The Association for the Protection of the Disabled, Orphans, and Poor Patients of the Mekong Delta province of An Giang has benefitted thousands of disadvantaged locals through various activities over the last two decades.

An Giang is now home to roughly 15,200 disadvantaged individuals, including roughly 7,470 persons with disabilities, 2,650 poor patients, 1,300 orphans, and 1,900 other needy children under 16-years-old. Most reside in rural areas and are depending on their relatives or community for their livelihoods.

Chairman of the association Tran Minh Tan said although the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has been providing regular aids to these groups, it is far from sufficient in meeting their needs.

Working as a social charity since 1993, the association has coordinated with philanthropists to support beneficiaries through numerous fundraising activities, like art performances. Financial and other material support has so far amounted to over 198.81 billion VND (9.46 million USD), he said.

The association has benefited nearly 954,530 people, 12,390 of whom received free cataract lens operations and 2,540 others with disabilities received wheelchairs.

The organisation has repaired and built 2,330 houses and given bicycles to 470 children from impoverished families. It has also regularly visited rural areas to provide free medical check-ups to the target groups, Tan added.

The association has also helped improve people’s livelihoods in localities implementing the Government’s new-style rural area building programme, such as presenting cows to low-income households in mountainous Tri Ton and Tinh Bien districts, he noted.

The Chairman continued to say that his charity succeeded in mobilising support from domestic and foreign benefactors like VinaCapital, the Mekong Delta healthcare assistance fund, and hundreds of other businesses.

In 2015, it will focus on providing targeted beneficiaries with free eye and rehabilitation surgeries, wheelchairs, and vocational training. Priority will be given to those living in 30 communes building new-style rural areas, he said.-VNA