By Lê Xuân
ĐỒNG NAI — A group of women in the southern province of Đồng Nai took it upon themselves to set up a task force 10 years ago to tackle rising robberies, motorbike racing, gambling and alcoholism.
Many of the group of 15 are poor and busy trying to earn a living, but they still make the time to do their best to ensure a peaceful living environment in Xuân Phú Commune.
Everyone in Bình Hòa Village knows Thổ Hiếu.
Hiếu quit school seven years ago, and became a delinquent.
With time and patience, the group gradually helped Hiếu change his ways and sent him to a vocational training centre so he could find a job.
Now Hiếu is helping other misguided teenagers in the area.
The group has also stepped in to deal with cases of domestic violence.
An ethnic Chơ-ro woman from Bình Hòa Village once approached the women to ask for their help. She explained that her family was poor and her husband often beat her and their children when he was drunk.
The women agreed to help, and spoke to the husband to help him understand his behaviour. As a result, he gave up alcohol and concentrated on his work and raising his family.
Xuân Phú Commune is a crowded commune. It has nearly 850 households with more than 4,400 people. They belong to 12 ethnic minority groups.
Most residents do farm work. They are poor and come from mixed backgrounds, and social issues were rife.
To co-ordinate their efforts, the women have started working with communal and district police to maintain order.
Trương Thị Ngọc Hạnh, chairwoman of the Xuân Phú Women’s Union and head of the group, said that in every case related to public disorder in the area, including accidents or assaults, members of the group were the first ones to arrive at the scene.
In the past they have taken victims to hospital and protected the scene to wait for the police.
Xuân Lộc District Police said that during the past 10 years, the group had supplied more than 400 valuable sources of information and helped to uncover gambling cases and robberies.
Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Cao Xuân Hoa, deputy head of the district police, said the group worked effectively.
“It’s a good model and could be expanded, especially in areas inhabited by ethnic minority people,” he said.
Lê Thị Ngọc Loan, chairwoman of the Đồng Nai Women’s Union, said the group in Xuân Phú Commune was a typical model of the provincial women’s union.
The Đồng Nai Women’s Union has encouraged local women to expand the model in other communes to help maintain social order. — VNS