LEAVING NO FOOTPRINT VIETNAM – BE ON BEYOND
Recently, we’ve become accustomed to the news of foreigners starting to clean up the beach or collect garbage in Vietnam. They consist of foreign tourists who are on vacation or expats who live in different cities across the country, and wish to make positive change. However, it does not mean that Vietnamese people are all waiting for someone else to help to clean up their own country. There are plenty of different organizations that are very active in helping to improve the environment of Vietnam. Furthermore, there are also some outstanding individuals who do their best to solve this common problem. They are inspired to become ‘agents of change’, and to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
One person who you’ve likely never heard about is Mr. Đào Văn Việt – a Bachelor of Business and Administration, who decided to quit his job in Hanoi, and rode his bicycle from the North to the South of Vietnam and has spent nearly 14 years keeping the beaches clean. This inspired a young Vietnamese, Thanh (or Bob), who, accompanied by his dog, has begun his own journey from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi on an environmental mission.
Like other Vietnamese teenagers, Bob is craving to discover the beauty of the country and experience the cultural diversity of Vietnam through this trip. However, more than just an individual enjoyment, Bob would like to make his journey more meaningful. His main purpose is to raise the awareness in local people of the pollution issues in Vietnam, and their concerns about the environment in general through very simple yet effective CleanUp activities, as he moves from place to place.
Discover Nha Trang had the chance to meet Bob, and get some more information on his epic journey.
“My major is nothing related to the Environment; instead, I work as a freelance interpreter and a helicopter model maker in Hanoi. I’ve never taken a serious walking journey nor participated in many environmental activities before.”
“When started this trip, I decided to call myself Bob (Be on Beyond). I would like to create a Bob who has no gender, and no nationality, Bob can be anyone, and anyone can be Bob” he added.
Certainly, no matter what who you are, where you are from, you can do your little bit for the environment. That is also the message Bob wants to convey through his campaign.
The 1700 km journey is expected to take from 2 to 3 months (Around 40kms per day), and Bob wants to meet locals and organizations to help set up cleaning activities in each location he visits. The trip is entirely self–funded, so i you would like to help Bob in any way, he would very much appreciate any donations of accommodation and food during on his journey. To follow his progress, arrange to meet him, or make a donation, you can contact him through Leave no Footprint VN Facebook Page
On arriving in Nha Trang, Bob has received plenty of support from local businesses and organizations who wish to participate in his clean up activities including Clean Up Vietnam, Clean Up Nha Trang, Visit Nha Trang, Discover Nha Trang and LivinCollective. After a productive meeting, they have decided to organize and big Clean Up event in Nha Trang on July 13th to foster awareness and community involvement in keeping Nha Trang beautiful.
This event hopes to attract up to 200 participants including students, locals,expats, hotels and resorts in town. Anyone who would like to join in the event is more than welcome.
“I want to highlight the problems that our planet is facing. We only have one planet and it seems that we are destroying it. From dead fish to rubbish piling up on our beaches, from climate change to air pollution, I hope my small contribution and the support of others helps to bring people together to help fight these problems”. said Bob.
“I have never afraid that I cannot change anything just because I am just tiny sand in a huge ocean. I believe that there are a huge amount of other sands in this planet, which are always willing to be a change-agent like me. What we need to do is just connect to each other, and then nothing can stop our strong efforts.”
To keep up to date about the upcoming cleanup event in Nha Trang, be sure to keep an eye out for announcements at Discover Nha Trang online channels, and show your support by liking Bob’s page, offering him food or accommodation, and perhaps even coming to the event on July 13th.