KIÊN GIANG — Lieutenant Colonel Danh Tâm, 42, is a politician and secretary of the Party Committee at the Phú Mỹ Border Station in Giang Thành District, Kiên Giang Province.
He has lived there, among the local people, for 18 years, and is considered a prime example of a Vietnamese Border Guard officer.
Lieutenant Colonel Tâm has been urging people to help educate poor Cambodian children living near the border with Việt Nam.
The children live in Kampong Trach District, Kampot Province in Cambodia, near the landmark 304 in Trà Phô Village, Phú Mỹ Commune of Việt Nam.
Speaking Khmer fluently, Tâm can talk with the Cambodian border guards and local authorities where the students lived. Scholarships are awarded to the students.
The policy of awarding scholarships to poor children in border areas has been in place since 2016, and is financed from the salaries of officers and soldiers from the Phú Mỹ Border Station.
The scholarships are in cash, awarded to children on both sides of the border between Việt Nam and Cambodia. Each child is given VNĐ500,000 (US$22) per month.
As well as working directly with local authorities to give Khmer children scholarships, Tâm also adopted a poor student so that he could continue to go to school.
Having joined the Border Guards 18 years ago, Lieutenant Colonel Tâm has 14 years of experience working with people in the border area of Giang Thành and Hà Tiên cities.
When he was deputy political officer of the Hà Tiên International Border Gate, he also participated in educating local people, guiding them on how to do business and developing a family economy.
Local people love him and help him carry a loudspeaker on his motorbike through every village, spreading knowledge about COVID-19 prevention and control in the Khmer language.
His news was emitted from a loudspeaker and people who were hundreds of metres away could still hear the advice.
“When I’m busy with work and cannot go, local people call to give regards to me, as they are afraid that I’m tired,” said Tâm.
The area is large and remote, but, thanks to Tâm’s loudspeaker, everyone has access to information.
Tâm also always carries several hundred medical masks. When he meets someone without a mask, he stops to give one to them, urging them to strictly observe pandemic prevention and control measures.
Tâm also coordinates with the local authorities to go to every pagoda, spreading education on COVID-19 prevention and illegal immigration.
Venerable En Thunh, head of the Khmer Giồng Kè Pagoda in Phú Lợi Commune, Giang Thành District said that, with the knowledge given to him by the Phú Mỹ Border Guard Station, Lieutenant Colonel Danh Tâm and local authorities, he has re-educated all Buddhists, monks and locals in the area.
At the beginning of this year, Tâm officially got married. He said that they have known and loved each other for a long time, and his wife also lives in the border area of Giang Thành District, so she always understood his work.
He and his wife planned to have a wedding many times, but their wedding has been postponed a few times due to Tâm’s work.
He said that he and the Border Guard soldiers hope that poor students in border areas can go to school and implement their dreams and ambitions.
“If they have good achievements, jobs, and success in life, it will make us very happy,” said Tâm.
Tâm always clearly defines his sense of responsibility, takes initiative, and voluntarily researches the meaning and importance of everyone in the border area.
He proposes the Party Committee and the Station Command on proper guidelines and measures to lead, direct, and organise programmes and projects effectively.
With effective and practical actions, contributing to maintaining security and order on the border, repelling illegal immigration and smuggling, and helping keep the border area peaceful, Lieutenant Colonel Tâm has been awarded many certificates of merit from the Ministry of National Defence, the Border Guard Command and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Lieutenant Colonel Trần Thanh Mông, head of the Phú Mỹ Border Guard Station, said that Tâm is always devoted wholeheartedly to his work.
“Tâm is always the centre of solidarity, helping teammates in difficult circumstances to overcome. He is not only good at professional skills, but also very effective in educating local people with fluent Khmer language,” said Mông.
Tâm’s most outstanding work is that he has worked with the province to implement the programme “Nâng bước em đến trường” (Supporting students to go to school).
In six years, 15 children have benefited from the programme.
Every month, in addition to assigning officers and soldiers to give financial support to the children, Tâm regularly keeps in touch with their family and works closely with the Party Committee, local authorities and the school to support the children and teachers, creating the best conditions for them to study.
Tâm’s care for poor students on both sides of the Việt Nam and Cambodia also contributes to tightening the good relationship between the Phú Mỹ Border Guard Station and the people of Cambodia. — VNS