Đinh Thị Thảo is a shining example of work ethics and lifestyle among students. — VNA/VNS Photo
The heavy rain on an early morning in April could not stop Đinh Thị Thảo and her friends starting their rounds of small houses on the outskirts of Hà Nội.
For most people, leaving home early in the pouring rain to get to work is a chore, but not for Thảo and her friends who are all students at the Hà Nội Metropolitan University
"We are working to build a better community," she explained.
So what are they doing for the community?
The students and members of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union are helping out with social charity projects.
Thảo and her group have been working in Hà Nội's outlying district of Thường Tín, about 25km from the city centre.
Titled Hà Nội Nghĩa Tình (Hà Nội Affection), the project is being promoted by the Việt Nam Youth Federation in collaboration with local authorities in the capital city.
As part of the project, Thảo and her friends donate gifts to poor families and individuals affected by COVID-19 pandemic in Khánh Hà Commune.
After following hygiene procedures regulated by the Ministry of Health to stop the pandemic, the group divides up into teams to deliver hundreds of gifts including rice, eggs and vegetables to struggling households.
It is not the first time Thảo has been involved in social work.
For many years, she has been a member of a pioneering, energetic and enthusiastic team from her home village in Thường Tín District's Khánh Hà Commune and her university.
Blood drives, fundraising to buy books for children in extreme difficulties, volunteering to build new rural areas, responding to plastic waste and climate change, dismantling illegal advertisements and graffiti and cleaning village roads and alleys are all on Thảo's CV thanks to her kindness and enthusiasm.
Thảo said when the country was under quarantine due to the pandemic, her studies were halted so she returned to her hometown in Khánh Hà Commune to help the Youth Union support the needy in her community.
She has also tried to show people how to prevent and fight diseases to protect their health.
These jobs give me new experiences. They help me see the meaningful aspects of life so the more I am involved, the more passionate I feel,” the student said.
Thảo (centre) with her volunteer team. — Photo nhipsonghanoi.hanoimoi.com.vn
Thảo and many other students from the university have helped distribute thousands of face masks and bottles of sanitiser to people in Hà Nội's Cầu Giấy District.
She said was really surprised and happy to see people in her commune following their guidance about maintaining hygiene to prevent and protect themselves from the novel coronavirus.
"I was really pleased to see they not only understood what is going on during the pandemic but also were ready to share the hardship with others by donating rice and cash to people in need," said Thảo.
Chairman of Thanh Hà Commune's People's Committee Lê Văn Tạo was full of praise.
“Active, enthusiastic and passionate about charity work are the first impressions that everyone gets when they meet Thảo," the official said.
"She has launched many initiatives for the local Youth Union's development plan, and Thảo is also encouraging young people in her hometown to get involved,” he said.
And it's not just her community activities; the student also has very impressive academic achievements. She was an excellent student throughout 12 years at grade school and won a full university scholarship.
Đinh Văn Giáp, Thảo's father, said his daughter was self-conscious about learning from an early age but the family never put pressure on her.
"Sometimes, we see how deep she is in her studies very late at night, and then she is busy with school work and social activities, so we are also worrying about her health. However, we can see how happy she is so we try to encourage her instead of stopping her," her father said.
According to Thảo, besides her fondness for studying and enriching her knowledge of life, she wants to continue contributing to the community in the most effective and practical ways possible.
Currently, Thảo is a third-year student of politics. In addition to studying hard and participating in social work, she is also passionate about scientific research and history.
In her relentless efforts in all fields, Thảo has won many awards for her contributions to society and the university.
She was awarded the city-level title of a "Student of Five Good Characters" and a Certificate of Merit from the Hà Nội Students' Association in 2018-2019 for her outstanding achievements in the city's student movement.
She won first prize at a national contest themed "Study and Work Following Hồ Chí Minh's Ideology, Morality and Style" in 2019, and second prize at a college-level contest named "Students with Scientific Research" in 2018-2019.
Thảo was also awarded a Certificate of Merit by her university for her outstanding achievements at the "Green Summer Campaign 2019" - a voluntary movement launched by the Youth Federation and the Students Association.
In particular, the student was last year honourably admitted as a member of the Communist Party of Việt Nam, and in early 2020 she was awarded the title "Good Person - Good Deed" by the Hà Nội People's Committee.
The Principal of the Hà Nội Metropolitan University, Bùi Văn Quân, praised Thảo as a real shining example of work ethic and lifestyle.
"Thảo's character has won the confidence of her friends and teachers at school. She is loved by all of us," the principal said. VNS