SCDI Center for Community Development Initiatives




Others news


April 3, 2020

April 3rd, 2020.

"The first person Hanoi team met this morning was not the oldest but probably the "longest living" on the street". This year he is 82 years old and has lived on the street for 32 years. The first few years living on the street, he slept at the train station, but then there was crowded and noisy, he chose a nearby porch of a restaurant to sleep. The restaurant owner noticed but never asked him to leave. He waited until the restaurant being clean up, closed and then he went to "his bed". He told us about his daily schedule - walk from the station area to downtown area, around 10pm started going back "home". 

I asked if this epidemic had been affected his life or not. He said: "It has a lot of influence. Before, there were many people distributing charity goods, but since Tet, people are afraid." Then he blushed: "To be honest with you guys, I haven't had any meals for a week." Ask him - then how do you live. He blushed again: "To be honest with you, if they don't finish their food, we will eat" - perhaps he tried to avoid using the word “leftovers”. His eyes sparkling with joy, pointing to the noodle cup in the red plastic bag often used to contain Tet gifts that he brought with him.

"They didn't eat all, they left it, we ate it, only noodle, but that's lucky already." He pulled out a 2/3 bottle of Green Tea from his pocket: "This bottle people did not drink all". During the day he walks around the streets looking for food. He said that around that area, if there was a family having leftovers, they will put them in a plastic bag then hanging outside the door. "Like me in the past, there are concrete electric poles having holes, If I don't eat them all, I will put them in the holes, if other people need, they will eat."

His property was in the two red plastic bags. He carried them everywhere he goes. Before Tet, someone driving car gave him money for 3 times, total VND700,000. Together with the government's pension for people over 80 years old, he bought a VND950,000 bicycle. In the night of the Lunar New Year 7th, when he slept tightly, the thief took his bicycle, he lost a few bags with things inside including a new blanket and a red leather jacket that young volunteers gave him to celebrate the Lunar New Year. But he regretted losing all his papers, including certificates of martyrs' children, medals - he was a veteran presented in all three Indochinese countries.

It was very interesting to talk to him because he was always optimistic. "I have a place to sleep, people are good to me, they never chased after me. I won't eat much. But I can't take it anyhow. Anyway, it can’t be taken away after death." He also has his own fun. He took from the vest he wore to have a set of red envelops. "I saw people throw it away, I picked up to see how many types there are".

He is fluent in current news and politics. It turns out that he has a tiny radio. "This radio is made in China, the price sometimes VND100,000, sometimes VND150,000". He slept tight so he already had his radio stolen several times even he tied the headset to his ears, but still lost both the radio and the headset. He smiled gently to tell that story.

I gave him VND50,000. He refused, he said: "You gave me food already, I don't need much", I tried to convince him to receive the money, he accepted. Then he said: "To tell you the truth, there are only 4,000 left in my pocket."

When we about to leave, he kept saying "Sorry for bothering you with me" - he thought Hung was his son - he meant that the two of us stood talking to him. Hung and I feel lucky and grateful to him for sharing so openly stories with us.


The support net is called "human love"

The story of the oldest man living on the street is just one of many stories that the members of One Egg A Day Fund meet each day. The one-day journey of the Volunteers all start from early morning to late night, empowering homeless people, the poor and extremely poor people - losing their jobs, losing income, losing sunny and rainy shelters, and even losing the way home in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Doctor Khuat Thi Hai Oanh - the founder of One Egg A Day Fund and supporting program "Asymptomatic Victims" confided: "The support campaign "Asymptomatic victims" is made up by three legs Donors who contribute, from 20,000 Dong up to more than 10 million Dong - every time I think of something, the word "share" came up in my mind - knowing that many people are also facing difficulties in terms of the economy caused by Covid-19.

The crews carry out the program regardless of early, late day or weather - it seems that only the word "let’s go" can express enthusiasm and responsibility - even if faced with epidemic worries. And the recipients from the program - with sincerity and gratitude. Not only connecting the interruption, but the program also has created a support net called "human love". And give me lots of hope. "

It is known that Dr. Oanh is currently running a non-profit organization called the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives, or known as SCDI since 2010, implementing working programs with people living with HIV, drug users, sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people affected by tuberculosis, hepatitis C, malaria, teenagers who use drugs, children who have difficult circumstances, homeless people... Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh is one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Vietnam voted by Forbes Vietnam in 2017.

