People travel on the U Bridge which was built nearly 20 years ago by students of the University of Science and Technology. — Photo tienphong.vn
BẾN TRE — The HCM University of Science and Technology has become familiar with residents in the southern province of Bến Tre.
Over the past 20 years, student volunteers of the university have built hundreds of bridges in the province.
From wooden temporary bridges, they now have strong concrete ones helping them in daily life and work.
Lê Văn Sơn, former chairman of Long Mỹ Commune's People’s Committee, has worked closely with the university’s students since they built the U Bridge in Linh Quy Village, Long Mỹ Commune in Giồng Trôm District.
The U Bridge, which was built in 2003, is more than 70m in length and 2.2m in width. It cost more than VNĐ100 million (US$4,300) from sponsors.
More than 30 students of the university and dozens of local residents helped build the bridge. It was completed after one month.
Sơn’s house is about several hundred metres from the bridge, so he understands its importance.
Sơn told the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that before the bridge was built, the area was isolated.
Everything changed after the bridge was built, he said.
Thanks to the bridge, goods are transported easily and can be sold at high prices.
“The bridge was a big step in developing the commune,” said Sơn.
It is still strong after nearly 20 years, and local residents are grateful to the student volunteers.
Sơn said that at that time, to maintain progress, the students had to work from the morning until 9pm.
“Earlier it was very quiet and boring here, but during that period, the construction site was noisy with voices and smiles of the young people,” said Sơn.
Witnessing the students’ enthusiasm, local residents also helped bring food for the students.
Students build a bridge in Bến Tre Province. — Photo tienphong.vn
Bùi Văn Dệt, deputy chairman of the Giồng Trôm District Fatherland Front Committee, has hosted student volunteers in his house for six years.
“I love the students so much because they work hard to help the district. Their love and sincerity makes us miss them,” Dệt told the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
Secretary of the district Youth Union Nguyễn Thạnh Phụ said when the volunteer campaign ended, all students and local residents cried because they did not want to be far from each other.
“We understand each other and consider each other as our family members,” he said.
Besides the U Bridge, many other bridges were also made by student volunteers of the university including the Thuận Lợi Bridge in Hòa Lợi Commune, Thạnh Phú District.
Nguyễn Văn Bé, lives in Hòa Lợi Commune, said thanks to the bridge, local students can travel more safely and easily. They no longer need canoes.
Đào Vũ Hoàng Nam, secretary of the University of Science and Technology Youth Union, said over the past 20 years, the university’s students had applied their knowledge into real life and helped people in Bến Tre Province.
The volunteer campaign brought students closer to residents in rural areas.
Experiencing the challenge, the students became more mature and made useful contributions to the nation, said Nam. — VNS