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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Helping the poor to survive the pandemic

The Saigon Times

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Covid-19 pandemic is raging in HCMC, people from all walks of life are plunging into unprecedented hardship. With the spirit of supporting the community alongside development, Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ) has given Covid-19-hit residents a leg up over the adversity through a number of meaningful corporate social responsibility programs.

As a shot in the arm for difficult workers during the fight against Covid-19 in HCMC, the “Vong Tay Viet”, or “Vietnamese arms” campaign has been initiated by the jewelry firm. After the first zero-dong minimart was opened at the Hiep Binh Phuoc Culture and Sports Center in Thu Duc City on June 26, part of the community-oriented campaign, 19 more zero-dong minimarts were set up in the districts of Hoc Mon, Binh Tan, Phu Nhuan, Go Vap and District 8, and Binh Duong Province, promptly giving free vouchers to up to 10,000 disadvantaged and unemployed people.

The campaign was implemented from June 26 to July 16 with the coordination between PNJ and the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, the Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods Producers, the Young Worker Support Center, the HCMC Association of Women Entrepreneurs and the Young Entrepreneurs Association of HCMC.

Each zero-dong mini supermarket offered more than 60 items of necessities, medicines and food such as sugar, milk, rice, eggs, cooking oil, fish sauce, noodles, fresh vegetables, and fruits. Each family could receive three vouchers worth VND200,000 each to buy goods. The supermarket opened from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, so they could purchase goods at any convenient time to ensure the safety during the social distancing period.

The zero-dong minimarts not only catered to the poor, but also helped connect benefactors. Instead of donating separately, benefactors were invited to join hands together to do good through the campaign. The zero-dong minimart program has been sponsored by many donors, who are the owners of corporations and individuals. Some people have donated a few tons of rice, while some have secretly brought here some kilograms of vegetables. Thanks to their love and kindness, the zero-dong mini supermarket was not only a place of “shopping without checking the price” for the poor, but also a place of humanitarian value and connection.

“I was very touched by the contribution and companionship of Hawee as well as other organizations, associations, and individuals for the campaign. Our timely actions and the companionship have partly relieved the poor and disadvantaged people of their difficulties in this period,” said Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, chairwoman of PNJ.

“Through the campaign, no one should be left behind in the tough fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope to support the poor and help them have the faith and self-development to get over this difficult time. These small gifts are expected to light up in the heart of the giver and the recipient – a fire of warm humanity that will burn forever,” she added.

Tran Thi Mai Ly, president of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Phu Nhuan District, said, “I am very appreciative of the acts of kindness in which PNJ and other units cooperated with to implement the zero-dong mini supermarket program. This program has a special feature that both gives people meaningful gifts and essential necessities for daily life and offers them an experience of shopping in a real supermarket.”

“With the cooperation of PNJ and other organizations, enterprises and many benefactors, the poor who live in Phu Nhuan District in particular and in HCMC in general have temporarily overcome the hardship due to the impact of the pandemic. I believe that love has a tremendous power, breaking down all barriers to bring people closer together. The cooperation of PNJ and its companions will create miracles together,” she said.

An employee helps an elderly woman to carry a bag of items brought from the zero-dong mini supermarket

Aside from giving a helping hand to people in need in HCMC, PNJ has joined the Government the fight against the pandemic. PNJ has donated VND2 billion to the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCMC for the Covid-19 vaccine fund, contributing its part to suppressing the disease.

Besides, PNJ has launched various activities to support areas affected by Covid-19 such as providing Bac Giang and Bac Ninh with necessities and donating disinfection robots and medical equipment to hospitals in HCMC, Quang Tri, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.

PNJ is planning to present 20,000 protective gears valued at VND500 million to the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCMC.

Also, the jewelry firm is one of the pioneers in the Covid-19 prevention right from the beginning of the pandemic in Vietnam, showing the spirit of “Be Caring to grow together” for the Vietnamese community.

Recently, PNJ has organized a blood donation drive with the enthusiastic participation of employees. Through this activity, PNJ hopes to call for the participation of the Vietnamese business community as well as individuals in blood donation drives to save lives and contribute to the city’s Blood Bank during the difficult time.

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