by Thu Hang
Retiree teaches disabled kids
For the last 17 years, an 82-year-old retired teacher in Ha Noi has been offering classes to children with disabilities who could not read or write.
Beginning in 1993, Ho Huong Nam first set up a classroom in the office of the Nightwatch force in Tay Ho District's Yen Phu Ward. Later, the An Duong Primary School allowed her to open a charity classroom where about 15 students of different ages attend the special class for free.
Nguyen Thi Thuy, a 25-year-old student who is paralysed on one side of the body, says she is now able to read and write.
Thuy's mother passed away when she was a baby, and her family was so poor she could not go to school.
Luu Hong Duong, a 34-year-old student and the oldest one in the current class, was born with quadriplegia. In spite of his disability, he has been rarely absent from class over the last 16 years.
Nam says she uses her retirement allowance of more than VND2 million (US$95) to buy notebooks, textbooks, pens and also cakes for her students.
Volunteers bring Tet to needy
A 19-year-old German girl, who is working as a volunteer in Viet Nam for one year, is packing boxes of banh chung (sticky rice cake) to present them to the poor during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Charlotte Bienefeld, along with Vietnamese students, plan to give the packages to poor people in Phuoc Hiep Commune in HCM City's Cu Chi District.
Bienefeld is a volunteer with the Spring 2014 Volunteer Programme organised by the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities.
In addition, nearly 1,000 Tet cakes will be presented to poor people in HCM City and the neighbouring provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc, An Giang and Ben Tre.
"The volunteer work allows me to help needy people as well as understand more about Viet Nam's traditional holiday," she said. — VNS