Lighting the fire of a movement: a Youth Union leader’s story

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Đặng Hải Đăng delivers agricultural products to help farmers in 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo

VĨNH LONG — For years Đặng Hải Đăng, Secretary of the Youth Union of Vĩnh Long University of Technology and Education, has been a pioneer of the union’s activities and something of an inspiration to those around him.

Đăng’s positive attitude and energy have impressed many who work by his side or get chance to know him.

One of Đăng’s most memorable projects is helping students during the annual National Exam season. Đăng has been doing this for six years, providing psychological counselling, guidance to the exam site, finding motels, cooking and distributing free rice for those sitting for university etrance exams.

“On exam days, students are worried, and volunteers are flustered because they have to give support correctly. I always try my best and have the responsibility to closely follow each activity, to ensure the safety of both volunteers and students,” said Đăng.

During the pandemic, Đăng organised volunteer squads to participate in epidemic prevention and control, such as: making face guards; guarding quarantine checkpoints; cooking and food delivery for isolated areas; supporting the consumption of agricultural products for farmers; and delivery of necessities to people in difficulty.

Đăng is a hard worker, and when he put on a protective suit to step out on the front lines against the epidemic, he showed great enthusiasm that motivated many active students to join the front line to fight the epidemic.

He also actively advises his school’s Board of Directors to coordinate with the Vĩnh Long Provincial Police Youth Union in selling agricultural products to support the people.

Through this programme, he has helped provide more sources of clean agricultural products for kitchens serving on the front lines against the epidemic and people in concentrated isolation areas, supporting in difficulties.

In early 2021, many people working in HCM City returned to the western provinces by personal means. Wearing protective suits, Đăng and voluntary soldiers worked day and night to separate and guide people into concentrated isolation areas and, at the same time, provide food and drinks for people to continue their journey.

“At that time, the epidemic situation was still tense, and all activities required strict compliance with disease prevention and distancing. However, to support the people, we enthusiastically participated, and we ate, slept, and worked simultaneously,” he said.

Đăng’s youth and enthusiasm also transmit positive energy, spreading the spirit of volunteering for the community to many students.

To create opportunities for students to contribute, he regularly organises practical volunteering activities, attracting students to participate.

Many Vĩnh Long University of Technology and Education students have boldly pioneered on the front lines against the epidemic, with more than 30 volunteers registered to participate.

The students have joined hands to produce more than 2,000 face masks and support the cooking of more than 20,000 meals to support volunteers participating in the frontline.

“During the pandemic, he and his union members had more than three months of volunteering in hot spots to participate in prevention and control,” said Lê Duy Khánh, a student at Vĩnh Long University of Technology and Education.

“Together with ‘big brother’ Đăng, we participated in transporting rice to quarantine posts and isolation areas, on duty at quarantine checkpoints, transporting vegetables and fruits to support the people of HCM City. We gained many valuable experiences.

“Đăng is always an example for my friends and me to follow. There are times when we are tired. He is the one who motivates and refreshes our spirits so that we can complete our tasks well.”

Cao Hùng Phi, Principal of the Vĩnh Long University of Technology and Education, said: “Đăng is an enthusiastic leader, always takes the lead in activities. He is always creative and finds good ways to advise the Board of Directors to create conditions for students to participate in the Union movement.”

Standing Deputy Secretary of Vĩnh Long Provincial Youth Union Nguyễn Thụy Yến Phương said: “Đăng is an exemplary, responsible and creative student leader. He sees the movement’s effectiveness as a measure to gather union members and youth into the organisation, thereby spreading positive values ​​and inspiring students to study and develop.”

For his contributions to the community and the Union’s work movement, Đăng has received many Certificates of Merit from the Central Committee of the Youth Union, the Vietnam Youth Union, the Ministry of Education and Training, the People’s Committee of Vĩnh Long and Vĩnh Long Provincial Youth Union.

In 2022, he was one of 94 members of the National Union to receive the Lý Tự Trọng Award from the Central Youth Union.

Đăng’s volunteering journey is not only valuable for the number of people he has helped or for certificates he has won but also for the spirit of good work and being a model for a responsible social life.

For Đăng, that journey will not stop with his personal development but continue with his inspiration to many generations of students and the promotion of the spirit and dedication for volunteering in the community. — VNS

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