The Orange County fundraiser “Walk for Vietnam” was held to spread awareness of Vietnam’s delta variant outbreak on Oct. 2. Over 1,000 participants gathered from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m for the event and approximately $63,500 was raised in aid.
The event coordinators, who are members of the Rotary Club of Fountain Valley, detailed the goals of the walk on their website.
“To show our love and support for the people of Vietnam, the City of Fountain Valley will host ‘Walk for Vietnam’ to raise funds and bring awareness. Our hope is to provide local nonprofits with the support they need to continue their work in Vietnam, providing basic needs to those who are most adversely affected by this pandemic,” the website said.
Vietnam was credited with the best handling of the pandemic at the start of 2020. Prior to the variant’s outbreak, Vietnam accounted for under 3,000 cases and 35 deaths since January 2020.
However, due to slow vaccine rollouts and the delta variant’s high rate of transmissibility, Vietnam’s death toll and case count have begun to rise. Vietnam has reported 20,950 deaths and 853,842 confirmed cases as of Oct. 15.
Slow vaccine rollouts have been attributed to a number of different factors, including the consumption of available vaccines by larger countries.
Another factor is Vietnam’s recent transition of leadership. The Communist Party of Vietnam’s 13th Party Congress ended in February 2021. Those positions remained unappointed until National Assembly voting in June. The power transition drew attention away from vaccine distribution despite the ongoing pandemic.
With strict lockdowns now being imposed in Vietnam’s most populous cities like Ho Chi Minh City, civilians are also facing starvation. Due to strict military patrol and enforcement of the stay-at-home order, safe access to food has decreased significantly. Addressing this food insecurity is the primary focus behind the event’s fundraising.
“The Rotary Charitable Association will manage the collection and disbursement of all funds to local nonprofits currently providing relief to the city’s poorest residents now facing acute food insecurity in Vietnam,” the “Walk for Vietnam” coordinators said.
Fountain Valley Rotary created a GoFundMe page to collect donations, with a goal of $120,000. The virtual fundraiser remains open at this time.
Erin Boshers is a City News Intern for the fall 2021 quarter. She can be reached at email@example.com.