Monk and volunteers help connect people in Sóc Trăng Province

February 20, 2023 - 10:55
The cost of the bridges came from many sources including a significant contribution from Venerable Thích Định Hương and a volunteer team of builders.


Venerable Thích Định Hương on the newly-built bridge in Thạnh Trị District, Sóc Trăng Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Phi

SÓC TRĂNG — Hundreds of bridges have been built over the past five years in rural parts of Sóc Trăng Province, making it easier for residents to travel.

The cost of the bridges came from many sources including a significant contribution from Venerable Thích Định Hương and a volunteer team of builders.

Bảo Quang Bridge in Tân Long Commune of Ngã Năm Township is four metres wide and over 20 metres long costing around VNĐ480 million (US$20,000).

Đặng Văn Toàn, a resident in Long Hòa Hamlet of Tân Long Commune, said Hương raised funds for the construction of the bridge knowing it would make people's lives much easier.

Hương, an abbot at Vĩnh Phước Pagoda in Thạnh Trị District, said that when he came to the area, he quickly realised the terrain with rivers and canals made travelling difficult.

So he mobilised Buddhist followers to establish a "Volunteer Team of Bridge Builders".

He contacted benefactors, Buddhist followers in the district and the local authorities to raise funds.

There are 13 volunteers in the team, mainly local farmers, aged from 25 to 60. 

The volunteer team work on a bridge. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Phi

Nguyễn Văn Sáu, a team member, said that despite the ages of some of the volunteers and the heavy workload, they were happy to take part for such a good cause.

The canal system in Thạnh Trị District and Ngã Năm Township makes travel and trade extremely difficult, so the scheme received support from the whole community.

Trịnh Văn Đua, chairman of Tân Long Commune's People's Committee, said the abbot has worked with the local government for more than five years and helped build more than 20 bridges.

Trần Kim Đính, head of information and education department of the commune's Party's Committee, said: "Over the past five years, there have been many traffic bridges built by Venerable Thích  Định Hương and the volunteer team costing more than VNĐ16 billion ($670,000) contributed by benefactors in the province."

Not only building bridges, Hương has also helped raise funds to construct more than 3km of rural roads, donate 8,000 gifts and four houses to poor households as well as supply clean water for disadvantaged homes, greatly contributing to the implementation of social security policies in the locality.

The volunteer team has just started construction of two rural bridges in Vĩnh Quới Commune in Ngã Năm Township at a cost of almost VNĐ800 million ($33,500). They are expected to build ten more in the province this year.

With contributions to the community, Venerable Thích  Định  Hương and the team received the Certificate of Merit from the Chairman of Sóc Trăng Province's People's Committee and the Certificate of Merit from the Party Central Committee of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front. — VNS