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South African Consulate kicks off charity program
By Thanh Nien News -
 
 Do Thi Kim Lien (center), Honorary Consul of South Africa, and sponsors of "Nha sach don Tet" program at the launching ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on January 8, 2016. Photos courtesy of South African Consulate in HCMC
 Voluntary students taking part in "Nha sach don Tet" program.
  Voluntary students taking part in "Nha sach don Tet" program.
The South African Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday launched a month-long program of cleaning houses for those in need ahead of the Lunar New Year, aiming to raise funds for the poor.
The annual program, named “Nha sach don Tet” (Clean house to welcome the Lunar New Year), is expected to attract thousands of voluntary students from universities across Ho Chi Minh City. They will provide families in need with cleaning services.
Proceeds from the program will be used by those students to make bánh chưng (Vietnam’s traditional square sticky rice cake), buy clothes and other items to be given to the poor and disadvantaged.
Addressing the ceremony to launch the event, Do Thi Kim Lien, Honorary Consul of South Africa, said: “Tet is an occasion for family reunion. However, not everybody can enjoy a real Tet as many have to spend the holiday in loneliness, poverty, hunger, cold or pain from serious diseases. 'Nha sach don Tet' carries a humanity mission as students will bring warm clothes and other gifts to street children and the elderly poor.”
“Nha sach don Tet” is part of a series of community-based programs named “Tet den moi nha” (Tet comes to all families), organized by the South African Consulate and Vien Dong Assurance Corporation (VASS), to help poverty-stricken families to ring in Tet, Vietnam’s biggest annual festival.
On Thursday the two agencies donated 10 newly-built houses to poor families in the southern province of Hau Giang. They also gave 136 gift sets including money and new clothes to old homeless women living in Lam Quang Pagoda in HCMC’s District 8.
In addition, through HCMC Police newspaper, the South African Consulate and VASS gave 100 gift sets for poor people in the southern province of Dong Thap.