The event took place from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm at the Children’s House of Ho Chi Minh City and from 8:00 am to 11:00 am at the Hanoi Children’s Palace on Sunday.
The “Sunflower Festival” is annually organized by Tuoi Tre newspaper and the Vietnam Youth Federation in the two major cities.
The festival commemorates the death of Le Thanh Thuy, a high school girl famous for her long fight against bone cancer prior to her surrender on November 2, 2007.
It also promotes the work of “Thuy’s Dream Foundation," set up by Tuoi Tre to support children with cancer.
|Good wishes are written on the paper sunflowers.|
In Ho Chi Minh City, a series of activities including blood donation, art galleries, fair markets, and art performances were conducted to help raise money for young cancer patients.
Many items, from food, drinks to handmade accessories and greeting cards prepared by local university students, were offered at VND10,000 (US$0.44) to VND200,000 ($8.81).
Nicola Johnson, a tourist from Australia, supported the event by buying several items and wrote good wishes for the young patients on paper sunflowers.
Johnson and her friends took part in the festival after knowing about the 10th anniversary of the event.
|Participants donate their blood at the festival in Ho Chi Minh City.|
The corner reserved for blood donation was crowded this morning.
"This is a meaningful program that helps ease the pain of children with cancer," Tuyen Mai, a 54-year-old resident of District 8, said after donating her blood.
Meanwhile, in Hanoi, hundreds of volunteers from local universities and colleges heated up the atmosphere with vibrant dancing and singing.
Some 500 balloons were released to the sky, representing good luck wishes for young cancer patients.
|Balloons representing good wishes are released at the event in Ho Chi Minh City.|
Paintings made by children with cancer, along with other merchandise, were sold at the event to raise money.
According to Duong Duc Da Trang, deputy general managing editor of Tuoi Tre, the “Thuy’s Dream Foundation” has accumulated over VND20 billion ($880,509) as of November.
A ceremony is scheduled to be held at the Children’s House of Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday evening to mark the 10th anniversary of the “Sunflower Festival.”
Scholarships will also be granted to 85 children to aid their dreams of going to school.
|A family make paper sunflowers to help raise money.|
|Participants buy souvenirs to support the foundation in Ho Chi Minh City.|
|Wishes of children with cancer are written on sunflower-shaped cards.|
|A young boy with cancer enjoys the “Sunflower Festival” at the Hanoi Children’s Palace.|
|Balloons are released to the sky in Hanoi.|