Buddhist dignitaries, monks and followers in the southern province of Soc Trang have been engaging in numerous charity activities to help disadvantaged people materially and spiritually.

Over the past years, local Buddhists have contributed both money and labour to build houses for low-income people, Agent Orange/Dioxin victims, and those who rendered services to the nation during wartime. They have also helped in constructing bridges and roads to facilitate the travelling of residents in rural areas.

The Buddhist community frequently organized such activities as giving free medical examinations and gifts to the needy or scholarships to poor students. Many pagodas held free learning classes for disadvantaged children.

Monk Thich Thien Sanh from the Executive Board of the provincial Buddhist Sangha said the board raised more than 200 billion VND (over 9.5 million USD) for charity over the last five years.

Notably, local Buddhists have coordinated with the Soc Trang Radio – Television Station to organise a monthly TV broadcast called “Compassion Bridge” to raise fund for the poor. The programme has so far collected more than 7 billion VND (over 333,300 USD), which was used to pay for medical treatment to some 800 people.

There are 183 pagodas in Soc Trang at present with nearly 2,000 Buddhist dignitaries and monks.-VNA