Border gurads from Na Ngoi Border Station in central province of Nghệ An help local children choose clothes from their 'store' of used clothes donated to them. — Photo bienphong.com.vn
NGHỆ AN — In front of the Na Ngoi Border Station in Kỳ Sơn District, the central province of Nghệ An, sits a simple wooden wardrobe filled with used clothing.
Since early last month, local residents have come to the station to look through the clothes and pick the ones they like for free.
Joy can be seen on the faces of both people who take the clothes and the station's border guards who set up the wardrobe.
Captain Nguyễn Bá Kỷ, secretariat of the station’s Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, said that when working in the border area, he and his colleagues often saw local people – especially children – wearing very old and torn clothes.
Kỷ said the border guards called on people to donate clothes for the locals and then brought the clothes to those in need.
“Some of the donated clothes are suitable while others are not,” Kỷ said, adding that the border guards wanted to find other way to make the donated clothes useful for the receivers.
“It was a better idea to let people take what they need or what they like,” Kỷ said, adding that they decided to make a wardrobe and place it in front of the station so people can freely browse the options and see if the clothes fit them.
Kỷ said that the clothes were sent by generous donors across the country. Border guards at Na Ngoi Station sort the clothes by quality and size and then put them into the wardrobe.
When the wardrobe is full, border guards inform locals, Kỷ said.
Local resident Già Y Dùa, 27 years old, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper she was very happy to get four pieces of clothing for her children from the wardrobe.
“The clothes look new and nice," Dùa said. "I feel like I’m going shopping because there are many clothes and sizes but I don’t have to pay anything."
Xồng Bá Lầu, head of Buộc Mú Hamlet in Na Ngoi Commune, said that in the hamlet, there were many poor families struggling to make ends meet, let alone buy new clothes.
Moreover, those who want to buy clothes must catch a coach or go to a market in district’s downtown area, far from their home, Lầu said.
“Now, we have clothes available near our home, plus they are free," Lầu said. "We are all happy."
Border guard Kỷ said they planned to make free clothes available at more wardrobes throughout the commune so people can access the donated clothes more easily. — VNS