​This poor Vietnamese scrap dealer has heart of gold, well-known trust

This poor Vietnamese scrap dealer has heart of gold, well-known trust
Nguyen Thi Hong Hoa gives rice to a poor man in Hau Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre

A scrap dealer in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is well known to many locals for her trustworthiness and kindness shown to other poor people.

Nguyen Thi Hong Hoa rows a boat daily on a river in river-crisscrossed Hau Giang Province, giving her unmistakable cries.

The 64-year-old woman goes with the nick name Ut Tieu (Little Ut) as she has a small build and bent back.

Hoa looks quite healthy and strong despite her age.

One of her frequent customers, Nguyen Thi Hong Vui, said she respects the way Hoa does business.

“Many dealers row past my house every day but I only wait for her just because she’s honest in buying scrap,” Vui said.

Hoa said she had offered a lot of help to poverty-stricken people since the 1980s, when the area where she lived just came out torn by war.

“Wherever I rowed to buy scrap, I saw families living in the plight of poverty,” she recalled of the period.

“They’re poor. So was I. But I was willing to give them some money. It’s not a big sum, but I knew it’s very valuable to them.”

The woman has also made donations to children so that they can have a chance at education, and the effort was officially recognized by the local government.

One of the people helped by her, Nguyen Van Dung, said his family has received frequently money and rice from her over the past several years.

“She helped lift the livelihood burden off my family. My youngest children can now go to school. I’m greatly grateful to her,” Dung said.

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