieve activities in 36 months, provided re-emergency of COVID or other pandemic does not arise.

The Vietnam Case Managers also provided us with an update with one of long-time Hagar clients, Mai*.

The COVID epidemic, with its devastating effects, continues to and makes it difficult for many of Hagar’s clients – who have already been dealing with many challenges in life.

Mai is one of the first clients that Hagar received when we first started working in Vietnam. She has been suffering from trauma caused by domestic violence, Mai, with Hagar’s companion, gradually escaped the ghost of her painful past to become more independent and self-sufficient in her life. Thank to Hagar, Mai had the opportunity to receive vocational training and is currently working at a restaurant. Although the work is hard, and her income is not high, Mai works very hard to earn enough money to raise her high-school son. However, the pandemic outbreak caused her to be unable to afford the their living costs. She has to live in panic every day, and worries about whether she and her son will have food to eat tomorrow.

Although the case has been closed for nearly 2 years, Hagar’s mission is “The Whole Journey”, and because of this, the case manager followed up on Mai’s situation during the epidemic. Knowing the difficulty she was facing, Hagar quickly subsidized nutrition to ensure the Mai and her son’s physical and mental well-being. Particularly, understanding the stress and fears of being unemployed, the case manager provided Mai with information about government support packages and guided her on how to prepare and submit the administrative documents to receive this support. Thanks to the companion and guidance of Hagar, Mai was relieved and less tense about the economic burden when she finished her registration for the government support package.

“Lucky” – a short, simple word but it’s enough to express Mai’s feeling when she received the timely support from Hagar during the dark days of the epidemic.

*Mai’s name was changed to protect her identity

COVID-19 Update: April 13, 2020

As at Wednesday, April 8th, there were 251 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Vietnam. 115 of these cases were in Hanoi and some provinces in Vietnam have mandated that no visitors from Hanoi are allowed to enter their province. Schools remain closed and police vehicles patrol tourist areas in particular, requesting everyone to go inside when they are seen walking on the road. It is mandatory to wear a mask whenever you go outside.

Hagar clients continue to experience economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. In cases of great need, and while being mindful of not wanting to create dependency, Hagar Vietnam is providing emergency food support to families. Hagar clients, Tai and his grandmother have been recipients of this support recently.

Tai has autism (which means he needs special and constant care) and his grandmother is his sole family support. She had cleaning jobs at both the local coffee shop and school, but both of these closed as a result of COVID-19. Without a job and income, Tai’s grandmother had no way to afford their living costs.

Understanding the financial hardships and the importance of Tai’s care, Hagar quickly supported them with living expenses during this challenging time. Hagar’s Case Manager also regularly called to keep in touch with them and provides advice regarding how to prevent COVID-19. 

“I don’t know what else to say other than thanks to Hagar. Sincerely thanks to Ms. Ngoc – the case manager who always helps and cares for us like her family members.”

Hagar Vietnam is also working to continue and deepen partnerships with other agencies at this time. For example, to respond to the needs of Ho Chi Minh based survivors who require face-to-face support, Hagar Vietnam has identified a psychologist working with a partner agency, that they will contract to provide counselling and health services support. To enable them to fully represent Hagar, our Case Manager Team Leader will provide intensive Trauma Informed Care case management training to this psychologist with close supervision and management during the counselling period.

 

Vietnam

Vietnam is one of South East Asia’s fastest developing countries, yet it remains a significant source country for women, men, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Women are trafficked as brides to neighboring countries, as well as further afield, with incidents of trafficking that reach as far as Europe. Domestic violence is widespread, and nearly 60% of married women have suffered from physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime.

In Vietnam, we support women and their children who have fled from severe domestic violence and human trafficking. We support them through the whole journey of recovery, including trauma counselling, education, vocational training, and job placement while they are living in safe accommodation in the community. We have developed strong partnerships, including with the Yen Bai Women’s Union in to build their capacity to prevent trafficking and protect survivors in Northern Vietnam.

Learn more about how our work in Vietnam is changing lives.

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