|Venerable Thich Le Hieu (Photo: phunuvagiadinh.vn)
Thich Le Hieu was born in Chau Thanh district, Ben Tre province. He studied Buddhist theory in Tien Giang province and Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2010, Hieu became a monk at Van Duc pagoda on Tam Hiep island in the Tien River. Due to difficult conditions on the island, many newborn babies and orphans are sent to the pagoda.
The Venerable opened his heart and now looks after these children. They range in age from several months to 12 years old. With the pagoda’s permission, a charity house was set up at Van Duc pagoda, managed by Venerable Thich Le Hieu.
It’s hard work to look after children, especially newborn babies. Hieu’s work has received support from several philanthropists. Ms. Pham Thi Tho of Tam Hiep commune donated 1 hectare of longans as a source of income to support the pagoda.
Venerable Thich Le Hieu said, “A monk must apply Buddhist teachings in real life. We consider helping other people in need our duty”.
The selfless monk is passionate about social activities such as building charity houses, and fresh water reservoirs, and supporting disadvantaged people, especially poor children.
He has also raised money to help local authorities upgrade roads in Tam Hiep commune. Over the years, Venerable Thich Le Hieu has raised US$260,000 for social work.
Nguyen Huu Tho, Chairman of Tam Hiep commune’s People’s Committee, said, “Venerable Thich Le Hieu is a good, merciful person. The local authorities have always supported him in building charity houses, and organizing events for children”.
Thich Le Hieu’s kindheartedness has brought love and hope to many disadvantaged people on the island.
Pham Thi Ngoc Huong, a Buddhist follower at Van Duc pagoda, said, “Venerable Thich Le Hieu is very kind-hearted. Apart from undertaking tasks at the pagoda, he spends most of his time looking after and helping disadvantaged children”.
Venerable Thich Le Hieu says his greatest happiness is to help needy children with the hope that they will become useful citizens.