Tech guru develops a map to help those in need

Nguyen Van Tuan, a resident of Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Chanh District, has been out of work for three weeks due to COVID-19 and is struggling to feed his family of four.

His company had to close temporarily after tight social distancing regulations were imposed on businesses in the city.

“Working from home is a luxury that workers like us can’t afford," said Tuan.

"My wife and I were laid off and lost the primary source of income that we used to pay for food, rent and other expenses.”

Now, thanks to new technology, Tuan and hundreds of others are receiving support.

His family is renting a house in an area near Vinh Loc 3 Industrial Zone in Binh Chanh District, home to more than 40 other households, most of whom are workers.

Not knowing when they can go back to work due to the complicated developments of the pandemic, the 34-year-old father-of-two looks for help to survive in the time of crisis.

After he filed a request for help for 44 households in the area, they received more than 100kg of radish, 440 eggs and 30kg of papayas from SOSMAP, an online platform that allows one to share their state of emergency and look for help.

Tuan is among nearly a thousand people who have requested help from this platform since it launched a week ago.

Pham Vi, founder of a technology solutions company in Ho Chi Minh City, came up with the idea of connecting those in need, with people willing to help.

When a user clicks on the website sosmap.net, a map will pop out. Users decide whether they want to be “Người nhận” (Taker) or “Người cho” (Giver), then file a request for help or offer to help, providing their contact information as well as items they want to receive or donate, which can range from clothes, masks, gloves, protective suits to vegetables, rice, instant noodles and even cash.

After filling in the form, users will be contacted by a volunteer to verify their information.

English and Thai versions of this platform will be made available soon so expats can also join.

Vi said: "COVID-19 has put many people in difficult situations. They are out of work, can’t leave their house and don’t know where to look for help.

"It is necessary to have a platform to collect all the requests for help so charitable groups can deliver support to the right place."

Hundreds of volunteers are joining to ensure the smooth operation of the project. They are in charge of taking calls, verifying requests and offers as well as transporting goods and arranging warehouses, the project’s founder said.

Tech guru develops a map to help those in need
Many people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and struggle to feed their families. — Photo courtesy of the project

Tonnes of food including vegetables and rice, along with VND36 million (US$1,560) in cash have been donated to the project and already delivered to the needy. 

Most of the people asking for help through the application are from Ho Chi Minh City, requesting essential goods including food, vegetables and fruits, he said.

 

The majority are workers who have been laid off and have no source of income to cover daily expenses, or those living in areas under lockdown and having difficulty buying food.  

Trinh Thi Kim Lien, a marketing officer who joins the project as a volunteer coordinator, said they would prioritise serious cases.

“Many people are in dire situation," she said.

"They have literally nothing to eat and are desperate for help. They have no rice and live on food loaned from others. We give priority to these emergency cases and try to deliver support as soon as possible.” 

The project is receiving an increasing number of requests each day and has set up five warehouses in Ho Chi Minh City and one in Binh Duong Province to store donated goods.

According to the country’s General Statistics Office, in the second quarter of 2021, there were 12.8 million people aged 15 and over negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who lost their jobs, got furloughed, worked fewer shifts, reduced working hours and had reduced their income.

Among them, about 557,000 lost their jobs, 4.1 million people got furloughed/suspended production and business operations and 8.5 million workers suffered income reduction, according to the office. 

More impactful

Vi has been engaging in a variety of community activities in many parts of the country. Through these trips, he felt an urge to come up with a more sustainable solution that could help a lot more people at a time.

When the natural disasters hit Vietnam's central region last year, claiming more than a hundred lives and placing many in dire circumstances, Vi called on his friends to donate essential goods.

When he and his team arrived in hard-hit localities including Quang Tri and Hue, they realised there was a big gap in supply and demand. Some places receive many donations while others got little attention because they were in remote areas. 

Vi decided to integrate technology into his charity project to make it more impactful. He and his IT team developed a map showing locations where people need help.

As people in Ho Chi Minh City grapple with the worst wave of infections, Vi decided to upgrade the map and put it into use to serve those in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nguyen Thi Hong Nhung, deputy chairwoman of the District 1’s Red Cross often scans the District 1 area to check if there is any request and will work with local authorities to make sure they get help promptly.

She said: “One of the advantages of the platform is that the map helps users easily navigate and identify those in need very quickly.” 

Source: Vietnam News

Poor workers during Covid-19: charity rice for lunch, rice gruel for dinner

Poor workers during Covid-19: charity rice for lunch, rice gruel for dinner

Poor workers are now facing even more difficulties as HCM City is in social distancing period because of the latest Covid outbreak. Many are living on charity meals or having instant noodles.

 
 

Other News

.
At least one domestic COVID-19 vaccine to be licenced by year-end
At least one domestic COVID-19 vaccine to be licenced by year-end
SOCIETYicon  15/09/2021 

At least one homegrown COVID-19 vaccine will be licenced for use by the end of this year, Nguyen Ngo Quang, Deputy Director of the Department of Science, Technology and Training under the Ministry of Health (MoH).

