South Africa consul visits children at hospital

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Officials from the Consulate of South Africa Republic in Ho Chi Minh City last week visited child patients in the city to mark their nation's Independence Day, April 27.

They gave gifts and money to children in the HCMC Children's Hospital No.2's kidney and tumor wards, and took with them four people dressed up as clowns who performed there.

Do Thi Kim Lien, South Africa's honorary consul in HCMC, said Independence Day was usually celebrated with a party. "But this year we decided to save the [money] for some community purpose."

Phan Thanh Nguyen, father of a four-year-old patient from the central province of Binh Thuan, said his child has been suffered from hemophilia since his fourth month.

"We have sold our house and land at home to pay for his treatment. Now my wife and I, along with his grandparents, stay in the city doing menial jobs we find to take care of him."

Lien said she and her colleagues usually visit children at the Saigon Oncology Hospital and at orphanages on the weekend.

The consulate also provides regular scholarships to the Da Lat Academy, an English language institute that Lien set up in the Central Highlands town of Da Lat in 2004 to train local children for developing tourism in the area.

Grants worth a total of VND275.2 million (US$13,166) were given to 203 students at the last school year.

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