01/19/2022, 14.34
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Charities in Ban Mê Thuật resume their outreach for Lunar New Year

by Paul Nguyen Hung

The outbreak of the pandemic had stopped their work while more and more people found themselves in dire straits. Volunteers go from house to house to collect material to sell to recycling companies. Caritas hands out money to beneficiaries.

Ban Mê Thuật (AsiaNews) – The Year of the Tiger is coming up soon. Vietnam too will celebrate the Lunar New Year on 1st February, but it will be subdued affair due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the new Omicron variant, which have impoverished millions of people in the past two years.

According to the Department of Population and Labour Statistics, “more than 28 million workers were negatively affected by the pandemic in 2021”. Of these, 4.7 million people lost their jobs (15.6 per cent), 14.7 million had to stop working because production or business were put on hold (51.1 per cent), 12 million people saw their hours of work reduced (42 per cent), while 18.9 million workers saw their income drop (67.2 per cent).

Several parishes in the Diocese of Ban Mê That begun to help people in difficulty ahead of the lunar new year.

Traditionally, on the last Sunday of each month, volunteers go from house to house to collect plastic bottles, nylon, paper and other old items, but were forced to a stop because of the health crisis.

Only last Sunday were they finally able to resume social outreach and charity work. In Châu Sơn parishioners resumed collecting recyclable material saved by Christian families.

The money made selling the stuff to recycling companies will fund help for the poor, the sick and people living in need. This will be done through Caritas, which will hand out the money to the beneficiaries at the start of the Lunar New Year next month.

Meanwhile, in Dũng Lạc parish, Fr Anthony Vũ Thanh Lịch and the local pastoral council are organising a series of pastoral visits, bringing gifts to those, Catholic or not, who are going through hard times in Tân Lập and Tân An, boroughs in the city of Ban Mê Thuật.

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