Of these centres, Binh An provides free education to 280 disadvantaged children, many of whom are displaced having migrated to Ho Chi Minh City from rural provinces. The majority live in an illegal slum settlement which can be found on the banks of the District 8 canal, in shacks built from random discarded materials.
As schools closed and social distancing restrictions were imposed in order to manage the COVID-19 crisis, these children were prevented from visiting the centre each day and were forced to remain in their shanty homes where their parents struggled to maintain a basic hand to mouth existence. Social workers from the centre reported that many of the children were facing dire conditions, with parents away for longer and longer periods during the day and food a scarcity. Whereas before these children were guaranteed one hot meal a day at the centre, this was no longer available to them.
Hearing of their plight, the BIS Secondary Parent Teacher Group (PTG) together with the BIS Community Service team stepped in to arrange for food hampers to be packed and delivered to the centre. It was with tremendous gratitude to the BIS community that these hampers were received and the children as well as their families have extended their thanks to all for this small token of care.
BIS Community Service Project Manager