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Last Updated (Tuesday, 04 May 2010 12:04)



On 26 September, 2009, the Ketsana typhoon, called in Vietnam typhoon No 9, entered the central coastal provinces of Vietnam, with the winds up to 90 mph (144 kph) and had seriously struck 9 coastal provinces, from the north to the centre of Vietnam: Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and 4 western highlands provinces: Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dac Nong and Lam Dong.

This was the worst typhoon within many decades in Vietnam and caused huge damages, human as well as material.

Facing the incalculable material damages and losses, and the indescribable sufferings of the terrible typhoon victims, the YMCA of Vietnam, in the spirit of solidarity and sharing in such tribulations with its suffering fellow-citizens. In October 2009, we launched an appeal for the Ketsana typhoon victims in the centre of Vietnam to the YMCA movements, through the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs, in the hope of getting generous funds from the YMCA Family to carry out the rehabilitation and relief to the victims.

We received many prompt favorable replies from the following ~ Mr. Kohei Yamada, General Secretary of APAY, Ms Boon Chin Tan, Sr. Associate Director, International Group of the YMCA of the USA, Mr. Jeffery Watkins, Executive Director of YMCA International Service, the Greater Houston YMCA, and particularly the Letter of Solidarity from the YMCA of the USA, signed by Mr. Selma A. Zaidi, Vice President, International Group. The YMCA of USA has greatly encouraged us to form the Rehabilitation and Relief Team to bring relief to the Typhoon Ketsana families.


2. Implementation:

Among 13 seriously affected provinces, we chose Kontum, a mountainous inland province, situated about 450 km from HCMC, the most affected by the typhoon, with 30 deaths, mainly by landslides and mudslides.

2.1 Preparations:

From 2nd to 22nd October, 2009, we made necessary arrangements for the relief trip:

  • Meeting, forming the rehabilitation-relief team comprising 13 people (9 staff and 4 volunteers) and assigning tasks and responsibilities to each other.
  • Communicating with the local authorities and the churches in Kontum province for enquiring about the situation of the typhoon there and the affected families, in order to make the list of families receiving the relief.
  • Collecting old clothes, washing them, classifying and packaging into 250 bags.
  • Collecting money between staff and volunteers and some families in HCMC. Requesting staff to contribute one-day salary.
  • Buying and packaging necessary items for relief: rice, noodles, sugar, salt, dried fishes, candy, notebooks and other stationery for the children.

2.2 Amount we received from YMCAs:

On 14 October, 2009, we received from Houston YMCA, USA, at our Bank 1,986.50 USD # 35,464,984 VND.
On 15 October, 2009, we received from the YMCA of the USA and other YMCAs of Greater Vancouver (Canada), Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Metro Y Singapore via the APAY, at our Bank 5,533.47 USD # 98,789,016 VND
Total amount from International YMCAs: 7,519.97 USD # 134,254,000 VND

2.3 Amount collected inside Ho Chi Minh city:

We made an appeal among staff and volunteers in Ho Chi Minh and received an amount of 15,000,000 VND # 840.24 USD.
Besides cash, we also collected old clothing inside HCM. The sewing workshop of YMCA made 80 blankets and 500 T-shirts.

Grand total of cash received: 149,254,000 VND # 8,360.21 USD, excluding the fees for making blankets and T-shirts and the costs for the relief trip.

2.4 Relief trip:

On 23rd October, we departed for Kon Tum province, from the YMCA office at 14:00. The team was comprised of 2 cars, one 17-seat van transporting 13 people and one truck transporting relief items. Another truck with reliefs in kind was waiting for us in Pleiku province and joined our group when we arrived in Pleiku. This was to reduce the fees by buying food on the spot in Pleiku.

We arrived in Pleiku at 8:00 am on 24th October covering a distance of 550 km. There at Pleiku, another truck full of reliefs items, mainly rice, noodles and dried fished joined our team and all the team, with three cars, proceeded to Tumorong district, Kon Tum province. From here, the route is very bad. It was very difficult to move, especially when we approached Tumorong which is one of the most affected by the typhoon. Along the route, we still witnessed the devastated areas: route muddy and collapsed, trees blown down, houses destroyed, fields flooded…

From Pleiku city to Tumorong district, Kon Tum province, where we gave relief items to Ketsana typhoon victims, we had to trip 3 hours. At 11:30 am, we arrived at the place of the church named “Dark Rosa”, where 250 ethnic minorities families gathered.

