by Thu Anh
Century-old trees felled to make way for City metro
Before returning to Japan, Murayama Yasufumi, a Japanese photographer, decided to take as many photos as possible of HCM City's downtown, famous for its colonial French architecture and green areas full of old trees.
A regular visitor to Viet Nam for the last 16 years, Murayama said he would miss the big trees in the area, which were being cut down to make way for the new metro line.
A local resident, Vu Ngoc Phat, 59, of Binh Thanh District, was also sad to see the trees go.
"All of those century-old trees were part of the city for so many years, but many of them were cut down in just a day or two," he said.
Last week, many Hopea oderatea trees, some of which were at least 100 years old, that lined the street in front of the Opera House were removed.
The trees could not be relocated because the roots had spread too deep underground, according to Nguyen Van Dung, deputy director of Urban Traffic Management Division No 1.
The HCM City Green Tree and Park Company said a total of 51 trees were uprooted, with 10 trees moved to other areas for replanting. Old or dying trees were discarded.
Le Khac Huynh, deputy head of the HCM City Urban Railway Management Board, said an additional 57 trees would be uprooted or cut down, and that new trees would replace them when the metro line construction is finished.
"The city will have a more advanced transport system, but I still feel bad about these lost trees. They made the city much more beautiful and soulful. I'm not sure the city will look as beautiful once the metro is finished," said a resident of District 1, who declined to be named.
Raising funds for children through football
The Football for All in Viet Nam (FFAV) project will work with This Is Not A Ball's fundraising campaign #Pass-the-ball,- a social endeavor supporting development through football as a way to engage young people, teach them important life skills and create opportunities for a brighter future in 12 countries over the world.
This is Not a Ball, a film launched on June 13th by Netflix, follows Brazilian artist and photographer Muniz as he explores the world's passion for soccer and creates two major works of art with 20,000 soccer balls.
The movie takes the viewer to nine countries around the world, visiting cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, New York, Boston, Paris, Kyoto, Burma, Nuremberg in Germany and Sialkot in Pakistan, among others, showing the ways in which soccer unites us all.
With the support of funds raised through #Pass-the-ball, FFAV aims to organise more regular tournaments at club and district level, fun football festivals and life skills activities for children in Thua Thien-Hue province and Do Son district of Hai Phong city.
"All revenue from this fundraising will of course go directly to more and better activities for the children," said director of FFAV, Anders Krystad. — VNS