From ancient time, emphathy has become a noble value in tradition of Vietnam. Therefore, Vietnam has many sayings being passed through generations showing the behavior ways and the cultural traits of every person.
We have successfully completed the trip to Thanh An – Can Gio on 27/06/2010. Following is the details of the trip:
The group comprised of 15 people from different project sites: Saigon Pearl (5 persons), An Phu (2 persons), project on HCM People Committee (1 person), Binh Duong Eastern Hospital (1 person), Office (4 persons), Security Team (1 person) and Vice Chairman of Labour Union.
Departing at 5AM, we rode the bike with rice bags, notebooks and other school items on the back and crossed the Binh Khanh ferry at 7AM. From Binh Khanh ferry to the small ferry crossing Thanh An, it is a 25 km distance.
Being helped by Mr. Phu, member of Can Gio Youth Union, we came to the small ferry at 8:15AM. There are only two departing time at 7AM and 9AM and two on the evening at 14PM and 17PM so we had to wait until 9AM.
During the wait, we were guided by Mr. Phu to visit the whale bone shrine. To the people living on the sea, whales were taken as a relative. When they died, people would mourn for 3 years.
8:30 AM we started to carry all the items down the small ferry and it departed at 9AM. It took one hour to finish the distance…
Coming to the small ferry port of Thanh An at 9:55AM, we were welcomed by Mr. Ly, the ward’s secretary.
Stepping to the area, we first saw rather decent houses. We knew that the people had borrowed 80% of the house value from the poverty supporting fund and would pay by installment from their earning from the sea.
There were houses unoccupied because the owners went to the sea and never came back.
We gathered at the ward’s cultural house and divided by two. One group prepared the gifts for poor purpils and the other would go giving gifts of each 200,000 VND and 10kg of rice to 6 poor household.
The first we came was a family, whose the mother had been paralyzed for 10 years, the father had a stroke and could not work, the sister had to take care of 2 children and 3 nieces because their parents had been lost on a stormy sea trip in 2007.
It was undescribeable of the difficulties for the people here. An old man lost his only child on a stormy sea trip and was living on the help of a female niece. An 82-year old woman could not move because of a heart attack but tried to say goodbye to us when we left…
After 2-hour walk of 3km to give the gifts, we came back to the cultural house to be giving the gifts to the purpils. The gathering was quite difficult because most of the purpils were helping their families on the summer time. Thanks to the well organizing of Mr. Ly, at 11:30AM, most of the purpils were there.
We organized games and the children were joining them joyfully but some were shy sitting and watching.
Their physical and spiritual demands were so unsatisfied. The gifts from COFICO though were not much but helped reducing the concern on the eve of the new school year.
The event ended at 13:05 PM. We were happy because we had finished things as planned.
At 14PM, we came back to the small ferry port to come back to the land. I saw the weariness on every member but also the joy of doing something useful for the society.
We promised each other of trying to encourage COFICO’s employees to contribute more for our next trips.
A small token from COFICO to help the poor purpils and people overcome the difficulties.
At the end of the trip, please let me on behalf of the poor people of Thanh An say thank you to all employees of COFICO who contributed to the trip (file attached).