Children’s programs in Vietnam are vital to the country’s development. The country is home to 26.2 million children, 21.1% of whom currently live in multidimensional poverty, according to UNICEF. Vietnam has made progress on child welfare since 1990 when it was the first Asian country and the second global country to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The majority of children in Vietnam attend primary and secondary school, have access to adequate healthcare and have a longer life expectancy than their parents had. But, a significant population of Vietnam’s children still live in impoverished conditions and are deprived of basic needs. Fortunately, there are several standout children’s programs in Vietnam addressing this issue.
Children of Vietnam
Children of Vietnam was founded in 1998 by two friends bringing essential items to children and families by scooter. These two individuals, Ben Wilson and Luong Thi Huong, rode all the way to the Vietnam countryside. They brought food, medicine and clothing to ensure a brighter future for children growing up in poverty.
Today, Children of Vietnam has grown into an NGO that aims to “assist children, families and communities in breaking the cycle of poverty, ill health and homelessness.” It has several initiatives offering aid to children in Vietnam including education, healthcare, housing and nutrition. It also offers support systems for struggling single mothers and children with disabilities.
In 2019, Children of Vietnam successfully completed its Cycling Out Child Poverty tour. The organization was able to raise $146,974 to help Vietnamese children living in poverty.
Room to Read
Room to Read is an organization that aims to empower millions of children in low-income communities by improving literacy and gender equality in education. It operates in developing countries like Tanzania, South Africa, Bangladesh and Cambodia. Almost 90% of the staff are from the countries the organization works in. The organization particularly prioritizes the education of girls, ensuring girls receive equal opportunities for education, no matter their financial background. Room to Read supports young girls so that they can finish secondary school and learn essential life skills that can help them progress and advance.
The organization launched in Vietnam in 2001. Since then, 1.1 million children in Vietnam have benefited from the program. Almost 1,000 schools in Vietnam partnered with the Room to Read Literacy Program and 98% of students passed the program’s “gatekeeping exam” and advanced to the next level in their schooling.
Save the Children
Another organization that works to help children in multiple countries is Save the Children. Founded in 1919, the mission of Save the Children is to ensure a future for children where they grow up healthy, safe and educated. Working in more than 100 different countries, Save the Children has helped more than 144 million children around the world in 2019 alone.
Working in Vietnam since 1990, Save the Children has launched several initiatives to give Vietnamese children the opportunity for quality education, a healthier life and protection from harm. Save the Children has positively affected more than seven million Vietnamese children in 2020. In specific, Save the Children ensured:
- Roughly 7,110,000 children were healthy and nourished
- About 179,000 children were educated and empowered
- Approximately 64,000 children were protected from harm
These standout children’s programs in Vietnam have made significant strides in improving the lives of Vietnamese children over the years. From health to education and safety, organizations have committed to protecting vulnerable children.
– Celia Brocker