NGHỆ AN — Mong Văn Thành, a seventh-grader of Bắc Lý semi-boarding school for ethnic minorities, browses second-hand books and warm clothes at the charity house in Huồi Tráng 1 Village, Bắc Lý Commune, the central province of Nghệ An.
Thành said he arrived at the charity house in the early morning. He said he did not have enough books to study, so he hoped he could find some that he needed and more warm clothes to wear during the cold days.
Hundreds of other people from the two communes of Bắc Lý and Mỹ Lý also came to the charity house in recent days to search for necessities. Bắc Lý and Mỹ Lý are poor communes of the province's Kỳ Sơn District where many ethnic minority people live.
The charity house opened on January 10 thanks to the efforts of soldiers of Mỹ Lý Border Guard Station under the provincial Border Guard Command to share difficulties with local poor residents.
Major Hoàng Thế Tài, of the border guard station, said the idea to open the charity house came after the station learned that more than 90 per cent of the local population were on the list of poor households.
Tài said local people mainly earned a living by farming.
The charity house, with the spirit of ‘Whoever needs, come to get it; whoever has enough, come to share it’ opens between Friday and Sunday every week. A person can take two items for free each time. The items include books, clothes, rice, noodles, eggs and vegetables, he said.
The charity house, covering an area of 100 sq.m, was built by the soldiers over two months, he said.
Cụt Văn May, deputy chairman of the People's Committee of Bắc Lý Commune, said the commune authorities welcomed the meaningful work of the border guard station and supported the soldier’s efforts.
Major Nguyễn Xuân Sơn, of Mỹ Lý Border Guard Station, who is in charge of running the charity house, said the charity house was very meaningful and a place to spread the spirit of sharing and kindness.
Books and clothes were sent by charity groups from across the country, rice and noodles were donated by soldiers of the station and vegetables were donated by some local residents, he said.
The soldiers of the station often donated instant noodles and rice, he said.
Besides, many kind-hearted people throughout the country have donated to the charity house. For example, Chu Thị Đức, chairwoman of Thiên Minh Đức Group in Vinh City, had donated many goods for the charity house, contributing to improving the lives of ethnic minorities in the two poor communes, he said.
The charity house not only helps local people overcome difficulties in their lives but also serves as a place the soldiers can meet the local people and explain the policies and laws of the Party and the State, he said.
The station plans to organise programmes for local residents to learn, exchange experiences in farming, help each other earn a living, take care of children, family planning and disease prevention, he said.
"All of these things aim to eradicate poverty and improve people's knowledge in the two communes," he said. — VNS
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