COVID-19: 10,508 cases added to national caseload on September 14
COVID-19: 10,508 cases added to national caseload on September 14
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

Vietnam recorded 10,508 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours to 5pm September 14, taking the total number of infections to 635,055, according to the Ministry of Health.

Some students ‘get stuck’ in countryside, can't return to city for school
Some students ‘get stuck’ in countryside, can't return to city for school
SOCIETYicon  15/09/2021 

Children sent to grandparents' homes for summer holidays cannot return to cities to school because of travel restrictions during Covid-19.

HCM City begins two trial ‘buffer’ weeks before reopenng
HCM City begins two trial ‘buffer’ weeks before reopenng
FEATUREicon  15/09/2021 

A trial reopening in HCM City will be implemented on September 16-30 in districts 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio before following steps are taken.

Hanoi considers re-opening some services after September 15
Hanoi considers re-opening some services after September 15
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

The Hanoi authorities are considering relaxing restrictions on selected services as the capital city seeks to revive the economy following the improvement of the coronavirus situation.

Vietnam administers more than 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Vietnam administers more than 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

Vietnam surpassed a total of 30 million shots of COVID-19 vaccine on the morning of August 14 after five consecutive days of administering more than one million shots per day.

Italy, France donate nearly 1.5 million vaccine doses to Vietnam
Italy, France donate nearly 1.5 million vaccine doses to Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

France and Italy have presented approximately 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine via the COVAX Facility to aid Vietnam’s ongoing fight against the pandemic.

Vietnam to buy Covid-19 vaccines for children next year
Vietnam to buy Covid-19 vaccines for children next year
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

Vietnam will buy Covid-19 vaccines for children aged five and older next year, according to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 14
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 14
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

Dong Nai to ease mobility restrictions, reopen after Sept 20

HCM City to pilot COVID green card in districts 7, Can Gio, Cu Chi
HCM City to pilot COVID green card in districts 7, Can Gio, Cu Chi
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

HCM City is planning to pilot COVID-19 green cards in districts 7, Can Gio and Cu Chi, places where the pandemic has basically been controlled.

Expats face tough time amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam
Expats face tough time amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

As Vietnam struggles to cope with the fourth outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, expats who find themselves thousands of kilometres away from their homes have seen their lives turned upside down.

'No one is left behind': Vietnam's authorities provide support for foreigners amid the pandemic
'No one is left behind': Vietnam's authorities provide support for foreigners amid the pandemic
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

Despite limited resources, the Vietnamese Government and local authorities are sparing no efforts to support and ensure safety for the expat community in Vietnam amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

HCM City extends social distancing, issuance of green cards on hold
HCM City extends social distancing, issuance of green cards on hold
FEATUREicon  13/09/2021 

HCM City authorities have been considering a plan to grant ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ cards to its citizens, but the city has decided to extend social distancing after September 15.

Digital transformation in tertiary education: more investments, strong will of leaders needed
Digital transformation in tertiary education: more investments, strong will of leaders needed
SOCIETYicon  14/09/2021 

Shifting to teach online this semester because of Covid-19 is an opportunity for tertiary education to adapt to digital transformation.

Consulting and supervision costs at Cat Linh-Hadong metro line soars by $7.8 million
Consulting and supervision costs at Cat Linh-Hadong metro line soars by $7.8 million
SOCIETYicon  13/09/2021 

Delayed progress has increased costs at Cat Linh-Hadong metro line, according to the Ministry of Transport's report.

HCM City speeds up vaccinations in aim to loosen restrictions
HCM City speeds up vaccinations in aim to loosen restrictions
FEATUREicon  14/09/2021 

After nearly three months of social distancing, the conditions to loosen anti-pandemic measures to some extent are being discussed so that localities, businesses and people can feel more comfortable.

HCM City seeks to reduce gap between AstraZeneca shots to 6 weeks
HCM City seeks to reduce gap between AstraZeneca shots to 6 weeks
SOCIETYicon  13/09/2021 

The HCM City Department of Health has sought approval from the Ministry of Health to reduce the time between two AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots from the usual eight to 12 weeks down to six weeks to speed up immunisation.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 13
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 13
SOCIETYicon  13/09/2021 

NA Standing Committee opens third session

The medical 'butler' who never wears protective gear
The medical 'butler' who never wears protective gear
SOCIETYicon  13/09/2021 

Many patients at the COVID-19 resuscitation hospital in HCM City, managed by Hue Central Hospital, are receiving meals and medication from a robot.

Vietnam records 11,172 new COVID-19 infections on September 13
Vietnam records 11,172 new COVID-19 infections on September 13
SOCIETYicon  13/09/2021 

Vietnam reported 11,172 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 624,547, according to the Ministry of Health.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN