In Vietnam, there are 21.6 million people living in rural poverty. Without access to medical care, villagers are dying from readily treatable illnesses. Children are forced out of school and onto the streets to live and work due to the lack of money. Newborns are abandoned because their parents cannot afford to care for them. Medical, Educational Missions and Outreach (MEMO) began five years ago as a doctor’s goal to address these issues and provide educational and medical opportunities to impoverished rural villages.
MEMO’s primary goal is to provide medical care and educational opportunities to the impoverished villagers in Vietnam. By supplying the villagers with the fundamental needs (health and education) deprived of them by poverty, MEMO hopes to give them a foundation in which they can raise themselves out of their current living conditions. MEMO also aims to spread awareness of the abject poverty seen in third world countries to the younger generation in the U.S. to propagate the notion of social responsibility into a brighter future.
Throughout the year, students devote countless hours to organize various fundraisers to meet our goals. Some of our fundraisers include car washes, an annual banquet, and ice-skating fundraisers. These fundraisers also serve as educational tools to enlighten the younger generation of the global community and ways they can help.
With a group of doctors and students, MEMO goes to Vietnam every summer to donate money to orphanages, hold free clinics, provide scholarships to elementary school students, and transfer technology to Vietnamese hospitals. Our free clinics treat over 2,000 villagers in the rural areas of Vietnam. We also provide life-saving heart surgeries to children with congenital heart disease that are too poor to get treatment. We donate surgical equipment worth a total of half a million dollars to under-funded hospitals. We visit and provide monetary aid to Vietnamese orphanages, which are responsible for the care of hundreds of abandoned children. In addition, we give scholarships, school supplies, and presents to needy primary students.
Since its inception, the organization has expanded to help hundreds of impoverished people around Vietnam. At our clinics, thousands of villagers have been able to see doctors for the first time and receive the medical care that they need. Infants born with heart disease that would die otherwise are now living normal lives. Children usually forced in the streets to beg now have a chance to improve their future. However, our work is not finished.
This year, MEMO plans to continue its growth by implementing new and innovative sustainable solutions: projects such as yearlong clinics and educational opportunities for future generations. It is MEMO’s mission to leave a village or orphanage knowing their return is not needed.