|A Good Cause: Children whose parents died of COVID-19 in HCM City enjoy a free circus and music show thanks to a charity programme launched by People’s Artist Kim Cương, a renowned leader in drama and cải lương (reformed opera). Photo courtesy of the programme’s organising board|
HCM CITY — More than 60 children whose parents died of COVID-19 in HCM City have enjoyed a free circus and music show recently thanks to a charity programme launched by People's Artist Kim Cương, a renowned leader in drama and cải lương (reformed opera).
The children were entertained with live performances by artists from the HCM City Theatre Artists’ Association and Phương Nam Theatre. They also received food, toys, and VNĐ300,000 in cash (US$12.6) each.
Cương’s programme Trái Tim Yêu Thương (Beloved Heart) launched last year and offers financial and emotional support and care, and consulting assistance for 118 children orphaned by COVID-19 to live and study until they are 18 years old.
She is working with the HCM City Association in Support of Disabled People and Orphaned Children to run the programme. They have targeted raising VNĐ1.5 billion (US$64,600) which will be used to support the children.
“Our programme’s members, many of them are theatre artists, work to care for two kids each. They make a call and take the kids out for entertainment every weekend,” said the 86-year-old Cương. “We believe love can take away the pain of the children.”
Nearly 1,400 children under the age of 16 and around 600 between 16 and 18 years old in the city have lost their parents due to the pandemic. Many orphans who were being raised by their grandparents have now also lost their grandparents.
Cương’s programme Trái Tim Yêu Thương encourages organisations and individuals to contribute to charities targeting children orphaned by COVID-19.
Cương started her career when she was 17 after training with her mother, Bảy Nam, a cải lương guru.
In the 1960s, Cương became involved in drama, a modern imported genre of theatre, and worked to combine cải lương and drama.
She later opened the Kim Cương Drama Troupe, the first and leading drama troupe in the South, managing a staff of more than 70 actors.
Cương also worked as a scriptwriter and became a phenomenon in the industry in the 1960s and 1970s.
She wrote 50 plays, most of which highlighted southern women and their character. Her works have been staged many times by leading drama troupes across the country.
She also performed in more than 30 films. — VNS