Viet Nam News
HCM CITY– As many as 4,000 university students in HCM City are offering housecleaning services to raise funds for a charity programme called Nhà Sạch Đón Tết (Cleaning House to Welcome Tết), organised by the South Africa Honorary Consulate in HCM City.
South Africa Honorary Consul, Đỗ Thị Kim Liên, said as many as 500 students had taken part in the programme since its launch in 2015.
Spring cleaning is a traditional practice several weeks before Tết, and since many families do not have the time to do the job themselves, they often hire cleaning services.
“The students have so far received orders from 100 households and are expected to have about 180 when it ends on January 26,” Lê Hồ Ngọc Duy, a student at HCM City University of Foreign Languages- Information Technology, told Việt Nam News.
The number of household hiring cleaning services this year is expected to double compared to last year, Duy said.
The service price is at VNĐ75,000 (US$3.2) per hour.
Many households who used the services in previous years were satisfied and want to support the programme so they continue using this year, he said.
“Cleaning is easy and we can earn money to support the disadvantaged. It is a humanitarian thing we need to do,” Duy added.
The money raised will be used to buy materials to make 2,500 sticky rice cakes and other items for the homeless and poor in the city.
A 55-year-old woman in District 1 using the service said she was busy selling clothing at her house near Tân Định Market during the day. During this time, especially before Tết, she has hired students, who are paid by the hour, to help her.
Besides students, many companies are providing cleaning services in the city.
Their websites list prices according to the number of hours or square metres, from VNĐ6,000 to VNĐ300,000 per square metre.
Besides cleaning, many families also need someone to repair or paint their houses, and clean copper incense burners and other worship items.
Phan Hữu Toàn, a contractor in Thủ Đức District, told Phụ Nữ HCM (Women) newspaper said he had to stop accepting orders because he had received so many. "Most customers want to fill cracks or paint walls," he said.
Other contractors have been increasing their prices by 20 per cent to 40 per cent during the run-up to Tết.
The price for scraping off layers of paint and painting walls, for example, cost from VNĐ150,000 to VNĐ180,000 per square metre.
On Trần Quang Khải Street in District 1, Lê Lai Street in Gò Vấp District, and Nơ Trang Long Street in Bình Thạnh District and other districts, there are signs advertising services to spruce up worship items in people’s homes.
Nguyễn Thế Cường of Bình Định Province said he cleaned worship items for seven to 10 households a day and is expected to increase to 20-30 people after January 20, near Tết, which falls on February 5.–VNS