Volunteers run at full capacity to help people "reduce hunger"

"Up to now, the Fund has received contributions from more than 400 people with mount of 50,000 Dong up to more than 10 million Dong, both money and items. Many people not only contribute but also contact friends, relatives to contribute, and willing to be volunteers.

When reading the newly received SMS banking message, I felt warm in my heart. Many families have sown the seeds of goodness in their children’s hearts. There was a mother texting me that after letting her son read the post of One Egg A Day Fund, her son used the saving money to contribute VND500,000, making the her so happy. Then there are people also mobilize their parents to contribute.

Then the messages hoping for the epidemic pass quickly, hoping for the homeless, the poor, the street children to eat and drink properly, and everyone will be at peace. The most touching is many people send messages to thank the program and wish us good health and peace.

Pictures of volunteers giving food to people in difficult circumstances. Photo: Fanpage - One Egg a Day

Not to disappoint everyone, all teams were running at full capacity, racing against time to help everyone less hungry, to distribute items to almost people before new difficulties arriving. Riding a motorbike for tens of kilometers, carrying things like wagons, being questioned by the police, civil defense, starving, eating instant noodles or instant noodles with broken eggs, coming home just want to lie down and sleep immediately ... is a common condition of the group. "

Just a few lines are enough to see the hearts of the volunteers participating in this campaign who sincerely want to help people in difficult circumstances overcome the Covid-19 epidemic. There are people affected by this epidemic who lose their jobs and have no salary, but there are also people who cannot earn a grain of rice a day or a place to sleep on the street ...

Taking advantage of her registration as a media volunteer during her maternity leave, Ms. Hoa Vu said that her contribution is nothing compared to other volunteers: "I like the One Egg A Day Fund's idea and heart, since the early days when the Fund's goal was to improve the meals of the pupils of the kindergarten in Van Xuoi commune, Kon Tum province. I like the name of the Fund, it made me and many people having clearer direction when participating in charity. One Day - One - Egg means each person needs to contribute specifically with an adequate quantity but must be persistent and long-term.

The difficulty for the program like this is to attract and establish the commitment of the parties involved: contributors, sponsors ... to maintain money and items; authorities, police, agencies because we work with undocumented, very complicated groups, who receive support, how do they trust us, participate in the interventions we provide, help them improve their lives. "

“The good leaves protect the worn-out leaves" join hands to repel Covid-19 "

Every house we set foot in, comes with a lot of pity. Most of the houses have lost their income since the epidemic. In Hai Duong, there’s a family of 4 but up to 3 people not having enough strength to work, the least sick person has not been hired by anyone since the epidemic happened. The whole family has to rely on the neighbors who give anything to eat. The next-door person also pays more than VND100.000 for the electricity and water bills for them about 3 years now. The story in Hai Phong is different, a man working as a motorbike driver, living at the foot of the bridge in a hut without electricity or water. Due to the impact of the epidemic, there is no customer either, sometimes don’t have anything to eat. "

"A man in his 50s, whose main job is to pump bicycle tires, he is completely ignorant of the Covid-19 and how to protect himself, only vaguely predicting something is happening to the city since he earned only VND10,000 from morning until night. Even though he is from Hanoi but he does not have a home to go back, he has to live relying in people’s house.

There’s also a scrap collector, she has a home and a hometown but since the epidemic came, there was no bus back home, even having a way back to hometown but there’s nothing to eat... Then a couple, the former disabled wife who being hired as sugarcane juice seller before but now has no job, the husband who before worked as a builder but lost his working ability so no one hired him. The couple temporarily built a few bricks, used a small pot to cook food for lunch, and at night slept by the lake or at the temple yard.

"Pictures of volunteers giving food to people in difficult circumstances. Photo: Fanpage - One Egg a Day."

The stories posted on Fanpage One Egg a Day receives the sympathy from many people. Knowing that each of us has different living conditions, there are reasons for being pushed into a dead end unlike anyone else, but together, "the good leaves protect the worn-out leaves", we will surely pass this difficult time.

Hopefully, what One Egg a Day Fund has been done and doing, One Egg a Day will spread the inherent positive spirit and mutual affection of Vietnamese people to each of us. Believe for sure that we will win the pandemic and no one will be hungry in this storm!

The Asymptomatic Victims Support Program, provides meals and food for the rangers, the destitute people, and for the poorest households to help them get through the Covid-19 plague. One meal is worth VND20,000, and one part supports for each family about VND300,000.

Interested readers can follow the information at the Fund's fanpage:

Sourse: Cafebiz


Updated information on our work in changing lives of marginalized communities