|Ngôn Đức Thắng, 33, built a house for elderly women. He also helps children born in difficult circumstances. — Photos vietnamnet.vn|
CẦN THƠ — Ngôn Đức Thắng, 33, in Cần Thơ City decided to keep providing meals for people in difficult circumstances through his charity kitchen, even though the city eased its lockdown measures in early October.
His free kitchen helps provide warm meals to many poor people, including lottery ticket sellers and scrap collectors.
He has undertaken this charity work for a year, after opening a free kitchen in Kiên Giang Province, with his mother in charge of cooking.
The work of providing food became even more difficult amid the fourth wave of COVID-19. Thắng also wanted to support people in need during the pandemic through the zero đồng kitchen.
There was a street shop that was temporarily closed due to the pandemic, so Thắng and friends could cook rice here.
He said in the early days, he and his friends were inexperienced, so they often cooked too much rice and had to ask volunteers to transport the food to those in need.
When the city applied Directive 16, Thắng delivered vouchers for people to receive meals at a fixed time every day.
For many months, Thắng's zero đồng kitchen helped people get daily nutrition. Currently, the kitchen is still providing free meals for the needy, homeless, as well as patients and doctors of Cần Thơ City Cancer Hospital.
Along with the zero đồng kitchen, Thắng also opened a mobile market to give free necessities for people in isolation areas.
|A truck is turned into a mobile zero đồng market that provides vegetables, fruits, books, rice and noodles for people in need.|
Two trucks became mobile zero đồng markets that brought vegetables, fruits, books, rice and noodles to people in need.
The hotline number was also printed on the truck, so Thắng and his friends could arrange to bring the goods directly to families.
Thắng said he met many sick people who could not find an ambulance because all were used for emergencies and transporting COVID patients.
In early June, Thắng borrowed money from the bank to buy a car and turn it into a free ambulance.
Võ Ngọc Anh Thư, head of the women's union in Phú Thuận A, Tân Phú Ward, Cái Răng District, said: "Thắng has taken part in many charity activities to support people during the pandemic."
Thắng started doing charity work six years ago when he joined a community volunteer project to build a house to care for elderly women.
Thắng told his friends about the idea to build a house for the women and a friend agreed to provide a plot of land.
He invited artists in HCM City to perform a charity concert in Cần Thơ City to raise money for the charity house. Currently, the charity house is taking care of nine elderly women.
They lived together, and are given meals, milk, fruit, and cereals.
He recalled his childhood, when he did not have books, nor money for school fees.
He received clothes and books from sponsors, and he also had to study hard and get scholarships to continue studying.
"Every time I had to pay school fees, I begged the school to let me pay late because I was waiting for money from my mother who sold vegetables at the market."
Later, when he had a stable job, he always made sure to help people in need. For Tết, he sent rice, sugar, salted fish sauce, and lucky money to poor households in the neighbourhood.
He gave gifts to poor, talented students in the summer, and cakes and toys to poor children during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Thắng and his friends are planning to build another house to support women giving birth in difficult circumstances, without family support. — VNS