Party members work to reduce poverty in Son La's ethnic, mountainous areas

(VOVWORLD) - We visited Co Dua hamlet in Song Ma district, Son La province, on a sunny day in late April. Although it wasn’t too hard to get there, as it would have been on a rainy day, our minivan still skidded three times on the bumpy, rocky bends. Tong Van Viet, Secretary of Muong Sai commune’s Party Committee, said if the new road is completed next month, it will take much less time to drive the 10 kilometers to Co Dua hamlet.
Party members work to reduce poverty in Son La's ethnic, mountainous areas - ảnh 1The road leading to Co Dua hamlet (Photo: Thu Hoa)

All the Mong ethnic people in Co Dua, a disadvantaged mountain border hamlet in Muong Sai commune, are Protestants.

Today Tong Van Viet, Giang A Po, Secretary of Co Dua hamlet’s Party cell, and Lieutenant Colonel Quang Van Xom, commissar of the Chieng Khuong border guard station, paid a surprise visit to Co Dua.

Their first stop was the house of hamlet chief Giang A Da who recently had completed the training course for new party members in the district.

Here’s the conversation between Party official Viet and hamlet chief Giang A Da:

- The commune’s Party Committee and People’s Committee, together with the border guard station, wanted to visit to see how local villagers develop production and organize activities of the Party cell.  I think you are probably clearing weeds to plant a new crop. 

- The locals are removing weeds and tilling the land to plant the June crop of corn and rice. The Party cell’s activities are normal, nothing special.

The Mong live mainly in the mountains on high slopes up, bumpy, rocky roads that hamper local economic growth.

Party members work to reduce poverty in Son La's ethnic, mountainous areas - ảnh 2A corner of Co Dua hamlet (Photo: Thu Hoa)

Despite working hard to grow cassava and corn, no household in Co Dua has ever escaped poverty.

Party members have been assigned a task of uniting locals and helping them raise their standard of living.

But Co Duahamlet didn’t have a Party member. Giang A Po, a Party member and civil servant living in Mường Sai commune, was sent to Co Dua to take charge of recruiting Party members there.

Early last year, two villagers named Thao A Long and Giang A Da were admitted to the Party. They will be the key to establishing a Party cell in Co Dua. These first two Party members, together with Giang A Po, the hamlet’s temporary Secretary, have explained to local people the Party and State policies focused on increasing production and escaping poverty.

Giang A Po said, “Because all Co Duavillagers are Mong ethnic people living in a remote area, they have less social contact and information about Party guidelines and policies. This has made it difficult to disseminate Party and State policies and apply the policies to production.”

Thanks to the Party, State, Party Committee and administration of Muong Sai commune, Co Dua hamlet has started several programs to help poor people.

The State project to build a new road to the hamlet, for example, has a great potential to reduce poverty there.

Tong Van Viet said, “The hamlet’s economy has grown since two villagers were admitted to the Party. Public awareness has improved. Muong Sai has focused all of its resources and made the most of state resources to build roads, schools, and a power station. We are building a road to the hamlet that’s scheduled to be completed next month. This will make it easier to transport commodities.”

Party members work to reduce poverty in Son La's ethnic, mountainous areas - ảnh 3Presenting gifts to children in Co Dua hamlet (Photo: Thu Hoa)

The Chieng Khuong border guard station has supported the people of Co Dua after conducting fact-finding tours to learn their aspirations.

Let’s listen to a talk between Mr.Xom, a villager and the hamlet chief:

- This is a border hamlet, a border commune, so the border guard force often visits. What do you think villagers need and want the border guard soldiers to do for them?

-  Villagers hope that every one or two days, the border guard soldiers will come to visit us.

- Yes, of course. In the future, border guard soldiers will organize programs like giving free haircut to the villagers. I hope you’ll help us mobilize the villagers for this activity. Is that okey?

- The locals will be glad to hear that the border guard soldiers want to give them free haricuts and other gifts.

- Children in the hamlet already have a spacious, clean pre-school built by the Party and State. Do they have school supplies and bed sheets for the winter yet? If not, you can ask the border guard station, the communal government, and other donors.

- Local students are hoping the soldiers will give them clothes, footwear, and school supplies.

The attention of the Party Committee and authorities of Muong Sai commune and the officers and soldiers of the Chieng Khuong border gate station has made the journey to the well-being of the Mong people in Co Dua seem to be shortened. The road and a power project worth nearly 800,000 USD being built in Muong Sai will surely help repell backwardness and poverty in a land where all inhabitants are Protestants of the Mong ethnic group.