Love in the border gates

VCN- This year, the family of six people of Cháng Mí Hồ, Giang Nam hamlet, Thanh Thuy commune, Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang province will celebrate the Lunar New Year in a new, warm and affectionate house, replacing his old low-roofed house his family has lived in for many years. The new house was built due to the support of officials of Ha Giang Customs Department and other units.
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Thanh Thuy Border gate, Ha Giang province. Photo: Ngoc Linh

New houses before the Lunar New Year

Together with Cháng Mí Hồ’s family, Hầu Chá Lý’s family is also one of two families supported by Ha Giang Customs Department to build new houses thanks to the support of officials of Ha Giang Customs Department and other units. This is one of the meaningful activities implemented by Ha Giang Customs Department for many years and it has received contributions from many organisations and individuals both within and outside the sector.

It is hard to describe the happiness of Cháng Mí Hồ’s family before this Lunar New year. Previously, his family of five had to live in a small and ramshackle house on the road along the ridge to Pha Han village. Years ago, while farming (near the Milestone No. 13), due to an accident with landmines and explosive remnants of war, Cháng Mí Hồ - the breadwinner of the family, unfortunately lost one leg. This made his life more difficult, and his dream of a new house was nearly gone.

Hầu Chá Lý’s family is a poor household, his wife left nearly 10 years ago and he has raised six children by himself. Previously, his family lived in a shack in the fields, the living conditions were deprived. Every time he wanted to go down the mountain, it took hours, his children could not go to school, and he never thought of a new house. But happiness came when the two families were provided VND 200 million from Ha Giang Customs Department, Bac Ninh Customs Department, Risk Management Department - General Department of Customs and other organisations and individuals.

With smiles mixed with touching tears, words were not enough for Cháng Mì Hồ and Hầu Chá Lý to express their gratitude to the authorities and especially the Customs officials who helped them build spacious and solid houses. Sharing the joy with us, the H'Mong ethnic man, who is illiterate and not fluent in Vietnamese, shook our hands tightly to express his thanks.

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Leaders of Ha Giang Customs Departments hand over the house to Hầu Chá Lý’s family.

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In the joys of the two families, the Customs officials in charge of clearing the low-roofed house did not hide their emotions. For them, this is a hardship work. The road along the mountain to Ha Son hamlet makes many people scared because of the rugged terrain. Standing up and looking up, I thought it was only a short distance but it was not easy to climb. Looking at the winding road just like a fuzzy thread, people are as small as ants clinging to the cliff.

To build a house for Hầu Chá Lý’s family, the Customs officers of Thanh Thuy International Border Gate Customs Department together with the local authorities organised a mission to encourage his younger brother to give him a land to build a house. Due to customs and people's awareness, after many mobilisation campaigns, they have been able to make a written record certified by commune, village, customs and family officials to avoid future disputes. Building a new house in the delta is hard; it’s even harder in here. It takes VND1.000 for transporting a brick and stone, and VND500 for a cement bag. These materials are only transported by motorbike; it only takes 2-3 bricks or two cement bags per time. As transportation of raw materials is difficult and due to the characteristics of the people, without close supervision, completion will be far away. Customs officials must follow closely every day; otherwise the workers would easily give up.

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Leaders of Ha Giang Customs Departments hand over the house to Hầu Chá Lý’s family.

Sharing with us, Deputy Director of Ha Giang Customs Department Nguyen Minh Thanh said that for years, implementing the provincial guidance on assigning Ha Giang Customs Department to be in charge of Thanh Thuy commune, Vi Xuyen district, the unit worked with the Party Committee and the authorities of Thanh Thuy commune to pay attention to poor people. Ha Giang Customs Department promotes propaganda and mobilises agencies, businesses and individuals to join hands, contributing to help poor families. In particular, supporting poor families to build solid houses, eliminating dilapidated houses for poor veterans and families, who have difficulty in housing in Ha Giang province is a top priority, the total funding supported in 2018 and 2019 is nearly VND1 billion.

Not only helping families in difficult circumstances, Ha Giang Customs Department also supports them to build successful economic models.

Lunar New Year is coming, with the love of neighbours, the families of Cháng Lý Hồ and Hầu Chá Lý will have more fun and welcome a warmer New Year in their new houses. These houses not only realise the dreams of poor families but also add optimism for them to strive and firmly believe in a brighter future.

By N.Linh-M.Hoa/ Kieu Oanh

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