The safety and well-being of our Children’s Home staff and the children that we serve is our top priority at YWAM Mercy Vietnam. Our three Homes remain operational amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with necessary adjustments to help protect everyone.
After the first COVID-19 cases in Vietnam were announced, all the living areas of the Children’s Home were sprayed with disinfectant liquid immediately, including: bedrooms, bathrooms, study-room, kitchen, yards, gates, tables and chairs, and garden.
The children have been taught basic anti-virus protection measures and have received needed supplies. All Home members are wearing a face-mask when going out, washing hands properly with soap, and using hand sanitizer every time someone returns home.
In February, a concerned Korean man we connected with through the Concordia International School, presented 100 disposable masks for the children and staff. Due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, we also purchased washable masks. These masks have 3 layers, and are made of antibacterial fabric that can be washed to use 30 times. Each Children’s Home member was given 3 masks of this type.
Of course, activities in the Home have been adapted to fit the current situation and in accordance with the orders from the government, especially the “social distancing” order requiring everyone to stay indoors, except in a few special cases. All children’s activities now take place inside the Children’s Home campus. Children are still receiving academic instruction, playing, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and sewing hats as usual.
At this time, only the Home staff go out to the market. We also encouraged them to do this every other day, instead of every day as usual, to minimize the risk of contact with people infected with the virus.
Of course studying is very important for the children as well. The schools have been closed since February 3rd (after the Lunar New Year holiday from January 20 – 30th). Teaching on television began February 15th for grades 9 and 12; and from March 15 for all the remaining grades. The disadvantage of this form of study is the lack of interaction between teachers and students. Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Department of Education and Training, and the schools are working together to begin to teach and learn online through ZOOM. Studying on ZOOM of course requires access to the internet and a smartphone or computer.
Internet was installed at the Children’s Homes in the first week of April. We also borrowed 2 or 3 smart phones for children to use in each Home. Children are gradually getting acquainted with this format of online learning.
We are thankful the children and staff remain healthy and continue to grow and thrive despite the pandemic.