Catholics in a parish in South Korea have organized a volunteer service of medical care and taken care of Vietnamese poor people for five days, in cooperation with an humanitarian aid NGO. Corea Peace 3000, which is dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to children in poor countries including North Korea, helped some 40 parishioners of St. Chong Ha-sang Church in Daegu archdiocese to visit Ben Tre province in Vietnam from February 20 to 24. The volunteers, five doctors and 38 parishioners from the church and two staff of the NGO, took care of 1,200 poor people there. Ben Tre province has a population of some 1.3 million, most of whom are small farmers planting coconuts. Andrew Kim Do-hyung, team manager of Corea Peace 3000, said the area has lime-rich water so residents often suffer from skin and eye diseases, stomach trouble, high blood pressure and toothache. Moreover, he noted, most of them have never seen a doctor. So many people wanted to receive medical treatment from the Korean medical service team, he explained, some Vietnamese doctors helped to give basic medical treatment to them before Korean doctors took care of them. The Korean volunteers also donated US$16,000 worth of medicine, he added. According to Kim, this relationship began three years ago when his NGO informed the parish of the need to establish an elementary school in that area. The school was set up last April with the financial help of the parishioners. During this visit, they donated two electronic keyboards to the school. KO13431.1642
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