Friday, 4 July 2003

Hanoi (Fides Service) – Young people in a rural area of North Vietnam are taking a look at the world thanks to a course on how to use computers and the Internet offered by the local Catholic parish. Lien Phu parish in Hai Hau district of Nam Dinh province, about 150 km south east of Hanoi, has opened its doors to young people of all religions offering them the possibility of using the modern means of communication. Parish priest, Father Joseph Nguyen Duc Dung gives free courses to provide his young people with better chances of finding a job. The parish has seven second hand computers donated by parishioners on which classes of forty students at a time learn the basics of information technology.
The idea is very popular. So far 200 young people have completed the parish computer course. Living in a rural area these boys and girls had no access to new technology. The parish offers a helping hand. “This is a dream come true; being able to use e-mail and the Internet” says one of the girl students.”
Father Dung tells UCANews that even a second hand computer costs at least 3 million Dong, and a local farm worker earns an average of 300,000 Dong a month, with which he has to keep his family. This means families simply cannot buy a computer.
Father Dung feels that the parish has a duty to make its resources available to the local young people, Christians and non. The next course in his programme to give a better future to youth will be the study of the English language. PA (Fides Service 4/7/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 275)