On the afternoon of 20th April, Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Hai Phong, Vietnam donated 3,000kg of rice to three hundred families living in the three surrounding communes of Thien Huong, Lam Dong and Hoang Dong.
The donation is the yard’s response to the programme launched last month by the Vietnamese Government, "Mobilising all people to support the fight against COVID-19”. At the time of the launch, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on the public, organisations, enterprises and every Vietnamese citizen from all walks of life, especially businesspeople and Vietnamese abroad, to make donations to help fight the novel coronavirus.
Recognising that the impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic fell most heavily on the poor, the weak and free labourers especially under the current social distancing order by the government, Damen Song Cam Shipyard would like to donate directly to them. With the strong support and commitment from the localities’ leaders, it is assured that vulnerable families of the three communes will fully receive the donation.
Chairman of Thien Huong People’s Committee Mr. Nguyen Van Thiep, speaking at the small acceptance event with less than ten attendees, said, “The rice distribution today, together with the CSR programme that Damen Song Cam has been implementing throughout the years, emphasises again how the company cares about the communities and people in an as sustainable and direct manner as possible. The leaders and citizens of Thien Huong commune really treasure this donation.
“One of the most common proverbs in Vietnamese (which is literally translated into English) is: One piece of food while hungry equals a big box of food when full.”
Damen Song Cam managing director, Joris van Tienen said, “Leaving the community hall, the picture of an 85 year old grandmother sitting and watching the rice bag (while waiting for her granddaughter to come with her bike), waving at us with a thankful smile remained in our mind. We are pleased that we have had this opportunity to help support the government’s efforts to help the people in our communities.”
Damen Song Cam Shipyard taken robust measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. All employees who can work remotely have been doing so. All others have been taking numerous precautionary measures, including temperature checks before entering. Production work has been spread over two shifts and lunch breaks have been staggered to minimise contact between personnel. In this way, Damen Song Cam has managed, safely, to remain on schedule with the production of vessels ordered before the outbreak. In week 18, the lockdown restrictions in Vietnam will be relaxed and the yard will return to normal production. The safety and well-being of personnel, their families and the wider community will remain Damen Song Cam’s top priority and precautionary measures will remain in place.