Despite their own old age and humble financial situation, Lieu Thi My Uyen and her husband do their best to help the deprived residents living around them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On an August afternoon, Uyen, a resident of An Cu Ward in Can Tho City's Ninh Kieu District continued her work as usual though it was about to rain.
She put on her personal protective equipment quickly, grabbed some packets of instant noodles, dozens of eggs, then loaded them on the scooter.
She brought the food to seven poverty-stricken households living near Sat Market in Tan An Ward that day.
Depending on what she can receive from warm-hearted donors, Uyen would give to the impoverished. That day, she donated to them some rice, instant noodles, eggs, fish, and soya sauce.
To some households with old members or infants, Uyen gave them some special gifts like milk and cash with which they can buy something to improve their health.
“Sometimes, I give rice, instant noodles, eggs. Sometimes, I give rice, vegetables, and fruits,” Uyen told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“I will give them whatever I can get from donors."
Thanks to her husband, Nguyen Van Tuong, Uyen has worked as a 'delivery worker' for nothing for the last month.
She drives her scooter carrying gifts of love to the needy living around Ninh Kieu.
|Nguyen Van Tuong helps his wife fasten a basin on her scooter before Lieu Thi My Uyen drives them to the impoverished people in Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City, Vietnam. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre|
Can Tho has been under travel restrictions since July 19 to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is poised to be extended to September 8.
Local people must stay at home as much as possible and can only go shopping once a week. Only people working in essential areas are allowed to go out.
Chung Thi My Lien, a needy resident, was moved to tears when receiving a donation from Uyen.
|Nguyen Van Tuong helps his wife take a quick COVI'D-19 test before giving food to the needy in Can Tho City, Vietnam. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre|
“I had just VND1.3 million [US$57] left at the time when travel curbs started to be implemented. That was only enough for my house rent,” Lien recalled.
“Currently, I just live upon donations.
"So I am so fortunate to get food from Uyen.
"I am extremely grateful to her."
Le Thi Manh, one of Lien’s neighbors, shows her gratitude to Uyen, too.
"It is thoughtful of Uyen to bring us food during the rainy day," Manh said.
"We really appreciate what she is doing.
"I wish she would be able to help many more poor people during the pandemic.”
|Lieu Thi My Uyen has been a 'delivery worker' for the last month with the aim of helping the deprived communities, a task she never feels tired of. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre|
Initially, Uyen’s scooter could only carry around 10 packages of food.
After that, she improved its loading capacity by adding a basket, which enables her to carry up to 100 kilograms at one time.
She also hangs some things around the mirror so she can give them to the needy she runs into on the way.
“I am afraid of the coronavirus, too,” Uyen admitted.
“But looking at so many people suffering food shortages made me so heartbroken.
"Thus I tried my best despite all the challenges.
“I put on the personal protective equipment to protect myself before going out and keep a proper distance from others for the sake of public health."
“I worry for her whenever she goes out,” Uyen’s husband said, loading a 10-kilogram rice bag on his wife’s motorbike.
“However, we have tried our utmost to help the community overcome the pandemic.
"We are willing to accept arduous work and risks of transmission."
|Nguyen Van Tuong, Uyen’s husband, carries two bags of rice to help the poverty-stricken communities in Can Tho City, Vietnam. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre|
Day by day, the old couple transfer not only gifts of food, but also so much love to the most disadvantaged areas in the city.
They feel happy to help others in despair during this health crisis.