Tourism with charitable activities promotes good lifestyles

Nga Do
Exploring beautiful natural landscapes in the northeastern province of Bac Giang is a hobby of many people. During such trips, many visitors volunteer to join charitable activities, thus spreading good lifestyles among the community.

Located in An Lac commune, Son Dong district, the Khe Ro tourism site has been invested to develop it into a community-based tourism model. In addition to domestic visitors, Khe Ro is also attractive to foreign vacationers. Not long ago, a delegation of 18 visitors from Italy, France, the UK, and Japan came to Khe Ro. Before their arrival, the tourists made contact with local authorities with the hope of joining local youngsters to collect garbage and clear paths in the tourism site as well as help people grow vegetable, remove grass, and harvest crops.

Mr. Do Doan Huan, an official from the Italy’s non-governmental Voulonteers Group Trentino (GTV), said “The climate at Khe Ro is mild and the scenery is gorgeous. We have been here for more than two weeks. Besides traveling, all members are excited to help local residents”. Last May, 35 tourists from Hanoi came to Khe Ro to explore the wild nature and present 50 gift packages, including electric fans, rice cookers, confectionery, books, packs of noodles, and clothes to needy households and students from difficult family backgrounds.

Student Nguyen Tien Long from the Hanoi University of Natural Resources and Environment said “Before going, all members collected money to help disadvantaged people and the initiative was got warm response. We are impressed by the stilt houses along with the typical bamboo fences and friendly people. Presenting gifts to poor people makes our trip more meaningful.” At the beginning of this year, Giap Van Cuong, a resident from Tien Dinh hamlet, Que Nham commune, Tan Yen district, and his fourth-grade son and nearly 20 other people travelled to Sa Pa in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai. They took this occasion to present 200 gift packages, including rice, noodles, salt, clothes, and gloves to needy students at Nam Sai primary school.

The most valuable thing for Cuong is after the journey, his son could feel the hardship of students in mountainous areas. The boy wrote that “I feel sorry for students going to school with flimsy clothes and barefoot in cold weather … I was very happy to present gifts to them in the frosty weather.” Le Minh Son, who pursues photography at Hoang Van Thu ward in Bac Giang city and has organised many backpacking tours, shared that “We often go by bike to areas of beautiful landscapes, but the living standards of people there are difficult such as Son Dong and Luc Ngan and other provinces like Ha Giang, Cao Bang, and Dien Bien. Whenever we go, we spend our own money and call for support from our relatives. Though they are small gifts, all members are excited to do meaningful deeds.”

His group celebrated Mid-Autumn festival for poor children at Dong Cao hamlet, Thach Son commune, Son Dong district, and presented an electric generator to the local People’s Committee along with clothes and books for needy students in Son Hai commune, Luc Ngan district.

Travelling and doing charity have become a popular trend among youngsters. Participants are various, including public servants and retirees, but the biggest ones are students and young people. The busiest time is Tet holiday and major national celebrations such as National Reunification Day (April 30), National Day (September 2), Hung King commemoration day, and in summer. Popular places are underprivileged, mountainous and ethnic minority areas. Mr. Duong Van Ha, Director of Tan A Dong Tourism Company in Bac Giang, said the company used to host tours in combination with presenting gifts to poor children in the mountainous region. Such activities should be encouraged as they help tourists share difficulties with local residents, and experience unforgettable charitable activities to have more motivation to engage in similar events in the coming time. 

He suggested tourists make earlier contact with local authorities for consultations and assistance. It depends on the residential situation of each tourism site that visitors will choose suitable voluntary charitable activities.

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