Hundreds of young people who are doctors and workers in Ho Chi Minh City set off to isolated and poor areas last Saturday morning in the twelfth Ky nghi hong (Pink Holiday) campaign launched by the city’s Youth Union for offering free health check.
At 8am on Saturday adults and children arrived at the Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school in Long An Province’s Can Giuoc District to have a free check up.
“We are poor and unable to go to big hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City. On hearing a group of doctors from the city were coming, I was so happy and got here from early morning,” said Pham Thi Kien, who resides in the district’s Phuoc Long Commune.
Although tired after traveling for a distance of 100km, the doctors from the HCMC Thong Nhat Hospital started to work right away. Physician Le Van Quy said they had given free checkups to 500 people and prescribed them four boxes of medicine.
After having checkups with the doctors in the classrooms, several people checked out some mobile shops selling cheap and high-quality products run by volunteers in the school yard. Almost 200 products including books, clothes, house wares and food were discounted at 10-30 percent. Nguyen Thi Loan said she was content with a new mini gas stove sold 20 percent cheaper than the market price.
It is part of a national campaign to advertise Vietnam-made goods to Vietnamese consumers.
“Seeing everyone’s smiling face as they buy cheap products, I feel happy too. At least I could contribute a little, helping society take care of the people’s life in countryside,” said Dang Chi Thao, a worker at the city’s Co.op Mart Hung Vuong.
As the adults did their shopping, the children tried their art talents while painting small statues. Six volunteers from the Saigon Water Corp. kept busy giving the kids brushes and color palettes.
“This is the first time I’ve painted something,” said 7-year old Dinh Quang Tuan.
Ly Buu Nghia, an organizer in Long An’s Can Giuoc District, said they gave out 100 gifts worth VND300,000 (US$15) for families under preferential treatment policies, a friendship house worth 20 million ($1,000), 1,000 notes books and VND5 million ($250) in cash for the district’s education fund.
That same day, doctors at the Nhan Dan Gia Dinh Hospital and the National Hospital of Traditional Medicine arrived in Trang Bang and Ben Cau districts in the southeastern province of Tay Ninh to check up and give medicine to 800 locals.
Together with young people in the area, organizers of the Pink Holiday campaign have painted and renovated charity houses for Vietnam’s heroic mothers. The volunteers also handed out 2,000 notebooks and 150 gifts worth VND300,000 each to poor households in the two districts.
Vietnam's heroic mother Nguyen Thi Ba, 92, in the Long An's Can Giuoc District receives a gift from volunteers of the Pink Holiday Campaign (Photo: Tuoi Tre)