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Kaleidoscope (Aug 30, 2015)

Update: August, 30/2015 - 19:49

by Gia Loc

Award-winning video promotes river preservation

Pham Quoc Anh Duy, a student at Can Tho University, and a member of the Mekong Delta Youth Initiative, says he decided to make a video after hearing neighbours' complaints about the diminishing number of fish species in the Hau River.

Duy enlisted the help of students to make the video to show to leaders in the Greater Mekong Subregion. At the 2015 ASEAN Youth Video Contest, it won the top prize, a trip to the 2015 ASEAN Summit.

Pollution from nearby factories and households, as well as new dam construction, has contributed to the decline in fish species in the river, a branch of the Mekong, which runs through Can Tho City.

Duy has asked Can Tho University and its faculties of aquaculture and fisheries to post the video on their websites to raise student awareness.

Ly Quoc Dang, head of the Delta Youth Initiative, says the top prize includes a trip for the video makers to meet leaders of the region's countries in November in Kuala Lumpur at the ASEAN Summit.

The leaders will consider the pros and cons of building dams on the Mekong River. All 10 ASEAN nations, with seven dialogue partners, including Japan, China, India and the US, will attend.

Couple cares for 84 disadvantaged people in their home

Eighty-four patients with mental disorders live inside a poorly furnished wood house in Chu Hdrong Village in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai's Pleiku city.

The house is owned by a couple, Phuoc Ha Tu Phuoc, 51, and Huynh Thi Hac, 40, who take care of the patients, according to a report published on the website of the Viet Nam Relief Association for Children with Disabilities.

To earn an income, the couple farm and operate a delivery service with their mini-pickup truck.

About 16 to 17 years ago, Phuoc says he heard an odd sound one day at a house where he had just delivered goods. Behind the house, he noticed a man chained to the floor behind a window covered with iron bars.

Phuoc was moved to tears and asked the man's relatives if he could take the man back to his home and care for him.

Phuoc's wife reluctantly agreed, and her husband began bringing more people with psychological problems to their home. Finally, Hac decided to help look after them, too.

In 2010, the local authorities asked them to stop taking patients as their house did not meet standards. The patients were then sent to their respective homes, but later returned to live at the couple's house.

Dang Ngoc Thang, chairman of the commune's People's Committee, says the Pleiku city People's Committee is considering a licence for the couple to operate the home. Local health officials also plan to provide medical treatment and medicine to the patients. — VNS

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