A group of young people from the central city of Da Nang led by Ho Ngoc Thanh have set up a volunteer programme to help poor sick people get to hospital.
|Members of the VND0 trip programme are helping a patient to enter the car for free transportation. VNA/VNS photo Van Dung|
The programme "Chuyến Xe Không Đồng" (VND0 Bus Trip) is a special charity work which offers free transportation for poor and disadvantaged patients when they have to move to a new hospital for different treatment.
Although it has just been put into operation less than a month, the bus has spread love, community cohesion and dedicated support to poor and lonely patients.
The 32-member group uses more than 10 cars offered by the members themselves as well as kindhearted individuals and businesses to transport the patients.
They operate across cities and provinces in the central region, including Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.
In the first two weeks alone, 24 patients in difficult circumstances were transferred from home to hospitals or from hospitals to hospitals with no charge.
In some cases, the group offered financial support worth between VND500,000 and 1 million (US$22 and 44) to those in serious conditions and without money for transportation.
The case of patient Phan Van Hoa was an example.
Hoa, 45, was suffering from a broken neck vertebrae, quadriplegia and had been treated at Da Nang General Hospital for a long time until the doctors said he could be cared for at home.
His family was facing hardship after a long time of caring for him at the hospital and had run out of money, so they asked for help from the programme.
The charity group met Hoa and his family on October 15 and decided to help. They brought him from Da Nang General Hospital to his home in Que Son District in the central province of Quang Nam.
His wife, Vo Thi Be Loan, was very touched to receive the support of the volunteer group.
“The group and their trip have really encouraged me much. They not only helped warm my heart but also lifted part of the financial burden from my family’s shoulders during our hard time. We hope the programme can spread widely with more people to join so they can help many others like us to get out of difficult circumstances,” Loan said.
The group's founder and leader Thanh said he came up with the idea of running the "VND0 Bus Trip" programme after joining many voluntary projects at hospitals.
|Ho Ngoc Thanh (second left) is talking to a relative of the patient. He is the founder of the VND0 trips programme. Photo baonhandao.vn|
Thanh, 33, who is also the chairman of a charity club named "Bếp Cơm Vạn Tình" (Kitchen with Love) in Da Nang’s Son Tra District, said through his charity work at hospitals, he saw the hardships and miserable conditions of the patients, some of whom were homeless or unemployed.
“Some young volunteers and I decided to set up the programme to contribute our small resource to help unfortunate people. Although our actions were just the very first steps and we faced challenges, we all put our charity and humanity spirit on top so we will never stop,” Thanh said.
One of the group members, Le Tu Hoang Tuan from Sơn Trà District, said to complete a trip successfully, all the members had to face hardship but they were all happy whenever receiving thanks from patients and their relatives.
“All hardship ends and I am more motivated to continue since I see the affectionate eyes of the patients after each trip,” said Tuan.
Meanwhile, another member, Trinh Dang Quyen also from Son Tra District, said the VND0 Trip programme was not just for helping poor patients, but also helped spread the warmth of love throughout society.
Quyen added that with such goals, their programme had received a lot of support from the community since some donors had learned about the programme and were ready to pitch in.
When Thanh announced the programme on his personal Facebook page, he received support from many friends and the wider social networking community.
In the first post, there were more than 1,600 likes, nearly 500 comments and more than 3,800 shares.
Many people expressed appreciation for this meaningful and practical work and suggested it should be done elsewhere as well.
A Facebook user named Tran Thuy said it was a noble gesture and wished the group members health and happiness to continue their noble work.
User Hao Phan suggested spreading information about the group with the member's phone numbers so needy people could approach.
The programme founder said to make the programme serve the right people in need, a board has been set up to be responsible for organising trips for the patients' families.
“The beneficiaries should be the patients and their families who are really poor and can't afford to hire an emergency car for transportation. They should have a certificate for their circumstances granted by local authorities,” said the founder.
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Van Dung & Mai Phuong