Foreigner joins hands in COVID battle

(VOVWORLD) - “Vietnam is my second home, so I try to do what I can to help in this COVID battle.” That’s a quote from Roman Stratichuck’s talk with VOV. Roman is a Ukrainian businessman who has been living in district 2, HCM city for more than 6 years. In today’s That’s life, we will learn more about Roman’s life during COVID-19 and what he has done to help the less fortunate. 

“Six years ago, I came to Vietnam because I had a job offer from Libernet Vietnam. It is a big international advertising agency. I had no idea where I was going. But it sounded like a great adventure, and actually it was a great adventure,” Roman said as he began the story about his journey in Vietnam. 
“I didn’t expect anything good from Vietnam, on the internet I could find very little about it at that time. I did not know what to expect so I landed in HCM city in September 2015.”
“I started to work in Vietnam. I started to get friendly with Vietnamese people, and I kind of liked it. I’ve enjoyed living here since then. The climate, the culture, food and people are so honest and nice,” he said.  
“So instead of working on contract for two or three years, I ended up living here for six years already. I love Vietnam. I love Vietnam before this recent wave of COVID. And of course I still love Vietnam very much now.”
Foreigner joins hands in COVID battle  - ảnh 1Roman Stratichuck. (Photo courtesy of Roman Stratichuck) 

After 6 years in Vietnam, Roman has a profitable food business and a happy family. But the resurgence of coronavirus in April has turned things upside down. His business struggles during stringent social distancing in HCM city. His income has shrunk.

But seeing other people hit hard because of COVID-19, Roman and his family decided to donate money and essential items like food and masks to people who have lost their livelihoods to the pandemic.

“Because we run a little bakery and a food shop, and we have seen so many people without food. Now, many people have no job, no income, and we have seen many families living with bad fortune, so we decided we should help, at least with something,” said Roman.

“We are also struggling because we don’t have much income now. But at least we can buy some products and make some food for them.”

At least once a day, Roman’s family distributes food to people who have no income at all, who are helping others, guards at checkpoints, among others.

“I think we distribute about 20 to 30 meals daily. We don’t have capacity to help more people but at least the people we can help; we will try to help. For me charity is not like you do something big, even if you can only distribute five meals a day and help five people around you, is already good enough,” he said.

Foreigner joins hands in COVID battle  - ảnh 2Meals that Roman and his family prepare for the less fortunate in HCM city. (Photo: Roman Stratichuck)

As Vietnam battles the latest outbreak that has infected thousands of people, Roman’s only hope is that the country will overcome the current wave and vaccinate all people soon. 

He said he is very happy that his family have received two doses of vaccine as well as many of his foreign friends in Vietnam. Despite the adverse impact of COVID-19, Roman will continue to stay in Vietnam and get his business back on track as soon as the pandemic subsides.

“I don’t know if we'll stay in Vietnam forever but we’ll definitely stay here for now because we have a business, and we want to stabilize it. Our business was impacted by the recent wave of COVID. We will try to get our business back to normal, we already invested effort, money, and we have our team working with us. They trust us, so we can’t just leave them behind,” said Roman. 

“We want to stay here and I hope Vietnam will overcome everything. I can see great energy in people. I can see great potential in the country. I am hundred percent sure that Vietnam, maybe not this year but next year will recover.”