Many Vietnamese celebrities have taken part in a TV show to call for donations to build bridges for small and remote communities, thus eliminating unsafe boat rides, a common means of transportation there.
“Kien tao nhip cau” or Build a Bridge, by Nam Phuong Foundation with the mission to build gateways of necessity and opportunity for those in needs in the Mekong Delta region in southern Vietnam, has launched its fourth season.
This year’s program will have the companion of several public figures in Vietnam’s show business, including Miss Universe Vietnam 2017 H'Hen Nie and Miss International Queen 2018 Huong Giang, Vietnamese comedian actor Tran Thanh and his wife, half-Korean singer Hari Won.
As two ambassadors of “Kien tao nhip cau,” H'hen Nie and Huong Giang will tell viewers real stories about different fragments of life and people in towns divided by the distributaries of the Mekong River, where young children are subjected to daily dangers.
Drowning was the leading cause of unintentionally injury deaths amongst Vietnamese under 19, with 3,500 drowning fatalities every year, according to the information dated last year on the Ministry of Health’s website.
Hundreds and thousands of children in these rural areas drown each year on their way to school, since the only path often involves crossing rivers via hazardous old boats, flimsy makeshift bridges or even swimming, with heavy books and shoes as anchors, unwittingly increasing the danger.
Tran Thanh recalled meeting uncle Sau, a scrap collector in Vinh Long Province during the filming of the show.
“Every day, he must cross the river by boat with the cost of VND2,000 [8.8 cents] each turn,” Thanh said.
“To save money, he chose to swim across the river that almost lost his life in the waters several times.”
Apart from the celebrities, many young volunteers will live with countryside people to experience poor conditions in Mekong Delta villages.
They will then raise funds to create safe and solid bridges to reduce water-related dangers facing young children and to improve the socio-economic situation of the community as a whole.
Seventy percent of the donation will be contributed towards the total expenditure of the bridges, while the local commune and government will be responsible for the remaining costs, according to the working model of the program.
In the first episode of the fourth season, “Kien tao nhip cau” will take viewers to Cai Be District in Tien Giang Province.
The only three primary schools here is located in My Thi A Hamlet while one third of the local population comprising of many young children is isolated in the other two hamlets.
Because there are no bridges for traveling, they had to bet their lives on a boat made of old wooden boards and motors.
The “Kien tao nhip cau 2018” will be broadcast at 11:00 am on Sunday of every week on HTV7 channel, starting from June 17.