Several summer volunteer campaigns initiated in Ho Chi Minh City have helped improve the lives of thousands of residents in rural and mountainous areas and also inspired many young people to join the Communist Party of Vietnam, a senior official has said.

Addressing an August 18 ceremony held to mark 20 years of youth volunteer campaigns, Le Thanh Hai, Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, said that they have built bridges, roads, houses and classrooms; and improved literacy as well as academic performances at all school levels in especially disadvantaged areas.

Step by step, the campaigns, including the Green Summer Volunteer Campaign have enhanced the city’s image and contributed to national construction and development, he said.

The campaigns have also provided the environment for young people to practically train themselves, boosting their understanding and self-confidence, Hai said.

Moreover, the campaigns have created conditions for the youth to learn more about the country’s history, culture, lifestyle and other aspects, he said, adding that many of the volunteers have become Party members.

Le Quoc Phong, secretary of the HCM Communist Youth Union, said that the tradition of summer volunteer campaigns has developed well since 1994, when the Summer Literacy Campaign was launched by the HCM City University of Education.

Apart from building bridges, roads, community houses, classrooms, charity houses, the campaigns have also been providing technical assistance in farming for people in rural and mountainous areas, he said.

From 700 students joining the Summer Literacy Campaign in 1994, participants have increased to 1.6 million, he added.

He said that thanks to the support of the HCM City Party Committee and People’s Committee, the campaigns have expanded to 19 provinces and cities in the country as well as two neighbouring provinces in Laos and Cambodia .

Tran Van Quoc, a third-year student at the HCM City University of Technology, lived in Tra Vinh province’s Cang Long district through the Green summer Campaign this year.

He and his schoolmates helped build cement roads and bridges and assisted children to learn their lessons better, Quoc said.

Living and working as a volunteer for one month was a very useful and memorable experience, he added.

“I gained a better understanding of the life of residents there,” he said, adding that the volunteers were treated like family members.

He said the experience has improved his communication skills, and this will prove useful when he begins working./.