In January this year, eight students between the ages of 10 and 15 drowned in a single incident in Vietnam’s northern province of Hoa Binh.
They had decided to spend the afternoon playing by a nearby river after school had finished.
Then as recently as May, nine children drowned in four separate incidents within a week in the north-central province of Quang Binh.
Sadly, events like these aren’t uncommon in Vietnam.
In fact, it’s reported that 3,500 people drown in Vietnam each year – 2,000 of those are children.
Drowning is the country’s leading cause of death of children under the age of 15 and has been described as an epidemic.
This past June, some friends from Saigon decided to do something about.
All avid swimmers, they swam 100km around the southern Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc in seven days to raise money for swimming lessons for children who would otherwise never receive them.
They raised close to VND100 million (approx. US$4,300) from sponsors and supporters.
Below is a short video of their epic swim challenge!
All photos & video courtesy of Duy Luong
If you are interested in supporting the group in any way, contact The Bureau via email at thebureauasia@gmail