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  • Andy Nguyen

CNA Insider reported on the lives of the poor elderly in Vietnam.

Channel News Asia Insider came to Vietnam to shoot a series of features about the lives of the poor elderly in the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Filming in Vietnam was happy to assist the CNA Insider in carrying out the Vietnam part of the project, which takes place in many Asian countries, including Singapore, Myanmar, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The team spent one night in the street of Hanoi to follow a volunteering club named Ấm (Warmth) Volunteering Club, whose members gave free medical treatment and Tết presents to the poor elderly who had no homes to stay. They have had to live in the street for many years. During the day, they have to get around in the street to collect rubbish, paper, cans, bottles or anything that can be sold for money. Some of them found a corner in the street as a place to repair bicycles for school pupils or the poor.

Filming in Vietnam arranged the shoot in Hanoi streets for CNA Insider to report about the poor elderly
Warmth Volunteering Club gave free treatment for the poor elderly people in the streets of Hanoi.

The crew also travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to film a small house with more than 20 poor elderly people who came from the very poor province of Phu Yen in the central part of Vietnam. They came together to Ho Chi Minh City to sell lottery tickets in the street to earn their living.

Lottery sellers stay together in a small house in Ho Ch i Minh City
Filming in Vietnam, the crew from CNA Insider filmed at a small house in Ho Chi Minh City where the poor elderly live together.

The production crew also filmed the two sisters (Chung Muoi and Da Muoi), street vendors living in District 5. They haven't married and live together to support each other in the old age. They cooked different kinds of sweet puddings and travelled in the street over a distance of over 10km per day to sell, and they earned a profit of around 200,00 VND to 300,00 VND per day.

Sisters Chung Muoi and Dao Muoi stay together and sell street foods to earn their livings
Sisters Chung Muoi and Dao Muoi, at the ages of 70 and 61, with their food stall in the street of Ho Chi Minh City.
Chung Muoi and Dao Muoi prepared food before selling in the street
Sisters were preparing food at home before selling it in the street.

The life of old people in the city has become a severe issue for many families. The most important factors are good health, stable financial status, and social interaction/integration. Without social interaction, old people feel abandoned, lonely, and useless.

It is challenging to solve this issue because, in the city, old people usually live at home alone the whole day when their children are out working to earn a living. Their grandkids are out for school, and when they come back, they spend lots of time watching TV or getting access to the internet. There is limited communication between parents and children at home. They can live in the same house, but in fact, there is little relation or interaction between them.

So, old people should try to learn something new and find interest in their hobbies, like Mrs Le Thi, who is over 80 years old, living in Hanoi, and still connecting with the world through Facebook and painting. We had terrific communication with her.

Mrs Le Thi who is over 80 years old still paints and connects with the world through Facebook
Mrs Le Thi, over 80 years old, was painting at home.
Filming in Vietnam arranged the shoot at Mrs Le Thi home who is over 80 years old but still surfs internet to connect with the world.
Mrs Le Thi surfs Facebook every day to update the news.



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