SSIS Community Raises Over 400 Million VND for COVID Relief Effort  

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SSIS Community Raises Over 400 Million VND for COVID Relief Effort  

Our core values are foundational to our community, so even during a government-mandated lockdown, we find ways to “dedicate service,” a promise to help when we can. 

In just two weeks’ time, the SSIS community has truly come together raising 400,700,008 VND (roughly $17,600 USD) to support families in need in Ho Chi Minh City. That’s more than twice the original fundraising goal!

It’s impossible to not notice the impact of the strictest ever COVID lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City. Streets known for their bustling vibrant energy are empty. Many people have lost their livelihoods and face insurmountable struggles. 

SSIS Cares - More Than a Name

Seeing the immediate need for help, and inspired by members of our community who were already providing aid independently, members of the faculty, admin, parents, and students mobilized a task force just days after the virtual start of the 2021- 2022 school year to explore how the SSIS community could help Ho Chi Minh City’s people in need. 

SSIS Cares was born.  

“These are difficult times for all and even more difficult for those who already live with so little. Many do not know with certainty from where their next meal will come. When we can make a difference, we do. It is in our core values and foundational to who we are as a community,” says SSIS Head of School Dr. Catriona Moran. “SSIS Cares is more than just a name, it’s a commitment.”

Partnering with Local Charity

Partnering with the local grassroots charity, “From Saigon to Saigon,” (FSTS) SSIS set a goal to raise 200 million VND ($8,800 USD) in 2 weeks, to provide at least 400 families in need with rice, oil, and other basic staples. 

Despite receiving more than 200 requests for help daily, FSTS has proven to be extremely efficient in facilitating deliveries and quickly processing requests, in part due to their collaboration with a local grocery chain and pharmacy. Their immediate and effective solution and financial transparency made them a great organization to partner with. Our help is already reaching those in need!

Some of the many people that the donations from the SSIS community have been able to help!

Students Get Involved

The true heart of our community, the students, have responded enthusiastically to this project. Through drawings, paintings, photography, songs, poems, and even our own SSIS dragon illustrated as a ‘Love Dragon,’ students have used their empathy to think about and start positive actions for people in need.

Student, Vicky, shares her SSIS "Love Dragon."

Even though our students may be having a hard time themselves, their acts of kindness and altruism have given them purpose and awareness of the situations of other people. 

“What do we give, what do we keep, and what do we share with each other? What do we sow and what do we reap and how do we treat one another?” Grade 3 student, Elisabeth, shares a song with an inspiring message.

Succeed Then Exceed 

The response to our first COVID fundraiser has been unbelievable and we are incredibly grateful to our families, faculty, and staff who have done what they can to recognize the needs of others in these challenging times. 

Together, our community has shown the true spirit of the Dragon, succeeding in reaching the goal and even exceeding it. We couldn’t be more proud of our community’s generosity. Each of the 400 families we set out to help will be helped, as will many many more. 

Author: Tanya Olander
Communications Officer


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