Last year Zambrero founder Dr Sam Prince went to Vietnam on Zambrero’s Vision Trip to see the work of Rise Against Hunger firsthand. It was a journey that affected him profoundly.
“When I looked at the kids I got a visceral reaction – that could have been me. There are children out there like I was that are in school right now but might not make it to secondary school. It makes me realise I want to do more to help them succeed.”
Sam was talking about the children he observed in the care of Children of Vietnam, which has helped more than 30,000 children escape the cycle of poverty, overcome the limitation of disability and realise the dreams they never thought possible.
Since 2008, Rise Against Hunger has shipped more than 5 million meals to Children of Vietnam’s feeding programs in kindergartens, vocational schools, orphanages, elderly homes, hospitals and programs for disabled children.
Children like Linh and Trih who attend the Binh Dinh Bac Kindergarten. Like all the children in the kindy they are from a very poor family and do it doubly tough because their mother is suffering from a mental illness. Linh and Trih were very malnourished when they started kindergarten at age 5. The teachers at the school collected clothes and food for the family and fed them Rise Against Hunger meals at least five days a week. After two years, they are both now very healthy and have done very well in school where they are now in second grade.
Children of Vietnam kindergartens employ nurses to track the impact the Rise Against Hunger meals have. At the Hoa Ma Kindergarten in 2013, 20.5% of children were underweight. In just one year, the number of underweight children had reduced to just 6% thanks to Rise Against Hunger meals.
“The children’s health has changed a lot since receiving the Rise Against Hunger meals. The children are happier, stronger, healthier and perform better in school,” says kindergarten principal Ms. Thao. “The kids are excited and happy to come to school, especially when it’s meal time!”