Tue, Dec 25, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Students sell strawberries to help Vietnamese village

STRAWBERRY FIELDS:The students were inspired to do the charity project by stories their mothers, who are strawberry pickers, told them about life in Vietnam

Staff writer, with CNA

More than 20 school students went out on Saturday to sell strawberries grown by their Vietnamese mothers to raise funds to help improve sanitary conditions in a Vietnamese village.

Students from Wujung Elementary School in Miaoli County said that they are proud of their Vietnamese heritage and want to help improve the quality of life of Vietnamese children with proceeds gained by selling the county’s trademark fruit.

“My mother told me that people in her hometown have to walk for hours every time they need to get clean water,” 11-year-old Lai Hung-kuang (賴宏光) said. “My friends and I want to donate the money we raise to build a well for the people in this village.”

In addition to their fruit sales, Lai and his schoolmates made three documentaries with the help of their school and the World Vision Taiwan charity about their mothers’ work in the strawberry fields.

Many of the growing number of Vietnamese women in Taiwan, who come to the country for economic and security reasons, do physically demanding work to support their families.

Lai said he and the students had to get the cameras rolling as early as 3am over the past two months because the strawberries must be picked in the dark to prevent them from being burned by the sun.

“During the harvest season, we usually work until 8am and collect about 60kg of strawberries every day,” Lai’s mother said.

The 31-year-old, who came to Taiwan 12 years ago, said the project is meaningful because her children are showing that they care about others and cherish what they have.

School principal Chang Chuan-yuan (張傳源) said he hoped the students’ efforts could help raise awareness about the value of community service.

More than 3,000 boxes of strawberries, priced at NT$750 each, are available online at www.worldvision.org.tw. Each box sold will see NT$350 contributed to help people in Vietnam.

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