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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Fertilizing the community spirit

By Hoang Khang

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Early this week, on August 7 and 8, two major hospitals in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho took delivery of 10 tons of rice donated by Ca Mau Petroleum Fertilizer Joint Stock Company (PVCFC), better known in the country as Dam Ca Mau. The rice was then transferred to the charitable kitchens at the two hospitals to support poor patients and their relatives who are care-givers.

The rice price these days has been surging, causing concerns among the kitchens serving poor patients at hospitals, so the rice donation – five tons each to O Mon District General Hospital and Can Tho General Hospital – by the country’s biggest fertilizer maker can help ease worries among the kitchen operators as well as poor patients. The kitchens at these two hospitals have long been able to maintain operations owing to the strong commitment of the founders and especially the generous support of philanthropists, including Dam Ca Mau.

Mach Phu Cuong, who alongside his wife and friends set up a charitable kitchen at Can Tho General Hospital early this year, could not conceal his happiness when hearing of the rice donation. “Rice supplies from other donors are not steady, so we are very happy when learning that Dam Ca Mau would donate a huge amount of rice, especially at a time when the rice price is increasing steeply,” he said.

Houses for the poor

The rice donation to the two hospitals is just a minor part of the fertilizer company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program to support poor people across the country, especially in the two Mekong Delta provinces of Ca Mau  and Bac Lieu where the company has business operations. One of the most meaningful CSR activities conducted by PVCFC is the annual program to build houses for poor people.

On July 11, 2023, the company organized a function to hand over 10 newly-built houses to poor families in Ca Mau Province. These houses, built at a cost of VND50 million each, were among 220 houses being built by the company for poor people across the province.

One month earlier, on June 6, the company also organized a ceremony to develop 80 homes for poor people in nearby Bac Lieu Province.

Building houses for poor people has been a major CSR activity at Dam Ca Mau, which in 2022 handed over as many as 300 houses to the underprivileged, including 220 homes in Ca Mau and 80 others in Bac Lieu.

In more than 10 years since the company initiated this CSR program, as many as 1,485 houses have been built at a total cost of over VND400 billion to support the poor.

Other CSR activities

A representative of the company said that Dam Ca Mau with this housing program sought to not only improve the quality of life of the poor but also upgrade the rural landscape. In that spirit, the company has over the years helped build or renovate 56 schools, 13 healthcare stations, 22 bridges, some roads, and other clean water and sanitation facilities in rural areas.

In supporting education, the fertilizer company has also lent a helping hand to poor students by donating learning equipment, bicycles, and especially scholarships to those with outstanding academic records.

The company has recently donated 120 scholarships worth VND2 million each to outstanding students attending senior high-schools in the 2022-2023 school year across Ca Mau Province. The scholarships were given to encourage excellent students to overcome difficulties and pursue their studies.

In its CSR journey to support education, Dam Ca Mau has to date awarded up to 6,350 scholarships to outstanding students.

At the event to donate rice to the two hospitals in Can Tho City early this week, a company representative said Dam Ca Mau was happy when seeing the smiles of poor patients who have to rely on free meals from the kitchens for their subsistence. Nguyen Van Khang, a liver patient residing in Cai Rang District in Can Tho City, expressed gratitude to the support of Dam Ca Mau, saying “free meals help me save tens of thousands of Vietnam dong a day, which is a valuable gift for poor people like me,” recalled the company’s representative.

Dam Ca Mau, a major producer with output of nearly one million tons of fertilizer a year and holding a market share of 60% in the Mekong Delta and some 30% in Cambodia, throughout its CSR journey spanning 12 years, has always sought to promote the community spirit. “This spirit in turn has become a source of inspiration for all people at the company, helping all to adopt a positive outlook,” said the representative at the rice donation function.

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