Channel News Asia Insider came to Vietnam to shoot a series of features about the lives of the poor elderly who are living in major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Filming in Vietnam was happy to assist the CNA Insider to carry out Vietnam part of the project which takes place in many Asian countries of Singapore, Myanmar, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.
The team spent one night in the street of Hanoi to follow volunteering club named Ấm (Warmth) Volunteering Club whose members gave free medical treatment and Tết presents to the poor elderly who have 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, can, bottle or anything that can be sold for money. Some of them found a corner in the street as a place to repair bicycle for school pupils or the poor...
The crew also travelled to Ho Chi Minh city to film a small house with more than 20 poor elderly 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 in the street to earn their livings.
The production crew also shot the two sisters (Chung Muoi and Da Muoi) living in District 5 who are street vendors. Both of them haven't married and they live together to support each other in the old age. They cooked a different kind of sweet puddings and travelled in the street with 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.
The life of old people in the city has become a serious issue for many families. The old people need to have good health, stable financial status and social interaction/integration which is considered the most important factor. Without social interaction, old people will have a feeling of being abandoned, lonely and useless.
It is difficult to solve this issue, because, in the city, old people usually live at home alone the whole day when their children are out for working to earn livings. 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, the interaction between them...
So the old people should try to learn something new, try to find interesting in doing their own 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 wonderful communication with her.