Hanoi, Vietnam

Anyone who has visited a hospital in Hanoi could well appreciate the difficulties that patients, especially those from other provinces, have to struggle with every day, concerning expenses for medical treatment, accommodation, food, etc. In order to save for the expensive treatment and medication, patients must cut down to a minimum all their other expenses, including food. There are patients who, while undergoing treatment and in need of plentiful nutrition, only had one loaf of bread or one ball of rice each meal. This aggravates their medical condition, making treatment more difficult.

Desiring to share part of such difficulties of the patients, the Founders of “Dong Cam – SympaMeals” started this project in September 2005 with a modest purpose: helping some in-patients under difficult circumstances with one free meal for each day they are in hospital. Since then, the Project has expanded to include many other activities such as providing milk powder to out-patients, child patients and elderly patients, paying medical fees, medication, travel costs and living costs for patients under especially difficult circumstances, etc. Dong Cam – SympaMeals has also broadened its beneficiaries with its recent gift-giving programs for HIV affected children in Bac Ninh Province. So far, the Project has been funded by its Executive Committee and donors on the basis that the Executive Committee bears all the administrative costs in running the Project so that all funds from donors will benefit the patients in their entirety. Detailed financial reports as well as newsletters are issued monthly so that donors are informed of the implementation of the Project and confident that their donations have been delivered to the patients.


At present, the Project operates primarily in the National Cancer Institute of Vietnam (K Hospital) at 43 Quan Su Street, Hanoi, Vietnam where there are many seriously ill patients under difficult circumstances. In the initial stage (2005), every day, only about twenty (20) coupons were distributed to twenty (20) patients, with each coupon worth VND 5,000 to be used in the K Hospital Canteen. Since then, the number and value of meal coupons have been regularly increased. As at present, everyday approximately 200 coupons each worth VND 15,000 (equivalent to approximately US$ 0.75) are delivered to the in-patients and 40-60 tins of milk powder (each tin worth VND 143,000 or approximately US$ 7) are distributed to out-patients each week in 10 Departments of K Hospital. Together with the costs for Special Patients, each month SympaMeals spends around VND 150 – 200 million (equivalent to US$ 7,500 – 10,000) on poor patients.

We also help children affected by HIV of the self-help group For A Better Future Bac Ninh 1 in Bac Ninh Province, donate to the Hanoi Hospice for Disabled Children and Elderly People, organize performances and donations for children in the Paediatrics Department of K Hospital, provide SympaKids scholarships for children of cancer patients, and run a free English Mobile Library, SympaBooks, in Hanoi.

To donate to SympaMeals:

• In cash: Please contact Anh Phan, Tel: +84.1668.607.476, Email: or Thuy Le, Tel: +84.903.444.302, Email:

• By bank transfer into either of the following accounts:

1. Account holder: Dang Xuan Hop, Account Number: 002 100 106 2117, Bank: Vietcombank Ba Dinh, Hanoi; SWIFT Code: BFTVVNVX 002;

2. Account holder: Phan Nguyet Anh, Account Number: 0300 1010 974 425, Bank: Maritime Bank, Hanoi Branch. SWIFT Code: MCOBVNVX002.

Upon making a transfer, please specify ‘Contribution from … (name of donor) email… (For first time donations)” so that we can send you a receipt and prepare our financial report accordingly.

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