Major General Le Dang Dung, Viettel Director General, granted the People’s Army Newspaper an interview on this issue.

Reporter: As a specialized military business, what is the difference in carrying out the mass mobilization work between Viettel and other military units, Mr. Director General?

Major General Le Dang Dung: Viettel is a military-run state-owned enterprise, specializing in building infrastructure for the provision of post, telecommunications and information technology services for cultural socio-economic development while ensuring communications for the military. Closely grasping resolutions of the Party, the Central Military Commission, and the Ministry of National Defense, the group has pursued its overall policy to implement military-defense missions in close combination with the mass mobilization and social work. Via the effective implementation of the mass mobilization and social work, Viettel alongside local authorities has built a firm disposition of “people’s hearts” in localities, especially in the areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, religious followers, and in areas facing special economic difficulties.

Major General Le Dang Dung

Reporter: What are the motto and methods of implementing mass mobilization and social work of Viettel?

Major General Le Dang Dung: The group follows the motto “Business operation in close relations with responsibility towards the society and community.” In terms of its social responsibility, the group focuses its activities on implementing national target programs so as to reach the social security objectives outlined by the Party and State. Accordingly, the group has implemented the work in localities in accordance with their real situations and demands. Viettel focuses its assistance on education development, health care development, and fast and sustainable poverty reduction. Under the motto of “Giving fishing rods, not fish,” the group aims to invoke local people’s spirit and awareness of self-resilience and pro-activeness in poverty reduction. Viettel has also defined that carrying out social programs is one of the re-investment activities for its development and business operation. That is because when the group does its social and charity programs well, it will help promote cultural socio-economic development. The mass mobilization and social work of Viettel has been highly appreciated and warmly welcomed by authorities at all levels and people.

Reporter: Could you please name some of the major highly-efficient programs that Viettel has implemented or engaged in?

Major General Le Dang Dung: Viettel has built up a system of BTS and network of optical cable that covers localities from urban to rural areas as well as remote, border, and island areas, capable of supporting the implementation of defense-security missions while meeting people’s telecommunications need. The group has brought telephone services to people in remote and border areas, taking the lead in offering favorable service packages for fishermen and people in mountainous villages. Since 2013, Viettel has worked on the switchboard operating in nearly 10 languages of ethnic minority groups, enabling them to have a better access to the policies of the Party and laws of the State while applying scientific and technological advances to production and life.

The “School Internet” program implemented by Viettel has so far provided free Internet access to more than 30,000 schools nationwide, helping more than 25 million teachers and students take advantage of the Internet to improve their teaching and learning quality. Implementing Resolution 30a of the Government, Viettel has supported the districts of Muong Lat and Ba Thuoc of Thanh Hoa province and Dakrong of Quang Tri province to replace makeshift houses while presenting the localities with breeding cows and seedlings, health, education and telecommunications-information technology facilities for the authorities, and more. So far, the group has spent more than VND 202 billion (more than USD 8.6 million) on supporting those three districts.

As for the program “Breeding cows for needy border households,” in the two years of 2014 and 2015, Viettel cooperated with the Vietnam Border Guard Command and border units to present 24,000 breeding cows to needy households in 11 Northern provinces, helping them stabilize their lives and develop the local household economy. The cost for the program was VND 380 billion (more than USD 16 million).

Another social program that Viettel carried in 2015 and 2016 in collaboration with the Vietnam Border Guard Command is “Cement to concretize house floors.” The program offered 23,000 tons of cement at a cost of more than VND 40 billion (more than USD 1.7 million) to 18,900 needy households in border communes of 10 provinces to help ease difficulties in life.

In collaboration with the Vietnam Television and major hospitals, Viettel has also engaged in the program “Operation healthy heart” for the past five years (2013-2018), providing cardio-screening for more than 130,000 children, detecting 1,280 children contracting heart diseases, of whom 800 have been proposed for heart operations. At the same time, Viettel has also donated VND 25 billion (more than USD 1 million) to programs that boost capacity of hospitals.

Reporter: As we know, in the coming time, Viettel will focus more on joining the two target programs of the Government on poverty reduction and hunger elimination and on the new-style rural area development. Could you please elaborate on that?

Major General Le Dang Dung: In the coming time, Viettel will continue its motto of “Business operation in close relations with responsibility towards the society and community,” focusing its support on education, healthcare, and fast and sustainable poverty reduction. Those activities aim at implementing well policies of the Party and State on social security. The group will carry out the activities on the basis of “creativeness, uniqueness, and effectiveness,” to support people in poverty reduction under the motto “Giving fishing rods, not fish.” The time for the programs ranges from one to two years each. We have also agreed upon the position of “Centralized management, distributed implementation,” with the aim of encouraging poor people to strive in poverty reduction. Social activities and programs must be combined with business operation and help promote the image of Viettel, for the sustainable development of the group. This is our way of making contribution to the cultural socio-economic development of the nation.

Its organizing and participating in social programs can be seen as both gratitude for its customers and re-investment activities for development. When life gets better, people will have more demand for more services, helping boost its business and production. Moreover, Viettel will focus on supporting people in remote areas and former revolutionary bases, areas populated by religious followers, border areas and islands, needy localities, etc. Our social and gratitude activities will focus on national contributors and poor and near-poor households.

Viettel will continue to best promote remarkable achievements from the social programs that it has implemented over the past time.

Reporter: Thank you very much!

Reported by Minh Hang

Translated by Huu Duong