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Ben Tre people’s giving hearts amidst pandemic

by NDO30 July 2021 Last updated at 20:00 PM

Phan Tan Phat, a second grader from Tran Hoang Vu Primary School, donates his savings to staff at COVID-19 checkpoints in Binh Dai district.
Phan Tan Phat, a second grader from Tran Hoang Vu Primary School, donates his savings to staff at COVID-19 checkpoints in Binh Dai district.

VTV.vn - Individuals and organisations in the southern province of Ben Tre have opened their hearts and are giving to support disadvantaged people and frontline medical workers amidst the complicated developments of COVID-19 in the region.

Free meals and ‘Zero VND’ shops bring warmth to the poor

On July 11, the Children's Activity Centre of Ben Tre province launched a ‘Zero-VND’ shop, distributing free rice, instant noodles, cakes, vegetables, fruits, bottled water, and medical masks to those living in difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many local youth volunteers are available at the centre to help deliver the necessities to people.

According to the centre’s deputy director Trinh Thi Minh Loan, the ‘Zero-VND’ shop was adjusted from the previous ‘VND2,000 shop’, launched in the locality where needy people could buy necessary items for VND2,000.

Recently, the provincial Youth Union, in coordination with the Provincial Women's Union, provided 300 free meals for the poor every day. Initially, free meals were distributed to people at the centre, but since Ben Tre province has now implemented social distancing following the Prime Minister’s Directive 16, the meals are now being delivered to localities and are thereafter presented to the poor.

100 daily free meals for the poor are also being provided by charity kitchen Phuoc Vien in Tam Phuoc commune, Chau Thanh district. Vo Thi Xuan Mai, a chef at Phuoc Vien, said the kitchen is jointly funded by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Ben Tre chapter and the liaison board for overseas Vietnamese in the province.

Youth volunteers help to deliver necessities to needy people at the ‘Zero-VND’ shop at the Children's Activity Centre of Ben Tre province.

Supporting frontline workers in the COVID-19 fight

Since COVID-19 broke out in Ben Tre province, many local organisations and individuals from different districts have joined hands to support front line workers in the fight against the pandemic.

One of them is Phan Tan Phat, a second grader from Tran Hoang Vu Primary School in Binh Dai Town, Binh Dai District, who donated VND 10.6 million to staff working at two COVID-19 checkpoints in Binh Thoi and Thanh Tri communes.

Phat shared that by witnessing the hardship of people working day and night at COVID-19 checkpoints, he decided to donated all of his savings to them, hoping to share a helping hand in the battle against the pandemic.

Previously, Phat’s family presented VND10 million in cash to local medical workers and donated rice and essential items to the poor in their area.

Traders in Ben Tre province have also found their ways to contribute to the anti-COVID-19 battle by donating rain coats, face masks, protective glasses, hand sanitizers, and instant noodles to local medical workers,

Since his ‘Pho’ restaurant was closed following the social distancing policy, Ngo Duc Thang has provided dozens of ‘pho’ bowls to staff working at COVID-19 checkpoints in the area.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thai (middle) joins neighbours making ‘tet’ cakes for local frontline workers in COVID-19 fight.

These days, family members of Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thai in Thanh Phu town, Thanh Phu district are busy making ‘tet’ cakes (sticky rice cake filled with pork fat and green beans) for local frontline workers. Her family had also previously donated two tonnes of cassava to pandemic-hit people in Ho Chi Minh City.

Thai said she and her neighbours have sent more than 1,000 ‘tet’ cakes for frontline workers and households in the area blockaded due to COVID-19 in the Dai Dien and An Thanh communes, adding that her team is happy to work as a firm rear for the front line in the fight against the pandemic.

Acting Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee’s Ben Tre chapter Nguyen Phuc Linh said that more than VND 30 billion and many tonnes of agricultural products have been donated to the local front to support workers and needy people during this difficult period of time.

Benefactors in the province have also donated 5.4 tonnes of rice, 28.7 tonnes of vegetables, and 32,000 face masks to people who are suffering from COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City.

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