A café for contributors

October 29, 2017 - 09:00

On the first Saturday of every month, reporters and journalists in the central province of Quảng Ngãi gather for a familiar activity – drinking coffee, contributing to the charity fund of a programme called “A cup of coffee worth VNĐ50,000.

Chairman of the Quảng Ngãi Journalists Association Hà Minh Đích (left) gives a donation from the programme to Ngô Ly Na whose family is facing difficult circumstances. — VNS Photo Ngô Tùng
Viet Nam News

By Ngô Tùng

On the first Saturday of every month, reporters and journalists in the provincial capital city of Quảng Ngãi gather at the Sala Riverside Coffee Shop, Lê Hồng Phong Ward for a familiar activity – drinking coffee.

By buying a cup of coffee, priced at VNĐ50,000 (US$2.2), each person contributes VNĐ30,000 ($1.3) to the charity fund of a programme called “A cup of coffee worth VNĐ50,000.

After getting a greater understanding of the programme’s work, now, whenever these journalists visit the shop, they buy a cup of coffee, in a specialised manner set up by the programme’s managers.

Each person buys coffee depending on the amount they wish to spend. With one cup for VNĐ50,000, each person puts money into an envelope depending on the number of cups they want to buy, and then puts the envelope into a box.

Huỳnh Văn Thương, a reporter and secretary of the youth organisation of the Quảng Ngãi Radio and Television, as well as head of the programme’s operation board, said the funds would be used to support their colleagues who were sick or in need in the province. It would also be given to outstanding poor students or households facing difficulties.

A member of the programme, Hà Minh Đích, chairman of the Quảng Ngãi Journalists Association, said the shop was a place where reporters and journalists could sit together and share information and professional experiences, at the same time also contributing to charity.

“Via their work and their newspapers, journalists are already doing significant charity work, and now they are contributing to social security and the welfare of disadvantaged people. With this spirit, we want to set up a separate programme for the Quảng Ngãi Journalists Association,” he said.

Many people enthusiastically joined the programme. — VNS Photo Ngô Tùng
People drinking coffee and contributing to the charity fund of a programme called “A cup of coffee worth 50,000 đồng.” — VNS Photo Ngô Tùng

Right after the programme was launched, several people responded enthusiastically -- not only reporters and journalists, but also entrepreneurs, artists and intellectuals.

“The programme does meaningful work – connecting kind hearts to work for the betterment of society,” Đích said.

Đích added that earlier, the association’s managers thought of other ways to do charity work, such as setting up a wardrobe, shoes cabinet or food shop for the poor. However, the ideas could not be implemented due to different reasons. At last, the association’s managers found that the “A cup of coffee" fund was the best choice.

It is a volunteer programme through which individuals and organisations can participate in different ways, including directly, via colleagues, by making a phone call to managers or through bank transfers.

After each Saturday, the programme’s operation board checks and calculates the money under supervision of the provincial journalists’ association. Everyone present is then informed of the total amount collected.

This Saturday after the money was counted, the organiser donated VNĐ5 million ($220) and a gift to Ngô Ly Na, whose family is facing difficult circumstances. Her father died six months ago during a fishing trip; and her mother and her sister live in an old house in Mỹ Tân Village, Bình Chánh Commune in Bình Sơn District.

Na’s mother earns a living through needlework. Aware of the hard times her mother was going through, Na intended to quit school to help her mother.

Upon hearing this, the programme connected with Na’s family and offered help. Moved by the kindness, Na said that she would not quit school and use the money to complete her schooling.

“I will use the money for school fees,” she said.

So far, the programme has received more than VNĐ120 million ($5,300) from hundreds of kind people, from different places, sectors and social strata. — VNS