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Economy and Society
Toward 50th anniversary of War Invalid Day (27th
"Great joy and happiness of that war invalid man"
In April 1997 at the war hospital in Base
3, Prof. Nguyen Trinh Co, Army Doctor of Regiment 37 wrote the
story “Brother Ngoc” which was published on the newspaper “Happy
to Live” of Army Health Service. After he had finished operation
of cutting the whole left arm of a brave 12-year message carrier
who dared to send fight message to army units alone. Then the
story was published on “Sunshine” collection of revolutionary
and war poems and stories. “Brother
Ngoc” story resulted in sensational feeling among youth and teenagers
and encouraged them to fight for national independence and freedom.
As hundred of soldier, after
being wounded Brother Ngoc himself tried to forget his wounds
to study and work, develop to meet new demands. Unexpectedly,
I have recently met “Brother Ngoc” (his real name is Mr. Trinh
Ngoc Trinh) when he prepared to come Bac Kan province for implementing
hunger eradication and poverty reduction project in a highland
commune. And I am surprised to know that he is still working for
Highland Education Development Organization (HEDO for abbreviation).
With only one arm, no matter
which job he has namely teacher in mountainous provinces of Lai
Chau and Son La, at Central Highland Teacher Training College
and at Ha Noi Teacher Training University or cadre of Central
Youth Union or Director of HEDO that war invalid man is always
hard-working, whole-hearted, enthusiastic and maintains good characteristic
of Uncle Ho’s soldier during the past 50 years.
As having taught and closed
with highland and ethnic minority pupils and people for a long
time, the war invalid teacher fully understands their difficulties.
He wishes to do everything he can in order to reduce their heavy
load and bring brightness and happiness to them. During the past
7 years, his footprints have marked in most highland provinces
and districts in the North, Central and South of Vietnam. So far,
HEDO has been implementing over 60 projects in mountainous and
ethnic minority areas, which partly show his ability of community
communication. He, local leaders and international friends are
so happy that they overflow tear when projects enter into daily
life namely workshops, laboratories and libraries of Yen Bai Highland
Ethnic Minority Boarding School; Kindergarten in Bac Ha district
Lao Cai province; Leprosy clinic in Van Lem commune, Dakto district,
Kontum province. His organization is proud to cooperate with other
organizations to train over 40 masters in mountainous areas, send
hundreds of ethnic minority students and cadres to study and improve
qualification abroad etc. It also in cooperation with Britain-Vietnam
Friendship Society to send 20 British volunteer teachers to work
at Foreign Language centers in highland provinces.
As HEDO is a non-governmental
organization without government financial support, he has to work
very hard. In order to receive a project from an international
organization, it is necessary to combine 3 factors: Local - International
Organization - Creative Ability of organization. He has to travel
four to five to get a project approved. His time is always busy
but he learns English by himself, directly communicate with foreign
friends. He learns at any time and anywhere. The determined war
invalid man has had five accidents for 7 years of travelling in
all walks of mountainous areas. One time, he fell when he was
climbing to meet H’Mong ethnic people in bordering Can Ho commune
as the road was too sleep and slippery. Because he has only one
arm he could not ward off so he rolled on the sleep. Despite being
hurt, he with colleagues visited people and village in time. A
lot of foreigner accompanying with him to supervise and start
projects across Sky Gate (Lao Cai province), Gravo col (Lai Chau
province), Ma Pi Leng (Ha Giang province) asked “Why aren’t you
afraid of travelling so dangerous roads? He have honest smile
and answered “ You are foreigner but you still come here to help
our people, why am I afraid? We both reach poor areas to do humanitarian
work for poor people”. Being whole-hearted for highland - it is
great joy and happiness of that war invalid man.
Trinh Van Quy
hunger eradication and poverty reduction project
bac kan province"
June 1997, Prof. Trinh Ngoc Trinh -Director of HEDO, Vice Chairman
of Bac Kan Peoples Committee and Mr. Daniel Shepherd - Representative
of British Embassy have finished the last monitoring visit of
project Animal rearing for hunger eradication and poverty
reduction code 0062 in Cuong Loi commune of Na Ri district,
Bac Kan province. British Embassy funded 10,000 USD for this project.
- a non-governmental organization has mobilized the domestic and
international organizations to support the education development,
advanced technology and science transfer, health care, hunger
eradication and poverty reduction in a number of mountainous and
ethnic minority especially upland areas.
the past seven years, HEDO has been implementing nearly 60 projects
in mountainous provinces from Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Son
La to Central Highland and South to come with ethnic minority
people of Vietnam with noble humanitarian mission.
is the first project funded by British Embassy that HEDO has implemented
in Bac Kan province and it has been started in the fastest time.
It only took 3 months to draw up project and disburse fund to
local farmers. As a newly separated province from Bac Thai province,
Bac Kan meets a lot of difficulties especially education and health.
Cuong Loi commune has total population of 1,543 with 293 households
of which 30% are poor. The travelling is very difficult in this
area. The road of 80 km to commune goes through many high mountains.
Even it is a long slope, which is about 8 km and when we reach
the top, our ears will be buzzed like flying on the plane. If
it rains for one or two hours, the rivers and stream are so flooded
that water encroaches on the road. At the first stage of the project,
loans with interest of 0.3% have been provided to 105 households.
And the farmers have to pay the loan every 6 months. After two years, all households will have to pay off the loan. This
fund will be presented to Cuong Loi commune to build or provide
facilities school in the commune. Although the project scale is
modest, it brings realistic effectiveness to people in the commune.
After borrowing 1.4 millions VND, Mrs. Nong Thi Mien said I
will buy a buffalo which can reproduce one buffalo per year and
it will make profit of 800,000 VND. And Mr. Hoang Van Lat
borrowed 1.5 millions VND to buy two reproductive pigs and cattle
food. He expects that he can make profit of 1.2 to 1.5 million
VND for one year after excluding the necessary expenses etc. Cuong
Loi commune lies in upland. Therefore, shortage of cattle food
often happens in winter. At the second stage of project, HEDO
in cooperation with Biological Technology Institute under National
Center for Natural Science and Technology will help farmers the
methods of processing yeast and preserving cattle food from soybean,
groundnut, maize and grass tree etc to ensure food for buffaloes
and bulls in winter. One behalf of provincial leadership, Mr.
Leng Van Ty expressed sincere gratitude to British Embassy and
HEDO for supporting local farmers. And he strongly believes that
Cuong Loi farmers will spend loan with proper purpose to develop
animal breeding so that it becomes an important extra job, which
combines with agricultural production to abolish hunger and reduce
Mr. Daniel, Consular of British
Embassy did not hesitate the long and difficult way, came and
studied living standard of people in the commune and provided
money directly to farmers. He was pleased to visit a Vietnamese
upland province that has immense landscape and talk with honest
and hospitable people who unite together to work for new life
and strengthen the friendly relationship between Britain and Vietnam.
by Trinh Van Quy