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Province builds on successes in family planning

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

Province builds on successes in family planning

QĐND – Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

Nguyen Manh Thao of the northern province of Hoa Binh is happy that he has two daughters.

This is somewhat surprising in Vietnam with its strong patriarchal and Confucianist traditions where families desire to have a son to tend to the family altar, to continue the family lineage and so on.

It is not important whether it is a daughter or a son, Thao said, adding that to have the right conditions to raise them comfortably and ensure a happy life for them is far more important.

Thao, therefore, did not pressurise his wife to give him a son and a third child for the family, another not-too-uncommon practice in the country when the first two children are daughters.

Like his elder brother, Nguyen Manh Hung has no particular preference, and does not say anything to his wife about needing a son. The couple did not adopt any method or measure, western or traditional, to try and influence the baby’s gender, another frequently chosen option by many others.

His first child is a girl and the second, a boy. After giving birth to the second child, his wife chose to use the IUD (intrauterine device) sterilisation method, Hung said.

“Two children are enough and I can afford to secure their future based on my financial situation,” he added.

Thao and Hung’s parents worked very hard to raise their five children, and they often advised their offspring to have only one or two children in order to raise them well.

Nguyen Thi Nga, a family planning worker at Cham Mat Ward in Hoa Binh City , said the number of families having three children in the ward has reduced in recent years.

“The awareness of residents about the advantages of having a smaller family has improved,” Nga added.

Unlike earlier, when many families did not want to meet and listen to her about sterilisation, a large number of women are now voluntarily asking for advice on sterilisation methods, she said.

Only 10 of 1,750 households in the ward have a third child.

Nguyen Huy Lam, head of the city’s Centre for Population and Family Planning, said in 2008, the third child accounted for nearly three in every 100 births. This dropped to two in 2009 and is expected to remain the same this year, he said.

This is the result of awareness campaigns as well as the implementation of many activities like the establishment of a club for families without the third child in Cham Mat ward, he added.

However, Lam said he is concerned that in Hoa Binh City , more than 50 percent of the third-born children were from well-off families.

Nguyen Thi Nguyet of Cham Mat ward has a son and a daughter, but wants another one despite the advice of family planning workers.

Her family is doing well, so raising one more child is not difficult, she said.

Tran Phuong Hoa, Cham Mat ward’s family planning co-ordinator, said some families want to have many children because they thought it will make them happier and will have more people to take care of them when they are old.

In Vietnam , especially in rural and mountainous areas, there are no homes for senior people, and many people are afraid that there will be nobody to take care of them if they have only one or two children.

In particular, some families think that daughters cannot take care of them when they are old because daughters usually live at their husband’s house and take care of his parents.

So families with two daughters often want to have one son, Hoa said.

Cao Phong district in the province has many well-off families with more than two children and is among districts with the highest gender imbalance.

The province has a third child rate of 7.7 per cent, according to Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong, deputy head of the provincial Statistic Department, with most of them being boys.

The use of methods to choose a baby’s gender before conceiving is popular among the provincial population.

It has contributed to the gender imbalance in Hoa Binh province, which ranks among the top ten provinces in the country in this regard, according to the provincial Statistics Department.

The province will change the content and objectives of its awareness campaigns and also introduce stricter punitive measures as it strives to reduce its gender imbalance and contribute to stable development of the nation’s population, Lam said.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

VRG builds school in Cambodia

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Vietnam builds trawler for France

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2010 at 3:24 am

Vinh Phuc builds homes for low-income people

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Vietnam builds Cam Ranh port by itself

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Vietnam builds Cam Ranh port by itself

QĐND – Saturday, October 30, 2010, 21:22 (GMT+7)

PANO – “Vietnam has decided to build Cam Ranh port by its own resources,” said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in a press conference in Hanoi on October 30th.

The press conference was held after the 17th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits concluded successfully in Hanoi.

Answering the People’s Army Newspaper Online question about the construction of the Cam Ranh port, the prime minister said that Vietnam planned to build a service complex in this port to supply resources for the Vietnamese Navy.

The prime minister also said that Vietnam, is willing to provide services, like other countries in the world, for naval ships from every country, including submarines, when they request.

Vietnam will also consider to sign contracts with Russian businesses which meet the technical demands on providing consultancy for constructing the port.

