Members of Quảng Bình Tourism Club buy fish at Nhân Trạch Fish Market to send to HCM City as gifts. Photo Courtesy of the club
HÀ NỘI — Members of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club felt relieved to see the fish they sent from the central province of Quảng Bình arrived safely in HCM City on Sunday morning after nearly thirty hours of travel.
After opening the foam boxes and seeing that the fish was still fresh and the ice had hardly melted, volunteers in HCM City immediately sent photos to their friends in Quảng Bình.
“We did it! The first shipment of three tonnes of fish and 100kg of dried baby shrimp reached HCM City safe and sound,” Bùi Xuân Hoàng, a member of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club said. As an admin of the club’s Facebook page, he quickly created a post to share the pride and happiness with all people who joined the programme 'Quảng Bình sends fish to HCM City'.
The programme was launched by the tourism club on June 28, calling on people to donate fish, food and money so they could buy fish and send it to people who are hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in HCM City.
Trần Thị Thùy Dung, head of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club, said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people in HCM City have lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced, making them struggle to make ends meet.
People in Quảng Bình wanted to do something for people in HCM City, especially those in locked-down areas and poor workers who usually buy food in traditional or streetside markets which are closed due to social distancing, Dung said.
“Seeing the practical demand of people in locked-down areas and the advantages of the coastal province of Quảng Bình, we came up with the idea to send them fish,” Dung said.
She added that it's now mackerel scad season which was very tasty and had reasonable prices – about VNĐ25,000 per kilo, so they decided to buy the fish for people in HCM City.
On the early morning of June 30, members of the club went to Nhân Trạch Fish Market to buy three tonnes of scad from fishermen. The fish was quickly carried to a frozen storehouse, processed and packed.
Together with members of the club, volunteers, including staff of local restaurants, processed, cleaned, packed and froze the fish.
Dung said Á Châu Transportation Joint Stock Company helped transport the fish to HCM City free of charge. Once the fish arrived at the company’s storehouse in HCM City, boxes of fish would be transferred to smaller trucks to deliver the fish to charity food stalls or locked-down areas. Trade unions, women’s associations and volunteers would help distribute the fish to needy people.
Hoàng said they spent all of Friday night packing and loading hundreds of boxes of fish on the truck so it could depart from Quảng Bình early on Saturday morning.
Volunteers help put ice into boxes to keep the fish fresh before a nearly-30-hour-long from Quảng Bình to HCM City by truck. Photo Courtesy of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club
“Our club has 50 members. There are more women than men, including some female members who have small children. However, we all join wholeheartedly,” Hoàng said, adding that 120 fish boxes were loaded onto the truck.
Hoàng said that they together carried out activities for the community, like cooking, offering free meals for people in flood-hit areas last October and a programme to buy plastic waste.
Hoàng said last October when the central province of Quảng Bình was hit hard by serious flooding, people from HCM City supported Quảng Bình a lot.
“Now, it’s Quảng Bình’s turn,” he said.
Fish from Quảng Bình reached HCM City on Sunday morning and then, was given to people in locked-down areas in the city. Photo Courtesy of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club
Hoàng’s team set a target to raise funds and send 20 tonnes of fish to HCM City. The second shipment is expected to reach the city this week.
Thái Thu Hoài, a Quảng Bình native now living in HCM City, said she burst into tear when seeing images of Quảng Bình fish being sent to people in HCM City.
Last year, she brought many gifts from HCM City to her hometown to support flood-hit residents and now, she witnessed the share and care of Quảng Bình to HCM City, she said.
The Quảng Bình Tourism Club is continuing to solicit donations to send fish to people in HCM City. VNS