Overseas students collect books for children in rural areas

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The Vietnamese Student Association in Germany at a meeting to collect books

A group of Vietnamese students studying in Germany has launched a program called "Sach cho nong thon" (Books for rural areas) to give poor children in their home country greater access to reading material.

In the last three months, the Vietnamese Student Association in Germany has collected old books or bought new ones and sent them back to Vietnam's countryside.

A February 16Tuoi Tre newspaper report said that 16 mini libraries have been set up in as many schools in the northern provinces of Thai Binh and Son La. Besides textbooks the libraries have many story-books for children.

The association plans to expand the program to other provinces nationwide, the report said. 

In developing the project, the association has received support from many Vietnamese students studying in other countries including England, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, France and South Korea.

In each of these countries, the association has a representative who is in charge of popularizing the program.

Tran Binh Minh, one of its members, said: "Books have helped me to make big decisions in my life. I hope that through reading books, Vietnamese students in rural area will have the chance to gain more knowledge and nourish their dreams".

Duong Le Nga, a teacher in Quynh Phu Town, Thai Binh Province, said she highly appreciated  overseas students for thinking of their homeland.

Apart from the "Sach cho nong thon" program, the association is also supporting the "Com co thit" (Rice with meat) program by collecting money to help improve the quality of life of poor children in Vietnam.

"Com co thit" program was lauched by Tran Dang Tuan, the former deputy general director of Vietnam Television. Since September 2011, he and several writers have raised funds to improve the quality of kindergarten students' meals in highland areas.

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