Ngoc Hung – Bao Trung

Source: QDND

Greece rushes austerity cuts as anger builds

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm

A man passes by a shop window in downtown Athens. (AFP photo)

ATHENS (AFP) – Greece’s socialist government rushed on Monday to push through parliament a fresh round of spending cuts in the face of public anger at the price to pay for the 110-billion-euro international bailout.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has insisted the austerity package was essential to secure the joint eurozone-International Monetary Fund rescue package.

But Greek unions have vowed to battle the drastic round of austerity measures, worth some 30 billion euros (40 billion dollars) that include deep cuts to wages and pensions.

Union leaders have flagged up a general strike Wednesday as the first stage in resistance to the government’s austerity programme.

The government is to present the new austerity measures to parliament late Monday or Tuesday and aims to get a vote on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest, an official said.

Newspapers said the day after the cuts were unveiled that they marked the end of an era in Greece and beginning of years of painful sacrifice.

“Our way of life, of working, consuming and organising our lives in this part of the Balkans is finished since yesterday,” the pro-governmental Ta Nea newspaper said in an editorial.

The main headline of the independent left-leaning Eleftherotypia read “Four years without a breath…”

Papandreou, in a speech to his cabinet Sunday, made it clear the cuts would run deep: but he was clear too about what he believed was at stake.

“I know that with the decisions today our citizens must suffer greater sacrifices,” he said.

“The alternative however would be catastrophe and greater suffering for us all.”

The 110-billion-euro bailout to dig Greece out of its debt crisis is bigger than the deal agreed to salvage bankrupt Argentina in the 1990s.

European governments endorsed the deal at a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels on Sunday, although the parliaments of some of the 16 eurozone countries involved, notably France and Germany, still need to approve it.

The first installment of the eurozone-IMF rescue package would then be paid within the next few weeks, with the rest spread over three years and conditional on the cuts and tax rises in Greece.

That should mean the first payment will be in the Greek coffers ahead of the May 19 deadline for nine billion euros of debt repayments.

IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Sunday that the Fund’s executive board was set to approve its part of the deal, 30 billion euros, within the week.

“The authorities’ program is designed with fairness in mind,” he said of the government’s cuts. It would include more progressive taxation; a clampdown on tax evasion with closer checks on the rich.

Athens would also exempt the most vulnerable from cuts in wages and pensions, said Strauss-Kahn. And there would be a “significant reduction” in military spending.

But Yannis Panagopoulos, president of the million-member strong GSEE union, denounced the government’s plan as the “most unfair and hardest measures in the modern history of Greece”.

The austerity plan would only “worsen the recession and plunge the economy into a deep coma”, he warned.

“It’s time to step up the social battle, our May 5 general strike will be the beginning of a long battle.”

In exchange for emergency loans, Greece has agreed the new cuts over three years with the aim of slashing the public deficit to less than three percent of output by 2014, from 13.6 percent last year.

Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said the government would scrap 13th and 14th month bonus wages for public sector workers and pensioners; raise the retirement age for women from 60 to 65, bringing it in line with that for men; and raise the sales tax from 21 percent to 23 percent this year.

Rocked by violent street protests at home, Greece has been under heavy pressure to cut a massive public deficit that has shaken the euro, rattled markets and sparked fears of contagion to other debt-ridden European countries.

But the euro slipped and Asian stocks tumbled in thin trading on Monday on doubts about the bailout.

The single European currency bought 1.3224 dollars at 0350 GMT in Asia, down from 1.3294 late in New York Friday, paring back early gains that saw it climb as high as 1.3332 dollars.

The European Central Bank meanwhile suspended criteria for Greek debt it accepts as collateral for loans of central bank funds, a major boost for the Greek government and banks.

The move, which is to remain in effect “until further notice”, means that banks in Greece and elsewhere will be able to keep getting ECB cash loans using government bonds and other marketable debt instruments as collateral despite their ratings by international agencies.

Source: SGGP

India’s newest hill station builds for the future

In World on September 16, 2009 at 6:39 am

For India’s colonial rulers, hill stations like Shimla and Darjeeling provided a welcome break from the stifling heat and humidity of administrative capitals Calcutta and later New Delhi.

This file photo taken on July 22, 2008 shows an Indian Kashmiri boatman steering his “shikara” (local style canoe) past a row of water jets on Dal Lake in Srinagar.

More than 60 years after the British left, the Himalayan towns and others like them still attract city dwellers and tourists eager to take in the cooler mountain air.

Now a new hill station, Lavasa, is being built some 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of Mumbai, around a lake high in the Western Ghats range that runs virtually the length of the country.

