Some 170 volunteers and photographers took part in a non-profit event on December 6 launched by Help-Portrait Vietnam to take photos of disadvantaged people in Hanoi.

This is the fifth time the event has been held in Vietnam since 2010.

Begun by photographer Jeremy Cowart, Help-Portrait is a community gathering of photographers throughout the world who are prepared to help others using their cameras and talent.

This year, Help-Portrait Hanoi members met in the morning of December 6 at the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) in the capital.

Also in Hanoi on December 6, a Help-Portrait event took place at two hospitals: NIHBT and K Hospital. About 1,000 patients and their relatives had their photos taken at the hospital, including some 300 children and 600 adults, five times more than last year. About 1,200 photos were printed and given to the patients on the same day.

Volunteers include amateur and professional photographers, as well as a number of young people who help with logistics at the event.

"Help-Portrait events were held, not only in Vietnam, but in nearly 60 countries throughout the world. It's an excellent idea. This event not only brings joy to unlucky people whose photos are taken. But this activity also bring joy to the volunteers and photographers like us, who can meet and help them," said Nguyen Viet Hung (nicknamed Lekima Hung), head of the group Help-Portrait Hanoi.

Volunteers also offered gifts to children in the hospitals.

"I am happy to have a photo taken of me. When I was at home, I only seldom had a photo taken. It was my sister who took a photo of me, but the photo was not as beautiful as this one. Everyone says I am handsome," said Hoang Duc Huong, 13, from Lang Son, who is being treated for white blood cell problems.

He could not hide his joy when holding the photo in his hand.

Volunteers donating their time are also happy to participate.

"This is the first time I have taken part in this event. I was a bit anxious, because I did not know if I could take beautiful photos of them. The event is very meaningful, it is a small gift to help them have more courage to fight their diseases," said 29 year-old Nguyen Anh Tuan.

"The photos can be helpful for them. I've heard of some people whose photos taken by Help Portrait would be the last photo of their lives, and were preserved by their families," he added.

December 6 was the third time Dao Thi Hoang Yen took part in the event, and she always arrives very motivated.

"When I met children at the hospitals, I was saddened to see some children who could not even leave their beds because of their illnesses. When I took photos of them, I was glad to see their smiles. The photos bring the smiles to children and I am touched by the meaning of this event," she said.

On December 6, besides in Hanoi, Help-Portrait events were also held in 12 other cities, including Ho Chi Minh City, Lao Cai, Hue, Da Nang, Da Lat, Binh Phuoc, and Can Tho.

The work of Help-Portrait volunteers is expected to continue at the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics and Ha Cau's Orphan Centre in Hanoi in mid-December.

The festival first took place in 2010 in HCM City and, since then, has expanded nationwide. Last year, over 9,000 images were printed.-VNA