Posted on: 12/07/2021
With the whole of Vietnam working together to “fight the pandemic like fighting the enemy”, a large number of foreigners living in Vietnam have also joined hands in this pledge. Foreigners residing in Vietnam have shown to contribute to the community and demonstrate their affection and respect for Vietnam through different ways.
That is what has been done by international lecturers at British University Vietnam (BUV) over the last year, especially during the COVID-19 outbreaks and its subsequent difficult times. Despite having different nationalities and speaking different languages, they admire the efforts of the Government when living and working in Vietnam, along with the consensus among the frontline doctors who have been “fighting” against the pandemic through days and nights and hundreds of volunteers serving at hospitals and quarantine facilities to bring our lives back to the “new normal”. Here at BUV, international lecturers have always been present at donation events to support the anti-COVID-19 efforts, enhancing the power and faith in conquering the pandemic together.
In early 2020, a photo of a Hanoi apartment building’s balconies painted with the red of Vietnamese flags was spread across social networking sites, especially forums for foreigners in Vietnam, to raise the spirits of those at the frontline combating the pandemic. That photo was captured by Dr. Prabu Mohan, an Indian photographer, and won first place in the “World in Lockdown” category of the 2020 Aerial Photography Awards. Dr. Prabu Mohan is a Senior Lecturer and the Programme Leader for University of London International Programmes delivered at BUV. Having been in Vietnam for the past nine years, he feels himself truly being “a part of Vietnam” when looking at this photo, which makes him want to show his affection for the country and the people here. “It is one of the photos of mine showing the solidarity of the Vietnamese and connecting people emotionally. In this regard, it is the most beautiful photo to me”, said Dr. Prabu Mohan.
Along with Dr. Prabu, other lecturers at BUV have shown no hesitation to join campaigns launched by the University to spread the sense of cohesion and sharing to students and other staff members. With the aim of initiating the optimism and healthy lifestyle during the pandemic, and fund-raising, Francesco Meca (Programme Leader for Tourism Management & Event Management at BUV) was among the active lecturers who joined the campaign “You train. BUV donates” launched by BUV in 2020. Every student and staff member of BUV was called for doing push-ups, squats, or crunches, each of which would be converted to a donation of VND 5,000 to the COVID-19 Disease Prevention Fund.
Later in the year when the social distancing was eased, realising that many individuals still needed support due to the severe effects of the pandemic, BUV continued launching the second campaign named “Keep moving forward”. Each Facebook post delivering a positive message meant a contribution of VND 100,000 to the COVID-19 Disease Prevention Fund. This campaign received positive responses from many BUV’s foreign lecturers.
After 20 days of launching the two dynamic campaigns, BUV raised a total of VND 100 million and handed the donation over to the representative of the Central Committee of Vietnam Fatherland Front on May 12, 2020.
Most recently, joining the synergy of the whole country to fight against COVID-19, BUV has called for donations from staff members to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), gloves, face masks, etc., and deliver them to volunteers at the pandemic hotspot in Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province – those striving to work in disadvantaged and strict conditions. Touched by the benevolence of the frontline health workers, Aiman Abousher (Programme Leader of Marketing Management, BUV) expressed his gratitude while contributing a donation to the campaign: “The call for support from the University really touched my heart. There may probably be no words to express my gratitude to the Real Stars and Real Heroes in life – those risking their own lives and families to protect us against death at every moment. I really admire their sacrifices for the people. Their determination and dedication to life saving truly shine bright and become an inspiration for us. I can hear, I can feel, and I will respond to this call with all of my kindness, compassion, and humility”.
This sentiment is echoed amongst the voices of international lecturers at BUV – who said that they felt fortunate as the pandemic was well-handled and far less serious than other places in the world, which caused little interruption to their work and the “normalcy” of their lives.
Beyond the donations and contributions, the most precious legacy of the pandemic is probably the sense of solidarity among not only Vietnamese people but also international fellows, which derives from the love for the people and country of Vietnam – where they feel a strong sense of “belonging”.
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