Solidarity in north-eastern Vietnam


Young people on a mission in north-eastern Vietnam for the Lunar New Year
At the initiative of the Redemptorists, a group of 40 young people brought gifts and solidarity to villages in Nà Rí district, one of the areas most affected by COVID-19.

(Hanoi) – The Lunar New Year is an opportunity for prayer and solidarity for 100 million Vietnamese, including the Catholic community, but this year, it comes just as the COVID-19 pandemic is surging again.

Some 40 young people from the Redemptorist missionary group in Hanoi are an example of this spirit. Accompanied by Fathers Joseph Trần Hữu Hoan and Joseph Nguyễn Văn Toản, and two nuns of the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross in Hanoi , the group travelled to some villages, Nà Rí district (Bắc Kạn province), north-eastern Vietnam, some 200 kilometres from the capital.

The young people prepared 100 bánh trưng (squared rice cake) which they handed out in Na Rì along with as many gift packages with rice, noodles, fish sauce and sweaters.

They also brought a tank with 5,000 litres of drinking water and a well drill, thanks to some benefactors who donated 80 million Vietnamese dồng (US$ 3,500 dollars) for this project.

Hanoi Redemptorists have already been carrying out their ministry for some years in Na Rì, which is home to about 120 Catholic families. Originally from Ninh Bình and Thái Bình provinces, the Catholic families moved here in search of better opportunities between 1973 and 2000.

“Today, one of our confreres, Father Michael Nguyễn Công Đức, is permanently present here,” said Father Joseph Nguyễn Văn Toản.

“We came with young people to this missionary area to experience the Lunar New Year together with families who belong to Tày, Nùng, H ’Mong and Dao ethnic groups. The New Year is a very important moment in the history and tradition of the Vietnamese people ”.

The young people learnt about the needs of the people who live scattered in the area; but they also learnt about solidarity, sharing their joy with brothers and sisters who live in harsh conditions, especially in the winter cold.

While aware that the pandemic situation is very dangerous in some provinces in the north of the country, they still wanted to reach out to this periphery to share food, clothes and the hope that a new spring will soon arrive in the land of Vietnam.

(by Ngọc Lan,