Some say that people have too hardened in the 21st century, that everyone is out for themselves and that the public interest is other peoples' business. Not so!
Recently, Y Nuor and her neighbours walked 5km from home to Dak Ang Commune to witness the start of a new bridge to her village across the other side of the Poko River.
It took them more than 30 minutes to get there, five times longer than it used to taken them before the previous bridge was swept away in storm floods almost two years ago.
Y Nour's village, which doesn't even have a name, lies in the upper region of the Poko River and beneath the towering summit of Ngok Linh Mountain - at 2,600 metres. The turbulent river is deep and fierce.
A devastating flood related to the Ketsana Storm in 2009 hit Ngoc Hoi District in the centre of Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) Kon Tum Province.
All the bridges along 20km of river, including the bridge linking the nameless village, were swept away, forcing people into isolation.
On the other bank of the Poko lie all the essentials for Y Nour and her neighbours, including hospitals and schools. Villagers had to come up with ideas to cross the river, even those that risked their lives.
Some used boats to cross the raging river, but it generally flows too swiftly. Others built temporary bridges. In Dak Ang Commune, in Ngoc Hoi District, people use a pulley system known as a "flying fox" to cross the water.
One villager, Tran Khac Chin, helped set up large poles on either side of the river connected by ropes. Everyone, including the young, old and infirm who want to cross the 150 metres of river have to strap themselves onto a pulley and swing over.
Y Xoan, 13, said she doesn't know exactly how many times she has swung over the river each day. "I go every time I need to get something from the other side. Sometimes, I put myself and my little sister on the rope and swing over," she said.
Y Nour said at least five people have fallen from the pulley. "One man hit the rocks hard and had to be taken to hospital," she added. A Phin, another resident, said: "We knew it was risky." He straps himself and his motorbike on the rope.
Now, as the new bridge nears completion, Y Nour and her neighbours are starting to smile again. "I have four children and three of them are going to school.
When this bridge is finished, they will get to and from home much faster. I will also be able to sell farm produce on the other side again," she said.
But if it wasn't for the public spirited nature of hundreds of people in Viet Nam and overseas, there would be no bridge. All of the construction money came from a fund-raising campaign held by the VnExpress, an online newspaper.
"I couldn't hold my tears back when I saw photos of those people, swinging across the fierce river by pulley," said Ho Van Vinh.
Another reader, Vicky Ho, said she felt really sad for the villagers and suggested the newspaper start a fund so that everyone could contribute.
"As a student, my contribution was very small, but I believed I could persuade people at school or in my neighbourhood to help people in Dak Ang," said Vinh.
The comments from many readers prompted the VnExpress to set up a bridge fund.
Within a month, thousands of people had sent in their cash and raised a total of VND2.4 billion (S$157,595), an amount Y Nour's whole poverty stricken village couldn't make in 10 years.
Sixty per cent of those living in the nameless location across the Poko are officially listed as "poor".
"Without the help of generous people, the people in Dak-Ang Commune would have had to commute by rope for much longer," said Tran Van Nhut, deputy chair of the committee's office.
-Viêtnam News/Asia News Network