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Tai hoa tre Newspaper
Written by Ta Bich Loan

“Coming with local people is my happiness” - Trinh Ngoc Trinh

Over 10 years ago, I read the story “Brother Ngoc” by Professor Doctor Nguyen Trinh Co in the volume “ Collection of poems and stories in the revolutionary and struggle”. The story tells about brave example of a contact-boy in the struggle against French aggressors. In spite of badly braking one arm, Ngoc (name of the contact-boy) tried his best to crawl to the army unit to send senior message. When he was taken to hospital, Doctor Nguyen Trinh Co had to carry operation of cutting his arm by a non-specialised saw. His face was pale and his arm soaked through with blood but Ngoc did not lament that made doctors and nurses admire.

As thousands of other soldiers, being a war invalid, Ngoc had to forget his hurt to learn and work. Incidentally, in the Workshop of Highland Education Development Organisation (stand for HEDO), near-by sitting man whispered “Director of HEDO - Mr. Trinh Ngoc Trinh is “Brother Ngoc” in the past’...

Speaking with me, Director Trinh Ngoc Trinh told “Trinh is the name of my best friend who helped me escape from enemy’s blockade when I was injured, then he was shot to death by the enemy”. Then suddenly the words stuck in his throat, and his eyes look very far... In order to get rid of serene atmosphere, I asked him about HEDO projects.

Over the past 50 years, in spite of having one arm left, that war invalid man is hardworking and enthusiastic in his work and presents good example of Uncle Ho’s soldier. Thanks to teaching for a long time and being close with highland pupils and people, he wholly understands their difficulties. As a result, he wants to do everything to bring joy and happiness to them. Being Director of HEDO for over 10 years, he has come to nearly all Northern mountainous provinces, Central Highland provinces and Southern provinces with names which presents feelings of isolation, poverty and backwardness such as Sin Ho, Can Ho, Meo Vac, Tua Chua, Phong Tho, Dak To, Tan Canh... During the past 10 years, HEDO has implemented 73 projects with total capital of 22 billion VN dongs. It is also member of five regional and international associations and has relationships with over 100 domestic and international Government agencies and non-governmental organisations from 45 countries in the world. The organisation has send hundreds of Vietnamese and ethnic minority officers working in highland areas to study abroad, invited 40 English and Australian volunteers to teach at Foreign Language Teaching Centre in highland provinces... HEDO projects partly present communication capacity of the Director.  Local leaders, international friends and he Ý happy in tear when the projects bring benefit to local people’s life.

As a Director of a NGO without Government budget, he has to work very hard. It is necessary to combine three elements: locality, friends and individual creativity to call for international support. In 73 projects, Director Trinh Ngoc Trinh often conducts monitoring visits to each project four or five times. Calling on international support is difficult but implementing a project is more difficult. It is essential to persuade and communicate ethnic minority people to get rid of backward customs, not worship forest ghosts when being ill, give birth at clinic and eradicate nomadic living tradition... and follow project officer’s instruction.

Over 10 years, that war invalid man had met a number of accidents when coming to mountainous areas. One time, when he was climbing up the mountain to visit H’Mong people in Can Ho near border, he fell over the hillside because of raining. With only one arm, he slipped to hill bottom but the brushes saved his life. Another time, his chin was torn because of falling and it was sawn... Despite a number of accidents, he did not discourage and was still determined in his way. I asked him: “Why werenot you afraid of meeting so many dangers?”. He smiled: “Foreign friends come to help our people, why was I afraid? My great happiness is coming with people”. Looking into him, I understand that enthusiasms and heart of that war invalid is very respectful...


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4 Trinh Hoai Duc, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84 4 7345292 / 7345293, Fax: +84 4 7345293
Email hedo@fpt.vn