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  16/11/2023

Broaden Your Horizons with Books

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Opening Perspectives Through Books

Fueled by a deep love for books and a fervent desire to spread knowledge, especially to children, 22-year-old Thai Hai Dang from Vinh Long, along with friends, has built a “treasury” of books for underprivileged children.

In over half a year since its inception, Thai Hai Dang’s “Books to Children” project has completed 10 rounds of book donations, distributing over 300 books to children in remote areas, covering many locations from Lao Cai, Bac Giang, Hoa Binh to Hanoi and Vinh Long.

Beginning in high school in Bac Ninh, Thai Hai Dang was introduced to the world of books by friends and teachers. Initially a leisure activity, reading gradually became a close companion for the young man. Entering university in Hanoi, Dang’s involvement with “Vườn Yêu Thương – Thai Ha Book Club,” established in 2008, deepened his understanding of the importance of books.

From Book Love to Knowledge Connection

During a trip to Sa Pa, with plans to donate books to local children as a keepsake, Hai Dang was unexpectedly overwhelmed by the joy of giving. Thus, at the end of July 2022, he and his friends initiated the “Books to Children” project, aiming for a structured and serious approach to book donations.

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For Dang, each book opened by a child symbolizes hope for a brighter future. “Books to Children” operates with the goal of nurturing a reading culture. During the project’s journey, Hai Dang has often reflected on the power of books and the act of giving. For instance, during interactions with teachers in remote areas, Dang learned of students in grades 7 and 8 who already had 2-3 children. This revelation deeply saddened him, as he believes early parenthood can impact their health and future.

Another time, while distributing books, a grade 8 student shyly asked Dang, “Do you have any books on martial arts? I want to learn.” The child’s eager eyes and longing for a book further motivated Hai Dang in his mission to spread knowledge.

Through his project, the 22-year-old hopes to make books a tool for shaping young minds, allowing children in remote areas to access new perspectives.

Permission to Give

Hai Dang views the “Books to Children” project not as a burden but as an opportunity to give and gain experiences. The journey to find books for donation began with personal appeals and connections through book clubs. Realizing that this was not a sustainable plan, Dang called for sponsorship from bookstores and businesses to expand the book sources.

Moreover, when seeking places to donate books, Hai Dang believes in the principle of consent: “When giving, one must first understand if the recipient desires the gift. Hence, I always ask for permission before donating.”

Balancing the project with his studies, Hai Dang often sleeps only 2-3 hours a night. Nevertheless, each book is carefully selected before being given away. He constantly asks himself, “Will the children like these books? Are there enough books? Are these books suitable for them?” The joy for Dang and his fellow project members is simple: seeing the bookshelves they send out warmly received.

Once the books reach the children, Hai Dang contacts those responsible at each location to understand the reading habits of the children. On one occasion, he received feedback from a teacher that most of the books sent were not suitable for elementary school students, making Dang even more diligent in his “giving” journey.

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Hai Dang established the “Books to Children” project to deliver books to children in mountainous regions.

Continuously concerned about the project’s funding and manpower, Dang and his friends tirelessly organize various fundraising activities. From talk shows to fairs for calling and collecting books, “Books to Children” is nurtured daily, preparing for future donation trips. This March, Dang is busy bringing the project to Vu Ban, Nam Dinh Province, continuing the mission of spreading the culture of reading.

Additionally, Hai Dang participates in two other projects, “ATM White Cane” and “ATM Small Things.” In the first, he and others call for funds to purchase white canes for the visually impaired. The second involves giving small gifts to underprivileged workers, boosting their morale. Regardless of the activity or project, the young man always combines his personal sharing with a sense of responsibility.

“People giving to others should first do so with joy, voluntarily, and willingly. Without these three principles, this noble act may lose its direction,” Dang shares.

(Source: Giác Ngộ Newspaper)

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