The picture below was posted on Facebook by a journalist, Pham Nghia, last week (Mar. 03, 2017), and it immediately received much attentions, shares and comments from the public and the media.
The picture captured a moment a poor boy reorganizing shoes for a group of kindergarten students in the park and then, watching them having fun. The boy in the picture is five years old and has a beautiful name “Nguyen Giang Thanh Dat” (It means “Success”). He follows his mom every day to streets and corners of Sai Gon, Vietnam (the largest city) to pick up bottles.
[In Vietnam, the government doesn’t support for education. People who want to send their children to school have to pay themselves.]
The boy was wearing baggy and sloppy clothes, an oversized hat and a pair of large sandals, while those children were wearing colourful, fit and good clothes. But those materials didn’t matter to him. He enjoyed watching other children having fun, and rearranging their shoes was like playing his game
The boy’s actions of reorganizing shoes with joy and happiness touched many people’s hearts because of his pure innocence and beautiful manners. Even one time the teacher in the picture left her shoes in the wrong place, he didn’t mind getting closer and putting them in the right place. The picture clearly reflected the big gap between the rich and the poor in Vietnam. The boy used to go to school but since his mom lost her job, he had to drop out of the school. In an interview, his mom humbly shared that he learned how to be tidy and organized from school which he used to go. But we all know she plays a large part in his development, and she, a homeless person, has done a good job in educating him to become a good person. Children from rich family might even not be as well-mannered as him. The fact makes us realize that poverty and wealthy are only measures for financial conditions and they shouldn’t be the measures for human manners as some people have believed. A poor child has a high awareness of helping other people without any benefits while we, adults, always look for benefits when helping other people, which made us feel embarrassed. From candid pictures, people also can see his strong desire of going to school again. He must have missed school so much!
Thanks to the power of social media pages, he and his mom have received many supports, donations and encouragements from people. The boy was offered free education by two kindergartens (the information about those schools are not published due to their confidentiality), and his mom was offered a job by Vinamilk, the largest dairy company in Vietnam.
The boy will go to school, have friends and learn more good things. He will have a brighter future ahead. We strongly believe that he will become a “successful” person like the meaning of his name. His mom will have a secure job. We don’t know what will happen to him and his mom in the future; we only can wish them a life filled with fullness, joy and happiness.
The beautiful actions of those two schools and Vinamilk give people a hope that around us there is still an existence of unity and kindness. What two schools and Vinamilk have done are good examples of how traditional marketing has been shifting to the Marketing 3.0, in which the values of community, participation, kindness and social responsibility are treasured.
In the next post, I will analyze more how marketing has been shifted and what those two schools and Vinamilk have gained from this story.