1 in 5 children left behind
Vietnam is largely considered to have one of the brightest economies in Asia, leading to many positive changes usually associated with rapid development, both social and economic. There is a darker side to this breakneck growth, however, as it has unintentionally left behind the disadvantaged youth of the nation.
According to UNICEF, Vietnam has approximately 5.5 million children (1/5 of all minors) who are deprived in at least two of these dimensions: education, health, nutrition, housing, clean water, sanitation and social inclusion. The rapid speed of socio-economic growth has made the disparity between those who have and those who have not increasingly wide, especially for children from ethnic minorities, the homeless, and those with disabilities.
These children lack the foundation for the best possible start in life, which paves the way for healthy development and lifelong learning. While some children do not have access to clean water and sanitation, others lack basic health care and nutrition, which ultimately leads to stunted growth and affects brain development.
To make matters worse, many are subjected to violent discipline by caregivers and lack proper parental care, are depressed, neglected or abandoned. There are also those who have never had access to basic education and are forced to join the workforce despite their age.
Then came the pandemic and the flash floods
This year, covid-related lockdown measures have ground most economic activity to a halt. As a result of school closures, nearly 1.5 billion students around the world have lost access to learning. Presented with unprecedented challenges, the education sector reacted with a set of measures aimed at coping with these negative consequences of the pandemic.
Among those measures, online and distance-learning became a solution that many have come to rely on, but it is no panacea. According to Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF: "For at least 463,000,000 children whose schools were closed due to COVID-19, they are unaware of what so-called distance learning is."
The pandemic has revealed a digital gap between those with access to technology (equipment, internet connection and software) and those without. "The vast number of children who have their studies interrupted for months continue to threaten global education, which will create consequences for the economy and society for decades to come."
And as schools reopen, many of these kids will be forced to remain in work instead of going back to the classroom: a short-term financial solution for those in poverty with long-lasting consequences.
Vietnam might have handled the pandemic better than most, but it doesn't mean that disadvantaged children were spared this year. Due to the devastating floods and other effects of climate change (Vietnam is in the top 10 countries most affected by it), 74% of the Vietnamese population is vulnerable.
In October, floods and landslides in five central provinces of Vietnam put more than 1.5 million children at risk of disease, malnutrition and developmental delay. In many of these areas, schools were damaged and shut down. As a result, nearly 1.2 million students are currently out of education and their learning is disrupted.
Thanks to the efforts of the Vietnamese people, organizations and communities who volunteered time and money to alleviate the sufferings of the affected communities, including fundraisers to help the flood victims, things are starting to look up. But we still need to step up our efforts to send children back to school. That is the only way for them to escape poverty.
For a better Vietnam
With the belief that a solid educational foundation will help overcome poverty and a desire to join hands to improve the difficult situation caused by the pandemic and floods, ELSA has come up with an initiative called "For a Better Vietnam" calling for the participation of business partners and individual donors across the country.
With "For a Better Vietnam", everyone can use their voice to help Vietnam’s disadvantaged children by giving impoverished families resources to send children back to school and prepare them for a brighter future. Join hands with ELSA to build a better Vietnam.
How to participate
To participate in "For a Better Vietnam" campaign, choose one of the following options:
1: Social Sharing
Share ELSA’s campaign on Facebook using the official hashtags: #ELSA_abetterVietnam. For each post shared, ELSA will contribute 1,000 VND to help disadvantaged children with school supplies (books and tablets), training skills and ELSA Pro lifetime subscription.
2: Donate through ELSA
Install the ELSA app. Buy the ELSA Pro learning package (minimum 3 months) through the campaign website. For each purchase, ELSA will contribute 20% of the order value to the fund (please be sure to make it public).
Where will the proceeds go?
ELSA will work with the Good Books For Primary Students to help elementary students by implementing the following steps:
- The campaign will help schools in areas lacking proper education platforms by providing books and other studying essentials (besides textbooks).
- The campaign will also provide the proper training for teachers to help children maintain their reading habits and joy of learning.
Activities calling for support from the community will be held from 23 November 2020 to 31 January 2021. As part of the campaign, ELSA will organize the first school trip. After the community engagement campaign ends, ELSA will hold a second school visit.
Join us to contribute to a better Vietnam.
ELSA Speak is the world's leading English speaking learning app. Smart, less time consuming, inexpensive and personalized lessons are points that make ELSA widely used in 200+ countries and integrated into the curriculum at top English language centers around the world.