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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Healing children’s hearts

By Van Ly

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Instead of enjoying themselves during the long public holiday lasting nearly one week from April 29 to May 3, many employees at the Viettel branch in Bac Lieu Province paid visits to poor families in Bac Lieu City’s Vinh Trach Dong Commune and donated gifts to bring joy to the underprivileged.

Elsewhere in Ninh Binh Province, the Viettel branch collaborated with the provincial Army Veteran Association during the holidays to make donations in kind and in cash worth VND500,000 each to 30 veterans.

Such philanthropist activities by Viettel are just a small part of the community programs organized by the mobile service carrier over the year, one of which is the long-established “Hearts for Children” program to finance heart surgeries for thousands of children suffering from heart diseases across the country.

Free heart operations for children

The “Hearts for Children” program was initiated by Viettel in collaboration with VTV in 2008, and ever since, over 6,500 children with heart diseases have been treated free of charge.

This community program, with Viettel as the main sponsor, has rallied strong support and generous donations from numerous enterprises and individuals from far and wide.

At a gala in late 2022 to mark 14 years of the program, it was announced that apart from VND70 billion donated by Viettel, the organizer had collected over VND200 billion from other individuals and enterprises at home and abroad.

Donations made at the gala alone – directly or via messages – amounted to VND18 billion, including VND5 billion from Viettel, allowing the community program to conduct more heart operations for children.

Over the 14 years, the program had also organized 86 examination days with the participation of 150,000 children who underwent screening tests for proper treatment should they suffered from heart diseases. In addition, up to 41 online consultation sessions were organized, connecting people with heart specialists joining the program so that they could have better understanding on heart diseases and learn how to care for patients.

The program has also supported clinics with professional skills in examining and treating patients of heart diseases.

Nguyen Ha Thanh, communications director of Viettel, said the “Hearts for Children” program conveys the spirit of social corporate responsibility at Viettel. “The corporation will continue disseminating the program to the people in order that the program could be a close companion for poor children suffering from in-born heart diseases,” she said.

To create more funds for the program, late last year, Viettel organized the third-edition Viettel Fastest 2022 in HCMC, attracting over 2,500 runners. All proceeds from the running event, at VND750 million, were transferred to the program. It was reported that two previous similar running events in Hanoi attracted over 3,500 runners, and VND1.1 billion in proceeds from the events was donated to the “Hearts for Children” program.

Scholarships for children

Alongside the “Hearts for Children” program is a large-scale scholarship program titled “For Studious Children,” benefiting poor but outstanding students in the country.

This 10-year scholarship program was jointly launched in 2004 by Viettel, the Ministry of Education and Training, and the Study Encouragement Society. Students from poor families in remote, upland or island areas are subject to the program, with each student being gifted VND2 million, in cash or in kind, to help them overcome challenges to pursue their studies.

Viettel decided to launch the scholarship program given the situation of numerous students having to quit school due to financial difficulties. The humble dream of having new uniforms, books and notebooks, school utencils or bicyles is beyond reach of many students across the country.

With the scholarship program, Viettel has directly helped tens of thousands of children continue their schooling, and has called on other donors to join forces in helping hundreds of thousands of other students.

Last school year, Viettel offered 20,000 scholarships worth VND40 billion to students, and since the program’s inception in 2014, Viettel has donated VND250 billion to offer scholarships to poor students.

As one of the biggest State-owned corporations in the country, Viettel has pursued a business philosophy associated with social corporate responsibility, with numerous community activities performed where it operates. In neighboring Cambodia, for example, the corporation’s subsidiary Viettel Cambodia on March 24 donated 300 gift sets to poor Vietnamese Cambodians living in Siem Reap. “In doing business, Viettel also seeks to bring more values to the community, contributing to the sustainable development in countries where Viettel operates,” said Cao Manh Duc, CEO of Viettel Cambodia.

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