Ho Chi Minh City, 18 April 2020 – Saigon Children’s Charity has opened registration for The Virtual Steps Challenge 2020, an online race where people from around the world can track their steps as they run, walk, or exercise, compete to raise money for children, and also receive real prizes. All funds raised from this event will go to saigonchildren to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Vietnam, alleviating the physical and mental issues they face from the COVID-19 pandemic so that no kid is left behind after this crisis.

This virtual event will take place 4-31 May 2020. Registration is starting now at irace.vn/races/the-virtual-steps-challenge. The registration fee is 250,000VND (approx. US$10). Participants will set a goal for themselves, from 50,000 to 300,000 steps, to be completed during the period of the race. Every physical activity, running, walking, exercising, or even doing housework will be tracked by phone and count toward the goal when participants connect their Google Fit app with their account at iRace.vn, saigonchildren’s technology partner for this event. At the end of May, once their goal is reached, a real medal along with other prizes will be sent directly to everyone by post. 

Registration link: https://irace.vn/races/the-virtual-steps-challenge  

Event website: http://thestepschallenge.com

All the money raised from this event (less costs) will go toward saigonchildren’s various programmes supporting disadvantaged children in Vietnam, helping them to overcome the challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as to ensure they are able to go back to school when things normalise.

According to the UNICEF, the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 will be one of its largest consequences and will be felt hardest by the world’s most vulnerable children. When parents struggle to maintain their livelihoods and income, children not only lack the nutritious food they need to develop properly, but some are also left to fend for themselves by earning money on the streets where they are exposed to many other risks. 

“As an organisation working in education in Vietnam for 28 years, we have never experienced such exceptional circumstance. We think it is now more important than ever to hold out a helping hand to children in need, whether by providing food, shelter, clean water, learning materials, or counselling, in order to help them overcome this difficult time. This is the second time we have organised The Steps Challenge, and based on the success of last year, we hope the virtual version of this year will be a meaningful activity for people during this time, joining hands and helping our underprivileged kids,” said Mr. Damien Roberts, saigonchildren’s Executive Director. 

According to The World Health Organisation, staying at home for prolonged periods of time with low levels of physical activity can have a negative effect on our health and cause additional stress during this already challenging time. The WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, both can still be achieved even at home. The Steps Challenge virtual competition is a great way to encourage exercise during this period of social distancing and help people connect with each other while helping a good cause.

The Steps Challenge is an annual event organised by Saigon Children’s Charity. Last year’s event focused on the theme of autism and attracted thousands of people participating online and offline, collecting just under 200 million steps in total, and raising over 700 million VND for autism intervention and training.

Saigon Children’s Charity is a UK organisation founded in 1992 and works exclusively in Vietnam with the mission of helping disadvantaged children overcome different barriers to education, whether it is geography, finance, knowledge, or disability. Over its 28 years saigonchildren has built 207 schools, awarded 41,000 scholarships, provided 12,000 young adults with vocational training, and supported 11,400 children with different disabilities to receive an education. In 2018, Saigon Children’s Charity was awarded the Certificate of Merit from the Prime Minister of Vietnam for its “profound impact on supporting access to education” in Vietnam. 



For media enquiries, please contact:

Ngan Truong (Ms.)

(+84) 975 942 490

Communications Lead

Saigon Children’s Charity CIO

59 Tran Quoc Thao, Distric 3, Ho Chi Minh City