250 families were selected from the families which were the most affected by the typhoon and there were many human damages. The families had to depart from very early in the morning, because they live in different hamlets that are very far from each other and from the church place where we gave relief items. Many of them woke up at 4:00 or 5:00 am and walked 15-20 km through the forest, streams, hills and fields with their whole family! The families are very poor, they live day by day, by cultivating rice, manioc, sweet potato, corn on the hills and rearing pork. Most of them are catholic and vey devout. They live in small hamlets and love and help each other. Their hospitality is wonderful.

250 families from Lat ethnic group are from 6 hamlets of Dak Roong commune, Tu Morong district, Kontum province: Mang Lo hamlet, Ngoc Nang 1 hamlet, Ngoc Nang 2 hamlet, La Giong hamlet, Ka Hia hamlet, Kon Hia 1 hamlet.

Each family received relief in cash and in kind:

In cash: 350,000 VND # 21.84 USD (exchange rate in October, 2009)

In kind:

  • 1 box of noodles
  • 5 kg of rice
  • 2 kg of sugar
  • 1 kg of dried fish
  • 1 kg of salt
  • 10 note-books
  • 2 ball-point pens
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 packet of candy
  • 1 package of clothes
  • 1 blanket for the family with the old people

3. Financial report

3.1 Income:

  • Houston YMCA, USA: 1,986.50 USD # 35,464,984 VND
  • YMCAs via APAY (including the YMCA of the USA: 2,000 USD not yet deducted from bank charges), Canada (YMCA of Great Vancouver), Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Metro Y Singapore : 5,533.47 USD # 98,789,016 VND
  • Staff, volunteers of Vietnam YMCA and others: 15,000,000 VND # 840.24 USD
  • Grand total of cash received for relief works: 149,254,000 VND # 8,360.21 USD

Besides the above, the sewing workshop of Vietnam YMCA made 80 blankets and 500 T-shirts.
The YMCA of Vietnam also paid for renting 2 trucks, gasoline for its van transporting the relief team, meals and accommodation for the group.

3.2 Expenses:

  1. Cash: 390,000 VND/family x 250 families = 97,500,000 VND
  2. 1 box of noodles: 65,000 VND/family x 250 families = 16,250,000 VND
  3. 5 kg of rice: 8,000 VND/kg x 5 kg x 250 families = 10,000,000 VND
  4. 2 kg of sugar: 7,500 VND/kg x 2 kg x 250 families = 3,750,000 VND
  5. 1 kg of dried fish: 18,000/kg x 250 families = 4,500,000 VND
  6. 1 kg of salt: 5,500 VND/kg x 250 families = 1,375,000 VND
  7. 10 note-books: 4,000 VND/note-book x 10 note-books x 250 families = 10,000,000 VND
  8. 2 ball-point pens: 2,000 VND/pen x 2 x 250 families = 1,000,000 VND
  9. 1 ruler: 2,000 VND x 250 families = 500,000 VND
  10. 1 packet of candy: 25,000 VND x 250 families = 6,250,000 VND

Grand total (excluding collected clothes, blankets and T-shirts made by YMCA): 151,125,000 VND # 8,465 USD

Balance: 149,254,000 VND - 151,125,000 VND = - 1,871,000 VND # - 104.79 USD

The balance of - 1,871,000 VND # - 104.79 USD was covered by the YMCA of Vietnam, along with the costs for transporting, renting car, meals and accommodation fees for the relief team which are 20,500,000 VND # 1,148 USD as the contribution from the YMCA of Vietnam.

4. Conclusion:

The relief from the YMCA of Vietnam and its Partner YMCAs was an inestimable assistance for 250 very poor ethnic minority families seriously affected by the Ketsana typhoon in Kontum province. This was an eloquent sign of compassion and solidarity from the YMCA Friends for our brothers and sisters in Jesus-Christ who are suffering from the terrible natural calamity.

On behalf of the target groups, we would like to highly appreciate your generous support and sincerely thank you, the APAY and our YMCA Partners over the world for your solidarity and help.

May God bless all of you!

Yours sincerely,

Luu Van Loc
General Secretary
YMCA of Vietnam