Technology helps spread kindness amid pandemic

September 7, 2021 | 09:53 am GMT+7

Many applications connect people in need with benefactors which has helped spread kindness and sharing during the pandemic.


“If you are stuck like me, go to Zalo Connect. Write about your situation, ask for help with necessities. I’ve just got support. There are still many good people out there, keep it up," Bac, a ride-hailing driver in Hanoi, posted on a closed group of ride-hailing drivers.

Bac said that he had just received food support from a benefactor through an application on his phone, so he wanted to share it with people in difficulty like him. He cannot work because of Hanoi's social distancing, so he has had no income for nearly two months. Unable to return to his hometown, his savings have also dwindled, but fortunately he has received food support to survive in the coming days.

Bac is one of tens of thousands of people in difficult circumstances who have received help from the community when asking for help online.

The fourth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic has forced many provinces and cities to implement social distancing, causing a large number of students and workers, especially freelance workers, to be unemployed and have no income.

Ms. Thuy Dung, an office worker in Hanoi, does not have time to participate in charity trips or move to many places to help people as she has a young daughter. She has found a faster way to help many people through an app recommended by her friends. Just by accessing the application available on the phone she can see the messages from those in need.

“I just found out about Zalo Connect for a few days through a friend of mine. I chose it right away because I could see people in need of help who were near me,” Thuy Dung said.

In the past few days, Thuy Dung and her family have been able to support a number of people, mainly shippers and unemployed seasonal workers. “Their needs are very simple, just food, vegetables, meat… This is within the capacity of me and my family.”

Zalo Connect is one of the recently developed technology platforms for users to support each other during the epidemic. This platform is being used by many people besides groups created on social networks.

This feature helps people seek help from the community for food, medicine, necessities or quickly connect with doctors and medical experts for remote medical advice. Individuals and charity societies can see people in need near their living areas through the map.

Zalo Connect is available in 21 provinces and cities that are under social distancing under Directive 16.

In addition to Zalo Connect, another application that is also shared by many people is the SOSmap relief map. People in need can fill in their information on this app. The information will be verified and displayed on the relief map with red marks. SOSmap teams will contact with organizations that support people in need.

Doan Quoc Anh - Product Manager of Zalo - said that after only a short time, 30,565 people gave support to those in difficult situations on Zalo Connect. The number of requests for food support was the largest and accounted for 94% of the cases, followed by requests for necessities with 35%.

Zalo Connect also adds a feature to help sponsors mark assisted cases (blue dots), and quickly report false or phony requests.