Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The mission at Exotic Voyages is not only to develop our business, but also to help the local community under various forms including doing charity work. That philosophy is shared by each and everyone in the team. Last week, Ms. Nguyen Thuy Linh and Ms. Nguyen Yen Giang, members of our Marketing team, took part in a charity activity with their group of friends. And today, we listen to what they talk about their ongoing charity works for the cancer patients

Me: Hi Linh, I hear that you have frequently participated in a charity group. Could you tell us more about your group?

Ms. Linh: I have joined this charity group for almost a year now. It was established 7 years ago with the aim of aiding the patients with their fight against cancer. At first, there were only 4 people in the group, but that number increased to 15 now. Our team is quite diverse, some are young students and others are working. We also have two foreigners in the group which is great I think. The charity work is carried on on a weekly basis with a collective support from our sponsors and our team members.

Me: What are you guys doing for the cancer patients?

Ms. Linh: Well, we prepare, cook and give meals to cancer patients at some cancer hospitals around Hanoi. On Tuesdays, we prepare our menu after having contacted the sponsors. Then on Saturdays morning, we cooked about 200 - 250 meal portions at a pagoda before bringing them to the hospital and giving them to the patients. Last week, we cooked at Thanh An Pagoda in Ha Dong district and gave meals to The Cancer Hospital of Ha Dong.

Me: What was your feeling when the patients received their meals?

Ms. Linh:  Cancer Hospitals around Hanoi are very busy with plenty of patients. Some of them come here after a long hard journey from their hometown in distant provinces to diagnose, collect medication or receive treatment. Thus, they are all really tired. But after receiving our meals, I could see the smiles on their faces and that is quite emotional to be honest. I’m sure that although we cannot cure the cancer, but our meals had surely cheered them up quite a bit. After all, fighting with cancer is not all about physical struggle, but mental struggle also, is it? We were all glad that we were able to help them with the latter.

Me: Does your group have any difficulties with doing charity?

Ms. Linh: The main difficulty is our financial capability. In order to keep the charity going continually and consistently, we have to make sure that we have an enough amount of money. Although we have more than one sponsor, some of them can withdraw at any time or only guarantee to contribute for a short period of time.

Me: How could you overcome those difficulties?

Ms. Linh: We have to keep searching for new sponsorships, ideally those who are willing to support us in the long run. We also have to promote what we are doing to increase our exposure both online and offline. In difficult times, we even have to donate our own money to keep the work on, excluding the student members of course. All in all, we always try our best to overcome any difficulties.

Me: You have been doing charity work for cancer patients for a long time; you must have had some stories about some patients, mustn’t you?

Ms. Linh: Yes, indeed. Last month, I had a chance to talk with a man whose wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. They came from Nghe An province, which is more than 300 kilometers away from the capital. Their 18 year-old child was at home studying for next year university entrance exam. As he was a very bright boy, they wanted to give him the best education, but not able due to limited financial capability, not to mention his mother’s cancer. So we decided to support them by collecting books and money for the boy. Their parents were very happy and last week, they told me that their boy will apply for Hanoi University of Science and Technology which is great news. We all hope the best for him and his family.

Me: Hopefully he will achieve next year and her mom will win the battle against cancer. Talking about your charity work, could you give us some hints on the group’s plan in the future?

Ms. Linh: Of course! We will try our best to maintain our current charity work at the K Hospital in Ha Dong. Besides, we are calling for more sponsorship so we can continue and expand what we are doing in the future. Right now, we are planning to do charity in the K Hospital in Quan Su Street. It is the biggest and busiest cancer hospital in Vietnam.

Me: Linh, thank you for taking time to share with us about your charity work at K Hospital. We all hope that you can continue your great work!

Ms. Linh: It’s my pleasure!

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