It is being billed as “free India’s first and largest hill city”. But to its corporate backers and those who will run it, it represents more than just a symbol of independence.

Decades after India’s first planned, post-independence city, Chandigarh, was built, they say the multi-billion-dollar development is a bold experiment that could be a blueprint for building and managing future Indian cities.

Lavasa city manager Scot Wrighton calls the privately-funded project a “laboratory” to test the latest techniques in urban planning and service delivery.

“The demographers are predicting that India will add three to four hundred million new people to its population over the next 40 years,” said Wrighton, who has 20 years’ experience in city management in the United States.

“There’s no question about whether there will be new cities in India. The question is: what’s the quality of life going to be like?” he told AFP.

With India’s population at 1.2 billion people and counting, plus internal economic migration to urban areas from the countryside, the country’s cities are bursting at the seams.

Housing shortages, electricity and water cuts, traffic congestion, pollution and a lack of basic services are the reality for millions.

“The problem is that 20 years back, nobody realised that we would be growing at such a huge pace,” said Pankat Joshi, executive director of the Urban Design Research Institute in Mumbai, a city itself home to 18 million people.

“The speed of growth in the last five to seven years has been completely breakneck. It’s not just Mumbai. It’s more than 50 cities that are growing at this pace.”

With infrastructure in India’s older cities struggling to cope, and demographics outpacing the planning and completion of construction and transportation projects, Lavasa at least has the advantage of a clean slate.

Dasve, the first of five towns that will make up Lavasa, is due to open next year, with Wrighton promising the city’s expected 200,000 permanent residents uninterrupted water supplies, electricity, clean streets and managed traffic.

Environmental sustainability is also a high priority. Seventy percent of the city, which is expected to be fully built by 2021, has been designated green space in this area known as a haven for rare species of animals and plants.

The publicity material promises recycling of waste and water and renewable energy, along with eco-friendly materials in property ranging from the cheapest social housing to top-of-the-range villas.

The Lavasa Corporation Limited, a unit of the giant Hindustan Construction Company, is looking for “non-polluting industries” like the education, health, IT and hospitality sectors to set up in the city and provide over 50,000 jobs.

Krunal Negandhi, head of sustainable development, environment and landscaping in Lavasa, said the sustainable environmental model was “the future for cities”.

“Climate change five years ago was just jargon,” he said. “Today, the reality of it is being experienced in the change in the rain patterns, etcetera. These are the things that people are getting sensitive to.”

But Joshi is sceptical, doubting Lavasa can be a model for future cities, or even if the comparison should be made, seeing the area instead as “more of a hill station with second homes for the middle classes” and a “gated enclave”.

“Our cities don’t function for middle classes. The bulk of them are for the urban poor,” he said, adding that Lavasa would lack the layers that contribute to the diversity of cities built up over centuries.

“Investment and technology or marketing doesn’t really make a city. There are other issues about livelihood, class, culture, creed, community,” he added.

Source: SGGP

Former ragman builds schools for poor children

In Vietnam Lifestyle on September 8, 2009 at 5:29 pm

For over three decades, Chieng A Sam, a Vietnamese of Chinese origin, has built 15 schools throughout Southern provinces for underprivileged children to help them access the light of knowledge.

Coming from a poor family in China Town, HCM City, Sam had to leave school early to make a living.

After the country won unification in 1975, A Sam depended on buying rags for his livelihood. Riding on an old, rickety bike into alleys and side streets to buy broken slippers, ripped school bags and raincoats from families in districts 5, 6 and 11, the young man was a familiar figure to the locals, who were also mostly Chinese by birth.

                          Mr. Chieng A Sam

Sam said that he began to think about helping people who lived in miserable conditions one day when he witnessed an old beggar buying a plate of rice with no other food.

A Sam said, “Looking at the poor man eating his frugal meal, I couldn’t hold back my feelings, so I took out all the crumpled small banknotes from my pocket to buy some simmered pork chops for him.”

“No word could express my happiness when treating the old man to a good meal. That was the first time I realized that the meaning of happiness was to share.”

Three years later, Sam saved enough money to open a depot and became a supplier of rags and waste plastic grains to various plastic processors. He and his family began to live a better life thanks to such a business, but Sam was not satisfied with the achievement. He later invested all his savings in a production line to make sandal straps.

To keep costs to a minimum, Sam undertook every aspect of production, from purchasing wasted plastic grains, seeking the market for the products, to finalizing and putting them into circulation. Sam was financially rewarded for his hard work and his family could escape poverty at last.

