|Meet and greet: Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets and talks with young people from colleges and universities who participated in the Red Sunday event on January 17 in Ha Noi. The eighth Red Sunday was co-organised by the Ha Noi Youth Union and Tien Phong (Vanguard) Newspaper. — Photo VNA Pham Kien
Blood donors, both young and old, signed up for this year's Red Sunday blood drive in Dak Lak Province. Some have donated more than a dozen times. Thien Nga reports.
More than 2,000 people registered to donate blood for this year's Red Sunday event on January 23 in Ea Kar District, which was one of three locations hosting this year's blood donation drive for the third time in Dak Lak Province.
From Xuan Phu Commune, a Tay ethnic minority girl named Nong Thi Nguyet, who was donating blood for the first time, said more than 20 students from class 12C4 at Tran Nhan Tong High School had registered to take part in Red Sunday as soon as they found out it was being held in Ea Kar.
Attending the opening ceremony, Lam Thi Phuc Dung, head of Ea Kar District's Office of Education and Training, said that 114 officials and teachers from the branch had volunteered to give blood.
While attending the event, she met Y Dhok Knul, an E De ethnic teacher at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Secondary School in Cu Hue commune, who had taken time off to donate blood. Y Dhok was proud to show it was the ninth time he had given blood.
Hundreds of students from high schools such as Tran Nhan Tong, Nguyen Thai Binh and Tran Quoc Toan responded to Red Sunday.
At Ngo Gia Tu High School, Nguyen Thi Thuy, the head teacher of class 10A5, took advantage of the morning to take part in the festival in order to get back to lessons on time. Huynh Bau Luan, the secretary of the school's youth union, said there were 110 union members present.
Senior Lieutenant Nguyen Thanh Phuong, with his charming smile and crooked teeth, was soon spotted by female reporters after they found he was secretary of District Police and had donated blood over 15 times. In addition to Phuong, 35 military personnel, soldiers, and members of FPF Police Team No3 got together at the blood centre.
The event also attracted elderly people. Pham Dinh Chieu, a 65-year-old veteran from Ea Knop Commune said he had devoted 25 years to serve in the High Command's Transportation Group 559, and this was the fourth time he had donated blood.
Phan Quoc Duong, 48, said that living in the centre of Ea Kar made it easier for his family to donate blood. He took his wife and son to Red Sunday, where they have all given blood on a number of occasions.
By January 23, 16,000 blood units had been donated during the 8th Red Sunday in Viet Nam.
On January 24, Red Sunday took place in eight cities and provinces throughout the country at the following locations:
Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy at 284 Luong Ngoc Quyen Str, Thai Nguyen City.
Tay Nguyen University at 567 Le Duan Str, Buon Ma Thuot City
Hong Duc University at 565 Quang Trung Str, Thanh Hoa City
Quang Binh University at 312 Ly Thuong Kiet Str, Dong Hoi City
Thai Binh University in Tan Binh Commune, Thai Binh City,
Quang Ninh Provincial Children Cultural Palace at 176 Le Thanh Tong Str. Ha Long City
Da Nang University of Economics at 71 Ngu Hanh Son Str, Da Nang
In Ha Noi's Long Bien District, thousands of officers, soldiers and students participated in the Red Sunday at the Military Academy of Logistics, which was the first unit of the Defence Ministry to enthusiastically respond to this event.
Pham Van Chuong, 56, the head of village 3A in Ea O commune, also took part in the blood drive with his wife and son. He has donated 14 times, and his 24-year-old son Pham Van Tam has given blood on six occasions. They brought with them 12 people from village 3A who travelled over 20km by motorbike to get to the event.
Tran Quang Vinh, the chairman of the Red Cross in Ea O Commune, said 93 people from his commune had donated blood for Red Sunday, including Phan Thi Tu Oanh, the deputy Party Committee Secretary, and Le Viet Duong, the secretary of the Youth Union.
Although Cu Bong Commune is around 42 kilometres from the district centre, large numbers of E De, Tay, Thai and Muong ethnic people registered to give blood.
The largest number of donors came from Ea K'mut Commune with over 300 participants, while 50 came from Cu Hue Commune and 170 from Cu Ni Commune.
Nguyen Van Thang from Ea K'mut Commune said he and 43 others agreed to participate in Red Sunday after a village meeting. By the end of the day, the event in Ea Kar had collected 1,111 units of blood.
To mark the third Red Sunday in Dak Lak, the main organiser Tien Phong newspaper awarded scholarships to 10 excellent students who were particularly studious, dutiful and willing to overcome difficulties, according to the nomination list compiled by the District's Office of Education and Training.
The organisers also awarded certificates of merit, crystal commemorative medals and VND10 million (US$447) for individual efforts to support the blood drive. — VNS