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Bringing love to people on the breadline

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HCMC – For Lu Van Phu, a resident of the Mong ethnic minority group in the northern upland province of Ha Giang, the relief aid comes at the right time when his family is grappling with the severe shortage of daily necessities.

“The gift set means a lot to my family as it helps us cope with this hard time for at least one month,” the 28-year-old resident of Pa Vay Su Commune said when receiving the handout from the program Saigon Times-Noi Vong Tay Lon over the weekend.

Saigon Times-Noi Vong Tay Lon, a program aiming to help poverty-stricken people overcome the hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has now reached out to localities in the Central and the North, following successfully donations in southern provinces in previous weeks.

On May 2 and 3, Saigon Times Group offered 300 gift sets including essential food items to disadvantaged people residing in remote, border areas of the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang. The program benefited local people in the three communes of Pa Vay Su, Chi Ca and Nan Xin, in Xin Man District.

Located in the northwest of Ha Giang, Xin Man has hilly terrain which makes daily travel quite tough. Most of the locals there are ethnic minority people and they chiefly do farm work for a living. Meanwhile, Pa Vay Su is one of the poorest communes in the district. Up to 98% of Pa Vay Su residents are Mong ethnic minority people. They mostly grow corn, raise cattle, or go to the neighboring country of China for work.

Lu Van Phu of Pa Vay Su shared that he and his wife as the family’s breadwinners had worked as welders in China’s Guangxi since 2018. However, they could not get back to work in the year to date due to the impact of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. His family since then has struggled to make ends meet.

Phan Chien Thang, Saigon Times Group’s Deputy Editor-in-Chief, said at the donation ceremony that the charity program has extended its reach from the south to the central region and northern border localities, spreading a sense of humanity in the community and helping needy people across the country overcome obstacles triggered by the unprecedented public health crisis. The program’s wide expansion is made possible owing to the many philanthropists across the country. As of April 28, the program had received VND523 million and many necessities and face masks from sponsors.

Earlier, in response to an appeal for donation from the Saigon Times Group, many businesses such as CEO Group, Deep C, Ban Tay Nho (Little Hands) Charitable Group, and many other generous donors had donated food essential items, including cooking oil, rice, instant noodle, spices to the program, with an aim to lend a helping hand to Ha Giang residents amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, Delta Logistic Company had assisted with transporting the commodities to this northern mountainous province.

Alongside the donations in Ha Giang, another 600 gift sets under the program had been given to needy people in the central localities of Danang and Quang Nam on May 2. The program was conducted in Danang and Hoi An City under the collaboration of the Danang Youth Union, the Hoi An Buddhism Society and the Quang Nam Tourism Association and Mirae Asset Vietnam Finance Company.

Ngo Van Thang, a 60-year-old disabled man living in the central city, said the gift, including five kilos of rice, a carton of 36 instant noodle packs and a 1.5-liter bottle of water, will help his five-member family overcome difficulties.

Nguyen Ba Duan, deputy secretary of Danang City’s Youth Union, said that the epidemic has caused an adverse impact on the local economy as many workers have lost their jobs. He hoped that Saigon Times-Noi Vong Tay Lon program could call for more support from businesses and donors to bring greater support to poor people nationwide.

By Chau Nguyen

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