Trần Thanh Tú (first left) serves free meals to poor patients in Sa Pa town's General Hospital, Lào Cai Province. — Photo thanhnien.vn
LÀO CAI — Trần Thanh Tú, vice chairman of the Việt Nam Youth Union in Sa Pa, Lào Cai Province, has been working with dozens of local youngsters to build a beautiful, civilised and prosperous town.
After graduating from Hà Nội Law University in July 2017, Tú returned to his hometown and started working for the Sa Pa Youth Union.
Two months later, he founded the volunteer club "Sa Pa Youth for the Community" with 42 youngsters who were studying and living in the town.
He came up with the idea while he was at university in order to mobilise young people and promote solidarity and creativity to build a better homeland.
"I decided to devote my entire youth to contributing my knowledge and efforts to build a good local youth movement to support the community with the slogan 'Ready to go anywhere and do anything when the country needs'," the 27-year-old man said.
All the club's members work together to mobilise, donate and support students and people in extremely difficult circumstances in Sa Pa.
One of their community activities is to prepare free meals for poor patients at the general hospital.
"I feel sympathy for people suffering from illnesses. I saw many cases when I was living in Hà Nội and I thought of the poor patients and ethnic minority people in Sa Pa," he explained.
"I'm very happy because my idea is supported by many people, including many union members and local youths," said Tú.
In the beginning, they could only cook about 60 meals each week due to their limited budget.
Each meal cost the club VNĐ20,000 to prepare, and patients and their families knew they could count on being fed free of charge.
Over the past two years, the club has received a lot of support from individuals and organisations, and they can now provide more free meals for poor patients.
Nearly 8,350 free meals have been provided for people in need.
Hạng Thị Mai, 45, the relative of a poor patient from Mường Bo Commune, said: "I am very happy to receive free meals from the club. It really helps my family to overcome our difficulties because my mother has to go to the hospital regularly to treat her disease."
"We feel glad to know that there are many young people with kind hearts, caring and sharing with people in difficult circumstances," said Mai.
In 2018, Tú opened a stall to sell brocade products made by ethnic groups in Sa Pa in order to raise funds and help poor children. Products such as clothes, towels and bags are made by union members, youngsters and children around the district.
The stall not only creates regular jobs for 10 local people, but is also an effective place to promote culture and tourism in the town centre.
Over the past two years, Tú and his union members have also planted nearly 30,000 new trees in the town and coordinated with agencies, departments and youth unions to organise volunteer programmes to clean up the environment.
He has also co-ordinated with Hà Nội Law University to organise charity programmes to provide clothes and school supplies for semi-boarding students at the primary school in Nậm Cang Commune, open a library and build a charity house.
Tú has helped about 60 people find regular jobs, and activities to help youngsters start their own businesses have been held in Nậm Sài, Bản Khoang, Tả Van communes.
On October 11, Tú was one of 57 outstanding young people across the country to receive an award for their worthy contributions to youth union activities.
"I will continue to help the young people in Sa Pa with working, learning and playing to develop the local economy," Tú said. — VNS