Mini Vietnam: The Spirit of a Community in Kharkov

Showing solidarity, the Vietnamese community in Kharkov, Ukraine, has overcome several difficulties during the Covid pandemic
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Mini Vietnam: The Spirit of a Community in Kharkov
President of the Overseas Vietnamese Association of Kharkov Tran Duc Tua (first row, second from left) with the Vietnamese community. Photo: WVR

The President of the Overseas Vietnamese Association of Kharkov province Tran Duc Tua recently shared his experience of the Vietnamese community in Kharkov amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

How has the life of Vietnamese people in Kharkov been during the pandemic in the past year?

Over the past year, the lives of Vietnamese people have had certain disturbances and encountered many difficulties in studying and living, especially in business and trade.

Currently, the Vietnamese community here has more than 4,000 people. Recently, students have mainly had to study online, shopping centers have to close, and learning Vietnamese has to be done in isolation.

Do overseas Vietnamese still have activities to support each other and their homeland?

When the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, the leadership of the Vietnamese Association in Kharkov province established a Covid-19 prevention committee. We have volunteers to translate and support people who are sick during the pandemic. The community also participated in the campaign to contribute to the Covid-19 Prevention Fund to help infected people in Kharkov.

In addition to the Covid-19 Prevention Fund, the association also has a charity fund to help Vietnamese people in difficulties.

When being called by the State to contribute to the Covid-19 Vaccine Fund in Vietnam, the community also launched a movement to call for support of people.

In about 10 days, we raised VND 100 million (US$ 4,362) to contribute to our homeland. Although the amount is small, this shows the affection and heart of the people who always turn to their homeland, ready to share difficulties with the people in the country.

Mini Vietnam: The Spirit of a Community in Kharkov
Overseas Vietnamese in Ukraine’s Kharkov support Covid-19 fight at home. Photo: WVR

What program does the community have to work with the host country to fight the pandemic and how is the life for the Vietnamese community now?

Living in a second homeland, we have always complied with the local social distancing measures in conjunction with the instructions of the Vietnamese Embassy.

Due to the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, people's lives are really difficult at the moment. Many people lost their jobs and wanted to return home to overcome the immediate situation due to illness, interruption of their children's education and work stopping.

People wanting to return home are very confident and proud of the spirit and solidarity of the whole country during the pandemic.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, are there any challenges in implementing the association's activities and launching donation programs?

First of all, we would like to thank the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and domestic agencies for always taking care of the Vietnamese community.

Our strength is that we are a very united community, always with one heart towards the homeland. No matter how difficult it is, people want to join hands with everyone in the country to overcome this pandemic. Every time the association launches its activities, we are touched by the enthusiastic support from the community.

It can be said that we are like a miniature Vietnam with organizations: the Party, Youth Union, Women's Union and Veterans Association. All have created solidarity, the power of a common voice to work effectively.

We appreciate the role of Vietnamese associations established from the legitimate aspirations of people, meeting the needs of everyone to exchange, share joys and sorrows in life, while supporting each other to enrich the spiritual life of the community.

Although each organization has its own principles and purpose, we all have one thing in common and, most importantly, desire to do good for the community.

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