On Jan 9th 2015, Mot Thuoc Bridge at My Trinh B, Hau My Trinh Ward, Cai Be District, Tien Giang Province was officially inaugurated after 4 months of construction, including a 2 month interruption due to flooding. Completion of the bridge brought joy to Hau My Trinh residents as well as the people who carried out the work. This is the first bridge in the project “Build –a – Bridge” by Nam Phuong Foundation (NPF).
For years, people of My Trinh B Commune have to cross the Mot Thuoc channel by taking detour or using temporary bridges, which was not safe. “There has not been a good bridge for decades, but now there is a permanent bridge right on the occasion of Tet holiday. That is so excited” – expressed Mr. Nguyen Manh, a 70 years old local resident.
Mot Thuoc Bridge started back in August 2014 with an investment of more than VND 400 million, of which 70% came from NPF – world’s first charity founded by student for Vietnam, and remaining 30% is contributed by local people and government. The project ran for 4 months, with 2 struggling months due to the flood. But despite the difficulties, the project finished as planned.
During the inauguration of the new bridge, NPF ambassador –the MC, Miss Hoang Oanh led the program and shared the happiness with the locals as the new bridge was ready for use. Vice President of Hau My Trinh local Government, Mr. Le Van Lam let us know that the new bridge was on the main road that served people and freight in and out of Hau My Trinh. “We farmers are glad to have this new bridge, as the flow of goods is now faster and easier than ever, plus the kids will be safer. This bridge will also be a cultural connection to nearby areas” – he added. Finally, he expressed his gratitude towards contributors, Nam Phuong Foundation and Kinh Do Corp.
“We see the completion of Mot Thuoc Bridge right on New Year’s celebration as a gift to all of us. There will sure be more bridges to be built, the first bridge, however, will bring strong motivation to NPF” – said Mr. Dinh Ba Khang, a student of the International School of Saigon – co-founder of the NPF.
Together with Hoang Oanh, 3 other dancers from the show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ – Son Lam, Pham Lich and Xuan Thao also actively participate in the event. The trio said they wanted to know more about the people and rural lifestyle. Their participation in the event attracted locals especially children. The three young dancers were happy taking pictures with locals, despite the sizzling heat. “In the future there will be more bridges to come, and I would very much like to attend the inauguration of such significant projects” – expressed Mr. Son Lam.
Although the inauguration of Mot Thuoc Bridge was covered by the sweltering heat of the South East region, lots of locals from nearby neighborhood still came to the ceremony. We can the joy through the smiles and twinkling eyes of the farmers. After years of travelling by boat, with the transportation of goods being limited, the people will now have a chance to develop and transform their lives. Mr. Huynh Thai Viet, a resident of Hau My Trinh commune expressed his gratitude towards contributors and contractors who made it possible. “The kids used to go to school by boat, and I have to accompany them since the water is deep. But now things are getting better. We can now travel back and forth with ease, and also save time too!”.
A 70-year-old woman was excited to step on the new bridge happily smiled. Her whole life used to be surround by the canals, but now it became easier to visit relatives, compared to the pass when she had to take a detour several kilometers away.
The new bridge did not only bring happy to adults, but children also. For the farmers, transportation of agricultural product would take less time, which in turn stimulate regional economy. As for the children, going to school by boat is a thing of the past. They used to go to school by boat, accompanied by guardians. Bikes also need to be taken onboard the canoe to get to other side. Dong Thi My Huyen, a student of 4/4, Hau My Trinh Elementary School said “Mom and dad said there will be a bridge, so I can go to class on my own without them worrying about me.”
The emergence of Mot Thuoc Bridge marks the beginning of changes which will positively affect the lives of the people here. Besides, it is also a good start for “Build-A-Bridge” project, whose mission is to bring bridges to underdeveloped areas across the country.
Mot Thuoc Bridge (built by Nam Phuong Foundation through its project “Build-A-Bridge” and sponsored by Kinh Do Bakery) is the first in a series of 4 bridges to be built at Cai Be District, Tien Giang province. The bridge is expected to finish in 2015.