A Vietnamese man has spent 30 years volunteering to deliver free meals to many elderly people who live alone in Ho Chi Minh City, an act he is determined to keep doing until he departs from this life.
At around 10:00 am every day, 13 lonely citizens of advanced years in small houses along alleys of Co Giang Ward in the southern metropolis’ District 1 expect the appearance of Nguyen Cong Hoa.
They are happy to see the 77-year-old, who comes on his old motorbike with bags of lunch.
Around 30 years ago, when Hoa used to be a social worker in the urban area, he developed sympathy for old people who had to take care of themselves.
He was determined to deliver meals to their home doors.
Now the youngest amongst the elderly Hoa delivers meals to every day is a 58-year-old bedridden woman while the oldest is a 91-year-old man who lives in a modest three-square-meter space that serves as a house.
Hoa collects food from local charitable restaurants and may add more from his own family before giving it to the old.
On the weekend he and his wife get to the kitchen to create new delicious dishes.
Hoa is not alone in his public-spirited effort.
His wife provides him with the most assistance in cooking, washing the dishes and putting food into boxes while his children and friends sometimes give him money.
He also gets financial help for petrol expenses from a local outreach organization.
Hoa said he will not hand food to more elderly people as he worries he cannot die in peace if he is always overwhelmed with concerns about their situation.
But he promised them he would tend the current group of seniors until he breathes his last breath.