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Tuoi Tre-backed Sunflower Festival kicks off in Ho Chi Minh City (photos)

Saturday, December 03, 2016, 13:03 GMT+7

The “Sunflower Festival,” a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper backed annual charity event for children with cancer, took place in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday, attracting thousands visitors and raising considerable donations for kid cancer patients.

The event, now in its ninth edition, commemorates the death of Le Thanh Thuy, a high school girl famous for her long fight against bone cancer prior to her death on November 2, 2007.

It also promotes the work of “Thuy’s Dream Foundation," set up by Tuoi Tre to support children with cancer.

This year the festival, themed “For our health and future,” was held in the Dam Sen Park with numerous activities.

Cancer patients and volunteers perform at the festival

Prior to the event opening, an online campaign has been launched, calling for people to showcase sunflower-themed photos or hand drawings on their Facebook, each of which adds VND20,000 to the program fund. The campaign attracted 2,500 ‘sunflower donations’ between November 21 and December 2.

The festival today also featured a flea market where paintings by children cancer patients are on sale to raise fund for children with cancer and a ‘wall of wishes’ where visitors can read wishes by the patients on small pieces of paper and decide if they could do something to help making those dreams come true.

On Saturday morning, Ho Chi Minh City-based ECO Pharma JSC, a frequent sponsor of the festival, donated VND650 million ($29,018) for the event.

Below are some photos taken by Tuoi Tre at the event.

Kids eagerly participate in the festival.

Young visitors buy sunflowers to raise fund for the event.

A sunflower featuring wishes by the kid cancer patients.

A kid cancer patient makes sunflower at the event.

A visitor smiles with her self-made sunflower.

Kids eagerly participate in the festival.

Visitors paint piggy banks.

A young visitor makes sunflower at the event.

Paintings by children cancer patients.

Children cancer patients receive scholarships at the festival.

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