VK group and friendship bridges bringing joy
On December 14th, 2019, a group of overseas Vietnamese called VK together with the government and people of My Thanh Bac commune, Cai Lay district, the Committee of Overseas Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh City, Department of Foreign Affairs of Tien Giang province and government agencies of Cai Lay district formally held the inauguration ceremony of the friendship bridge over Ca Gao Canal in Hamlet 4, My Thanh Bac Commune, Cai Lay District, Tien Giang Province in the joyful atmosphere of the local people, especially pupils of My Thanh Bac 2 Primary School.
The bridge has a length of 40m, width of 2.5m and bridge load of 2 tons. Its total investment is 394 million dongs, 260 million of which was financed by VK Group. The rest of the expense was local reciprocal capital. Attending the ceremony were VK 260 Group led by Mr. Nguyen Van Cong - an overseas Vietnamese in France, Mr. Luu Van Phi - Director of Tien Giang Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tran Duc Hien - Vice Chairman of the Committee of Overseas Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh City, leaders of the Party Committee and People's Committee in Cai Lay district and the government of My Thanh Bac commune and residents at Hamlet 4, My Thanh Bac commune.
Previously the bridge was built in 1986 from concrete, cement and iron railings. However, in 2000 when constructing irrigation works along the canal for vehicles to pass by, the local authorities dismantled its middle span but there was no fund to repair it later. After that, people used wood to make the middle span on the available pillars for their commute. Hundreds of pupils at My Thanh Bac 2 Primary School had to use this only bridge to go to school during 19 years.
Reading an article on the "dangerous" bridge in Dan Sinh newspaper, the VK group went to survey the location, discussed with local people and the commune authorities to make construction design, mobilized finance and built the bridge. It was built with a total budget of 394 million dongs, 260 million of which was financed by the VK Group, the rest was contributed by the people of Hamlet 4. Thanks to the determination of those good-hearted people, a year after the location survey, VK Group officially brought joy and happiness to the people there and hundreds of pupils at My Thanh Bac 2 Primary School.
Mr. Nguyen Van Cong said that the VK Group was established in late 2003 based on the voluntary participation of Vietnamese people living in many countries around the world (Canada, USA, France, Japan, Australia, Viet Nam, etc.). This is a non-profit, non-governmental organization specializing in building concrete bridges and erasing monkey bridges to help people in their homeland, especially pupils in remote and disadvantaged villages and communes of the Mekong Delta. Up to the present time, after 15 years of operation (2004 - 2019), the VK Group has completed and put into use 260 friendship bridges throughout the Mekong Delta and some in the Central region and the North. In particular, Tien Giang province has 18 bridges, with a total value of about 2,5 billion dongs.
For people at Hamlet 4, My Thanh Bac Commune, after nearly 20 years of waiting for a bridge connecting the peaceful and picturesque Ca Gao canal, their dream now becomes true. Now, the pupils at My Thanh Bac 2 Primary School are happy and assure themselves of going to school on a solid concrete bridge, contributing to making them safe and helping them achieve their dreams in the future.
Although the investment capital of the bridge wasn't so high, the kind heart of the VK Group made the local authorities and people feel happy when witnessing the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the friendship bridge full of love of overseas Vietnamese for their homeland. Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phuong - Vice Chairman of My Thanh Bac Commune People's Committee expressed his gratitude to the VK Group and hoped that in the coming time, the VK Group will continue to support the locality to build more friendship bridges.
Translated by the Department of Foreign Affairs