Buying a meal or cloth with 2000 VND?

With 2000 VND, which is around 9 cents, people in HCMC can have a decent meal at the Nụ Cười Restaurant or buy cloths at Hello Sunbox.

Chỉ với 2000 đồng, người dân sống ở Tp. HCM có thể có 1 bữa ăn “sạch, no, ngon, thân thiện” ở quán cơm Nụ Cười hay mua đồ tại Hello Sunbox…

A restaurant sells lunch for loss, in the center of Ho Chi Minh City.

Nụ cười (Smile), is a chain of charitable restaurants founded by Tinh Thuong Charity Fund, where a typical day’s menu includes rice, stewed chicken with ginger sauce, stir fried vegetables, vegetable and ground meat soup, a piece of papaya for dessert, free drinking water, and free parking. All the foods and services cost 2,000 dong, or a tenth of a US dollar, and guests can have unlimited rice and soup refill.

Upon seeing the menu board with price hanging on the door of the restaurants, many customers hesitate to step inside. Since 2,000 dong is only enough for a glass of ice water at other street restaurants in the city. The staff, who are all volunteers, have received the same question many times from 1st time guests: “Thiệt không cháu, hai ngàn?…” (Is it really 2000 dong?)

The news has spread among underprivileged people who are hospital patients, vendors, students and homeless people. As a way of expressing gratitude, most guests said “đỡ quá” (it helps so much).

The restaurants are always crowded and supported by many donors. Coming to the Nụ Cười Restaurants, the poor not only find a charity meal, but also feel the warmth of the human affection.

A kiosk where each product costs only 2000 dong.

Inspried by an idea: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. (Không một món đồ nào đáng phải vứt đi, thứ chạm đáy âm giá trị với bạn có thể là cả một gia tài đáng quý với người khác). Sunbox is a charity project founded by a group of youth in HCM city. They placed Donation SunBoxes in public places where people donate their second hand every day goods such as clothes, books, and toys.

Then, Sunbox will “sell” it to poor people with the cost of 2000vnd/each. The reason they want to sell the goods instead of giving it away because they don’t want people get offended by receiving things for free.

They have successfully put 6 SunBoxes in all different districts in Hochiminh City, and these boxes are always full of donated goods.