A group of 4 friends, all nearly 70 years old, went on a trip from Lam Dong to the Northwest by a pickup
Tet 2021, when people are reunited with their families, Le Quang Long (29 years old) roams the South-North alone, sending gifts to children everywhere.
The 4th time through Vietnam, but the feelings of the Quang Nam guy on this trip are very different. There are heartaches because of being away from home and missing loved ones, but Long is also happy to experience a different Tet in all parts of the country, meet old friends and bring a little joy to difficult fates.
Long’s trip started on February 1, from Ho Chi Minh City to the central region, through Ninh Thuan, Quang Ngai, Kon Tum, Quang Nam and Thua Thien – Hue. Instead of the national highway, Long chose to drive on small, difficult roads to see with his own eyes the shacks and the children who did not have new clothes for Tet. Then he went back to town to buy gifts, mostly milk and other necessities they really needed.Quang Long said that in order to take good photos, there are places where he has to spend a whole week to get to know and play with children.
In Ninh Thuan, all gifts are prepared by Long using his personal money. However, to the next provinces, friends and relatives who follow the journey on Facebook have offered to contribute, so that he can bring more gifts to everyone. Long always adheres to the principles of Covid-19 prevention by going to each neighborhood to give gifts to avoid crowding.
When the epidemic was complicated, the journey “Bringing Tet to the highlands” had to stop in Thua Thien – Hue. Long has donated 300 cartons of milk, hundreds of red envelopes, and some other necessities to people who need them. After that, Long continued to drive to the North, conquering new roads and meeting upland children.
He shared, “When encountering extreme circumstances in Son Ha (Quang Ngai) or visiting Phuoc Son (Quang Nam), a locality that was heavily affected by the historic flood, people see small joys, Because of the people’s appreciation, I am no longer tired of the long road,” he confided.
Cars of love
It was not Long’s first trip across Vietnam for charity. Before that, in 2020, Long established the volunteer group “Green Footsteps”. In which, the target group is ethnic minority children and upland workers. In order to know what children really need, the group made many large and small trips to remote schools in Ha Giang and Dak Nong, met with local authorities and teachers, then detailed the amount of money needed. and call for donations through photo galleries, Facebook posts. All remittances are disclosed in detail on the group’s website and the fund will be closed when there is enough money for the project.
The group has completed many charity programs such as “Kook Hoang Cam”, providing 60,000 nutritious lunches for upland children at 7 school sites; providing relief to the central flood area in November 2020; opening the school site of 2 teachers in Nam Tra My; “Winter for you” in the northern highlands. In the near future, the group will continue with the project “Love library” to help children have enough school supplies.
Long shared that every journey encountered many difficulties such as moving on craggy and bumpy mountain roads in erratic rainy and sunny weather conditions. Especially when there was the Covid-19 epidemic, when volunteers could not participate, his workload increased. There are sunny days like pouring fire and sweat, but everyone is very happy to cook community meals for the children with their own hands.
“Life has never been easy, everything has to be worked hard and appreciated. For the children here, they have to face more things, so looking back at myself, the more I feel. cherish and try to be strong enough to live your own life and share it with everyone,” Long laughed and said.
Promise with Ha Giang
Long said that his volunteering journey “became predestined” from his travels nine years ago when he was a second-year student at the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City. Once due to stress, stuck with studying, he alone went to Da Lat with a borrowed camera, composing the first pictures. When he was only a few months away from graduation, he decided to drop out of school to travel across Vietnam, pursuing his passion for photography in the face of his family’s objections.
At that time, he had to sell his old computer and motorbike to invest in the trip. Wherever he went, he also asked for permission to chat, participate in the work of local people, to save the most honest moment. From here, he also made friends with many difficult workers, children whose clothes were not healthy, their faces were stained by the sun and wind.
Traveling throughout 34 provinces, when he arrived in Dong Van town (Ha Giang), he only had 14,000 VND in his pocket, so he had to apply for a job as a housekeeper in an unfinished house. Due to sympathy for the situation, the owner accepted Long to work with 3 H’Mong workers. After a day and a half, he asked for permission to stop working because he was not healthy and received 270,000 VND in salary. For Long, the amount of money was small, but it touched and engraved him. He ended his journey through Vietnam on the 37th day. “That trip helped me to take off the mantle of a good scholar, leaving behind the pride of being a student at a prestigious university, to carry out this journey. passion,” Long said.
Falling in love with the land with steep passes and steep hills, Long goes to Ha Giang once a year to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. In 2018, when he was economically self-sufficient, he continued with journeys across Vietnam, returned to the places he had gone through, brought gifts to less fortunate children, friends who helped him and started volunteer projects.
For the past 9 years, Long has always been proud of the path he has chosen, living with passion and sharing love with others. The biggest asset he has gained after his travels are thousands of photos across the country and the smiles and joys of workers and children in the highlands. Follow vnexpress