When his family had more than enough money, Sam began to think about how to give help to the community. Sam said, “I still remembered the lesson of happiness that I learned from sharing a few years before. “

“I thought about building an elementary school for underprivileged kids, but I myself alone couldn’t afford it, so I raised a subscription from my colleagues,” said he.

Thanks to their contributions, Sam built Ho Van Cuong, the first elementary school in Tan Phu District.

Explaining why he chose Tan Phu to build the first school, A Sam said, “It was the area I used to travel around to purchase rags. It’s also a poor district with many underprivileged children.”

Since 1978, thousands of pupils have in turn studied under the same roof of the school built by Sam. Every year, 300 pupils whose families have little money are exempted from tuition fees.

After building Ho Van Cuong School, Sam began to travel to remote areas throughout the South to build 14 others.

The largest is Viet Hoa School in Dinh Quan District and the smallest is Viet Hoa School in Binh Loc Commune, Long Khanh Town, which can accommodate 500 and 200 pupils respectively. Both are in Dong Nai Province.

When asked why he is interested in building schools, Sam said, “It’s good to give the poor some money so that they can buy some food to eat to ease their hunger, but what will happen to them when they have eaten it up? They will face hunger again, won’t they?

“That’s why I wish to give the kids the light of knowledge, as it will help them escape poverty and hunger forever. I believe this is a much better way,” he added.

At present, Sam is investing in a plantation growing 100,000 Chinaberry trees. With the current price of US$200 a tree, he hopes that he can make enough profits in five years to build more schools for poor children.

He said, “I have the happiness that unlike me, my ten children all enjoyed education and have now become useful citizens to society, so I wish to share my happiness with the community. I hope that the knowledge that the poor kids gain in the schools built by myself will help them strive successfully for a bright future. “ 

Source: SGGP

Monk builds house, clinic for homeless elderly

In Vietnam Lifestyle on September 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Saving money and calling on benefactors’ help to build a home and building a traditional medicine clinic to take care of the lonely and homeless elderly. This is what a monk, Thich Giac Thoi, in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang has achieved.

Homeless elderly are taken care of at Phuoc Lam Pagoda in Soc Trang Province (Photo: SGGP)

Twenty years ago, Thoi came to Cho Cu Hamlet, My Xuyen Town, to become an abbot at Phuoc Lam Pagoda.

The abbot made the deserted pagoda spacious and attracted many visitors.

He then set out to build a home for the elderly, which was completed in 2002 with two airy rooms for 20 old people. At present, 26 people aged from 70 to 98 are living there.

Some of them are from HCMC and the central province of Binh Thuan, they were homeless and wandered many places to beg before stopping at the house.

In 2005, Abbot Thoi found that most of the old people at the house were often ill. He decided to build a traditional medicine clinic, named Tue Tinh Duong.

Nun Dang Chieu was appointed to attend a course on oriental and western medicines and acupuncture.

Many Buddhists have also volunteered to come to the clinic to take care of, deliver medicines and carry out acupuncture for the elderly and disadvantaged ethnic minority people. The clinic treats about 50 people a day.

Chieu said that although the clinic has received assistance from Buddhists, the material infrastructure is still poor with a shortage of machines and acupuncture appliances.

The kitchen here also provides food to 70 people, including patients, monks, nuns and Buddhist laymen.

“Living in the pagoda, we are well taken care of from food to beds. Each time we are sick, we are whole heartedly cared for with enough medicines. We do not how to reciprocate this kindness,” a 75 year old man said.

Abbot Thoi has not only done charity at his pagoda but also taken part in many charitable activities in the local area.

Nguyen Van Minh, head of Cho Cu said that the pagoda has helped the hamlet to build three houses and annually deliver rice to poor people in July.

Disadvantaged Khmers are also given assistance at the pagoda when they meet difficulties or fall sick.

“Doing charitable things is to follow Buddhism,” Abbot Thich Giac Thoi said.

Source: SGGP

Quang Nam builds RoK-funded hospital

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 2:40 pm

– Construction of the Quang Nam General Hospital began in Chu Lai open economic zone, Nui Thanh district, central Quang Nam province on Nov. 29.

The project has an investment capital of 45 million USD, including 35 million USD granted by the Republic of Korea (RoK).

The hospital will cover over 22 ha. In the first phase, it will be equipped 500 beds with surgical, injury and cardiovascular wards.

The project is expected to improve healthcare for people in the southern central region and the Central Highlands and contribute to socio-economic development in Quang Nam.-