Caritas Vietnam: Human love amid the disasters of life
Video clip: Human love amid the disasters of life
The aftermath of the Covid 19 pandemic has had a great impact on the world in general. In particular, the people of Central Vietnam was suffered more storms and hurricanes continuously caused terrible floods and landslides. Within two weeks, the central provinces was hit by 9 storms. Never before has the people, especially the poor in the Central region, have been in such a difficult situation.
A lot of tragic circumstances have occurred in this past October. The image of the mother protecting her baby when she knows she is buried by the rocks has shed tears of the viewers. Or the situation in which the two brothers died due to their boat overturned while moving from the rising floods, which has left a parent's pain in the loss of their two little beloved children. The scene of a father losing a child, a husband losing a wife, leaving a child, or the loss of a parent, or a family member buried under the ground is a pain that takes a lot of time to be healded. Not to mention when they lost the breadwinner in the family, the pain sometimes lasted for the rest of their lives. Because the emotional pain has not been relieved, they must bear the burden to make a living and take care of their families. Only this flood has claimed more than 200 lives, and the property is untold. There are still many tragic stories from the historic flood. There are really no words to describe when witnessing such painful scenes. The poor are now poorer.
In the face of such extreme pain, as if they were going to a dead end, we again witness human being’s love like the sea, when all over the world, domestically as well as internationally, from individuals to groups, has looked forward to beloved Central Vietnam. From hodmen, sweepers with a meager salary, has struggled to save a little money to send back to the flood victims. From the lady selling vegetables to the workers, the students, and pupils has been also willing to cut their meals to donate to the people of Central Vietnam. Many drivers have traveled a long and difficult highways to bring relief goods to Central Vietnam without receiving amount of money. Many parishes, unions, organizations, groups and families enthusiastically donated from school bags to students, clean and packaged clothes, all donated, products can be used as well as money with the wish that the people of Central Vietnam can alleviate their suffering, and overcome this difficult period.
The words of Pope Francis, “in the world we see how many hands are extended each day”, it is even more true in our Central Vietnam flood situation. It is impossible to mention the generosity, sharing, and prayers of so many people, from the rich to the poor, from the large organization to the small organization for the people of Central Vietnam. Many organizations have come directly to the scene to provide relief and spiritual support to the people.
Caritas Vietnam alone has also received a lot of contributions from all sectors in Vietnam and abroad, organizations and individuals sent to help the people of the Central Region. How touching is that when the spirit of Christian charity is expressed in action, human love still abounds while our brothers and sisters are in need. The spirit of mutual love, the good leaves that support the torn leaves are expressed practically and lovingly. During the relief-receiving days we received a phone call from a janitor. “I have a small amount of 200 thousand dong to help the victims of Central Vietnam” - she said. That amount is not much, but for a labourer, it is a lot because it accounts for a part of the monthly salary. That worker did only enough to eat, never thought of having enough money or saving it for her future when she was old and weak, but when she saw the painful scene in the Central region, she could only reach out her hand to them. And there have been many stories like that.
“Generosity that supports the weak, consoles the afflicted, relieves suffering and restores dignity to those stripped of it, is a condition for a fully human life.” Pope Francis said. This statement not only affirms a person's happiness, but it is also spreading human love amid the disasters of life. “The ability to stretch forth our hand shows that we possess an innate capacity to act in ways that give meaning to life.”
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As dire as the situation is, these are the moments that reveal the Vietnamese spirit of charity and compassion, expressed in the proverb that “healthy leaves cover torn leaves.” Donations and aid have come from home and abroad, from students and the elderly, from individuals and organizations. Many of these benefactors entrusted Caritas Vietnam with their donations. The following projects are being undertaken in their name.
From November 9-12, 2020, Caritas Vietnam representative, Fr. Joseph Ngo Si Dinh, OP, Director of Caritas Vietnam, Fr. Peter Nguyen Trong Duong, SVD., his assistant, visited and assessed flooded areas.
The prolonged heavy rains from October 6th - 21st caused terrible floods, violent storms and landslides in the Central Vietnam. They have caused serious damage to people and property. The tragic toll at the moment (October 21st) is of 132 dead, 27 people still missing, while more than 200,000 people had to be evacuated, and 160,000 houses were totally flooded.