Touching story between mountains and forests

VCN- Lan Nghinh Xuân flowers blooms signal a new spring coming. During these days, ethnic minorities in the border area of Ca Rooong border gate (Bo Trach district, Quang Binh) are warmer thanks to the sharing of customs officials and civil servants stationed here. Many touching stories about Customs officers helping people develop their economy, eradicate hunger and reduce poverty with practical actions were recorded during our trip to the area.
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To the border commune

Arriving in the remote border area, we were not only welcomed by the affection of our colleagues but also listened to the "fairy tale in real life" about Customs officers and officials and teachers who still cling to the village every day, cling to the border and help change the country.

From the centre of Bo Trach district, Quang Binh to Thuong Trach border commune is nearly 50 kilometres. In the middle of the mountains and forests, electricity is unavailable and communication is also very limited. The loudspeaker is the only means for giving people information from outside in the morning and evening. People earn their living by going to the forest, producing and raising small animals; all activities rely on water from small streams flowing through this area

The headquarters of Ca Rooong Border Gate Customs Branch (Quang Binh Customs Department) is interspersed with Troi, 61 and Tuoc villages in Thuong Trach commune. Deputy Director of the Customs Branch of Ca Rooong Border Gate Truong Thi Hoa Mai said in this border area, people's lives are still very difficult.

We followed the customs officers and officials to visit the village; the only way is to walk. The road leading to the village passes a stream, and then the dirt road is slippery. Every cadre and civil servant is warmly and cordially welcomed here. In remote border areas, living and working away from home, each customs officer and official at the border gate is like a second house. Therefore, they treat their colleagues and relatives as family members.

Sympathising with the difficulties of ethnic minorities, excluding holidays, New Year, Customs officials and employees visit, encourage people or launch donations to share difficulties with people. Villagers learn to cultivate land and raise. Moreover, every Customs officer and employee also does not forget their task, which is to mobilise people to participate in denouncing drug crimes, propagating for people to learn about the harmful effects of drugs to the community, to protect border areas without causing social evils.

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Feel the family atmosphere

In this remote boundary area, many teachers are still working hard to teach each word for the young people in the border region.

In the three months of summer, the children of Ma Coong follow their parents to the fields, go to the forest to pick bamboo shoots, find honey, and "forget" the word and forget the way to school. In the new school year, the first job for the teacher is to look for students. To learn words is also the closest way for students to access the culture of the regions. Therefore, to fulfill the class, teachers at each school site must come to their home to encourage and persuade them to go to school, Principal of the No.2 Primary School of Thuong Trach Commune Vo Anh Tuan said

The building has been damaged many times by storms. Every day, both teachers and students take turns teaching and learning there. Each shift has preschoolers in grades 1 and 2 learning together; and grades 3, 4 and 5 learn together. It is so hard, the teachers are in the village, and the children keep going to class.

Understanding the difficulties of ethnic minority students here, Truong Thi Mai Hoa called on her colleagues in the industry to join hands to help students at the Champu school site of the Digital Primary School. 2 Thuong Trach. There are no classrooms; teachers had to borrow houses to teach. Each volunteer’s heart is a source of encouragement for teachers and students to overcome difficulties. The entire budget of about VND 100 million is used to build two classrooms with simple stilt houses, which is enough for teachers and students to warm up here on the occasion of Vietnamese Teachers' Day on November 20. Since then, the youth of Customs and benefactors have considered this place a destination in their annual charitable activities.

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Volunteer activities of officials and employees of the Customs Department of Ca Ro border gate, Quang Binh Customs Department. (Photo provided by the unit)

These days, the spring atmosphere everywhere in the plains is bustling. In villages in the border areas of the country, the Tet atmosphere is also filled with love between customs officials and ethnic minorities. Officials and officers of Ca Rooong Border Gate Customs Sub-Department still ensure the troops stay on Tet duty. Like every year, this year, Customs officials and employees together with ethnic people pack chung cake for Tet.

Tet in the highland is full of joys, is the sacredness of the flesh and blood and brings each Customs officer away from home, the warmth of the family atmosphere.

By Quang Hung/ Bui Diep

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