COVID-19 Relief in Hue, Vietnam


Thank you to everyone who has been supporting our VANGO COVID-19 relief efforts. Your donations have helped us to bring PPE supplies to health care workers and first responders every week since March locally and as far as New York, Illinois (Chicago), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), and Florida as well as sanitary and household necessities to HIPE youth and families (many of whom are facing serious financial hardship because they have lost their only sources of income) so they can safely observe shelter-in-place and social distancing practices in Hue, Vietnam.

VANGO has joined forces with PIVOT to launch, a mobile platform or app, allowing all of us to push resources to clinics and organizations or clinics, and organizations to pull resources down.


COVID-19 USA Relief


Meanwhile in Vietnam, which has been shut-down to varying degrees since Tet Lunar New Year, our staff and youth have received multiple workshop trainings on COVID-19–what it is, how to prevent spread, how to DIY cloth coverings, some creative hobbies to explore while at home, and more. We’re now working together to prepare easy-to-understand informational materials to share with their communities who may not have access to high-quality information and resources.

With a generous individual donation matched by DCA, a team of HIPE staff and youth distributed COVID-19 relief packages for the families of 119 peer health educators who are facing particular difficulties during this time. After asking the families what is of highest priority so as to minimalize the need to go to the open air market or grocery store and to help offset other purchases while they have no income, each package includes: rice, cooking oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, hand sanitizer, soap, and a variety of beans.


COVID-19 Vietnam Relief


HIPE wishes to express gratitude to all the donors, volunteers, and staff who have supported these COVID-19 relief efforts, with the hope that these items will help the families of our youth who are experiencing hardship during this virus season.

“HIPE xin cám ơn nhà tài trợ, các tình nguyện viên và nhân viên đã hỗ trợ tích cực trong việc phát quà. Hy vọng với món quà này sẽ giúp gia đình các bạn đồng đẳng viên vượt qua khó khăn trong mùa dịch này. #HIPETeam

For more information about how to support VANGO Network COVID-19 relief efforts, feel free to contact us at 1-714-330-3589 or

To donate, please visit our donation page here.

Photo and recipe by Nguyễn Thị Xuân Ni


Vietnam is in lockdown and most of USA is sheltering in place, so our very own HIPE PHE and RONG House intern Ni wanted to share her recipe for mắm ruốc rim (Vietnamese caramelized shrimp sauce) to help make this time a little more flavorful. This dipping sauce is very versatile and can be used with green mango, chips, sesame rice paper, and more. It’s a DCA Hue office favorite, and we hope you like it!

For those who know Ni, you already know this is a good recipe. And for those who are sadly unfamiliar with Ni’s amazing cooking, welcome.

Scroll down for the recipe.

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A message from Ni (Vietnamese below):

The first week of COVID-19 shelter-in-place was fun, not many things were closed. But after a couple of days, the virus spread to more people and everything closed, so just sitting at home was getting boring. Now, my parents are unemployed. My mom said: “I feel bored when staying at home and I can not go out.” I’m still learning with online classes, through Zoom and our school online platform. There is more homework than normal. At school, I can approach teachers at any time if I have questions, and I can also discuss with my classmates. I do not really like this way. Nonetheless, I have more time to try and do the things that I enjoy: cooking, playing with my pets, etc. I would like to tell other students in the same situation is try to do something new and it is a chance for you. Stay safe and healthy^^

Trong những ngày đầu cách ly, mình thấy khá vui vì được nghỉ ở nhà. Nhưng vài ngày sau đó tình hình dịch bệnh ngày càng nghiêm trọng và các cửa hàng buộc phải đóng cửa, nên mình chỉ ở nhà một cách nhàm chán. Người nhà của mình thì thất nghiệp. Mẹ mình nói bà cảm thấy rất chán khi chỉ ở nhà và không thể đi đâu, vì bà là dân buôn bán nên không thể ngồi một chỗ mà không làm gì. Mình vẫn tiếp tục việc học online thông qua ứng dụng Zoom và trang học của trường. Mình khá không thích cách học gián tiếp này. Bởi vì nó có nhiều bất cập. Ở trường mình có thể gặp trực tiếp thầy cô mỗi khi mình có câu hỏi và có thể học nhóm với bạn cùng lớp dễ dàng hơn. Tuy nhiên, ngoài những vấn đề đó thì mình cảm thấy hạnh phúc khi bản thân có nhiều thời gian hơn; làm những điều mình muốn, những thứ mình thích như nấu ăn, xem phim, chơi với mèo cưng… . Mình muốn nói với những bạn đang cách ly như mình rằng trong thời gian này, ngoài việc học thì đây là cơ hội để các bạn làm những điều mình thích. Giữ gìn sức khoẻ nhé!!!

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Universal Caramelized Shrimp Dipping Sauce “Mắm ruốc rim”

Recipe by Ni


  • About 150 g of Ruốc shrimp
  • 4 small green chilies
  • 4 small red chilies
  • 4 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 tsp brown sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 3 tsp chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 50 ml water
  • 1 tbs cooking oil

Recipe Preparation:

Finely mince shrimp, green and red chilies, lemongrass, and garlic. In a pan, heat up cooking oil. One by one, add minced garlic, lemongrass, and chilies until lightly browned (approximately 1 minute per added ingredient). Add Ruốc shrimp, brown sugar, chili powder, and water and stir well for 5-10 minutes until thickened to preferred consistency. Allow to cool or use immediately. Store in room temperature or in refrigerator.

Don’t forget to turn off the stove, and enjoy!

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About the author: Ni is 19 years old, born and bred in Hue City. Currently, she is a sophomore at Hue University, College of Foreign Languages, majoring in English. She has been working in HIPE since 2015. As a core team member, her main task is leading the peer health educators in Thuan An Town. Over the years, she has aided in the organization and execution of many HIPE programs–health sessions at schools, the annual Health Fair, Green Sunday, university condom trainings, etc. On top of that, she is also an assistant for RONG in program development and planning. This work makes her more confident and love the kids.

“It is life, more than death, that has no limits.
Love becomes greater and nobler and mightier in calamity.
— Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Thank you for joining our efforts to address the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in local hospitals and clinics responding to the coronavirus epidemic. This allows us to distribute N95 masks, face shields, disposable gloves, hand sanitizers, and 99% rubbing alcohol to non-profit community-based clinics serving the vulnerable populations, including the homeless. We have identified the need of many clinics nationwide and continue to work with our colleagues and collaborative network on hotspot areas.

Join us.


Credit: Trần Thị Hà Thương, Hà Nội


This painting is titled LOVE by 13 year old student artist Trần Thị Hà Thương.

The earth needs love.
The world over cries out for love.
Doctors and nurses sacrifice for love.
How can we help?

Thank you Le Quynh Nga and your young artist daughter for the permission to share this poignant artwork.

By Võ Thị Kiều Hân, HIPE Coordinator and loving mother of two young children.

Vietnamese below.

We are currently under self-quarantine in our home–my 63 year old mother, my 17 day old baby Kai, my 30 month old baby Mint, and me who has just given birth. It’s not because I have tested positive for COVID-19, but because I am afraid that I can’t bear the sight of my beloved little children and elderly in an isolated room where I can’t ease their pain. If we don’t take every precaution, that’s the situation we face. With every update about the virus, I am reminded that I must think about the future of our children, that I must live truly healthily and safely for them.

But, I can’t do it alone. One person’s efforts cannot bear the weight of the world. We must all take action. We must all have the courage to overcome this pandemic together. We must treat Mother Nature better, all of the environment.

Baby Mint and Kai’s paternal grandparents recall “A time of war, of bombs, of bullets, where each individual was accountable for their own survival from these threats.” Whether or not you stayed alive was your own responsibility. They continue on, “But today, overcoming COVID-19 is the responsibility of the entire community.”

For the past seven years, I have been on HIPE staff, working on this project for peer-to-peer health education, each year reaching over 3,000 students to share about proper hand washing, coughing, and sneezing techniques. These hygiene practices have never proved more useful and important than today.

So even now, though I am exhausted from taking care of the new baby, my eyes hollow with dark circles, my back sore, and my head of unkempt hair, each day I am still excited to practice proper hygiene with baby Mint to wash his hands correctly to protect himself, to protect his baby brother Kai, to protect all his loved ones, and most of all, to be a responsible boy and citizen.


Chúng tôi đang cách li tại nhà (Má tôi 63 tuổi, bé Kai 17 ngày tuổi, bé Mint 30 tháng tuổi và tôi một bà Mẹ mới sinh con). Không phải vì chúng tôi bị nhiễm Covid-19 mà vì tôi sợ không thể chịu đựng cảnh nhìn những đứa con bé bỏng hay người thân lớn tuổi của mình ở một phòng cách li nào đó mà tôi không thể chạm vào hay xoa dịu nổi đau của họ. Mỗi một bài báo cập nhật về tình hình dịch bệnh lại một lần nhắc tôi phải suy nghĩ về tương lai của những cậu bé nhà mình, tôi phải sống thật tốt vì chúng. Mà không! Chỉ mình tôi thì không được. Mà tất cả mọi người! Phải dũng cảm để cùng nhau vượt qua đại dịch này, phải dũng cảm để đối xử tốt hơn với mẹ thiên nhiên, với môi trường. Ông Bà Nội của 2 bé Mint, Kai lại nhắc về ngày xưa “Thời chiến tranh bom rơi, đạn dội, bảo vệ bản thân là trách nhiệm với chính mình; còn bây giờ bảo vệ bản thân không nhiễm Covid-19 còn là trách nhiệm với cộng đồng”. Thế nên, tôi của 7 năm qua là nhân viên của Dự án Giáo dục Đồng đẳng về Chăm sóc sức khoẻ học đường mỗi năm truyền thông có hơn 3000 học sinh và trẻ em về rửa tay, ho hắt hơi đúng cách chưa bao giờ nhận thức sâu sắc hơn về tính thiết thực và tầm quan trọng của 2 nội dung này nên tôi của hiện tại là mẹ bỉm sữa mắt thâm lưng còng, đầu bù tóc rối vẫn rất hào hứng mỗi ngày tập cho bé Mint rửa tay đúng cách để bảo vệ mình, bảo vệ em Kai và người bé yêu thương, và là một cậu bé có trách nhiệm.


About the author: Vo received her BA in Interpretation from Hue University, College of Foreign Languages. Before DCA, Vo worked in hotel guest relations, promoting community-based and responsible tourism. In March 2013, she found herself with HIPE, where she coordinates school and community projects. Her expertise lies in HIPE’s community-based programs, such as the Experienced Summer program, PSA Media program, Health Fair, recycling activities, making trash receptacles, mobile library, and mobile cinema. Vo specializes in taking a holistic approach to sustainable community development, collaborating with other charities and youth organizations in order to help PHEs understand local issues and to inspire the youth to take charge of the change in their communities.