Vietnam Community Library and Tutoring Center Project

Virtue Foundation Donates Books and School Supplies to Community Library and Tutoring Center in Cu Chi, Vietnam

Virtue Foundation partnered with the Purpose Project to help a young woman living in Vietnam to realize her dream of providing a sustainable library to her community. Aligned with Virtue Foundation’s objective of promoting educational opportunities for children, we donated books and school supplies that will expand the existing community library located in Cu Chi, a suburban village outside of Ho Chi Min City in Vietnam. Purpose Project founder Elizabeth Van Meter describes the humble existing library space, which also serves as a tutoring center: “stationed against a wall of a hut that her father uses to store fertilizer and pig feed, sits the library organized on makeshift shelves.” The library has become such a welcome place for the children from the village and is open 7 days a week, 6 hours a day. The library founder and tutor, Huynh Thanh Thao, is a 26 year old woman born with severe birth defects resulting from Agent Orange. Although Ms. Thao is wheelchair-bound and in constant physical pain, she is driven to help others through building this library and tutoring children. Ms. Thao sums ups her ambitions by recalling a Vietnamese saying which states: “The good leaves will cover the torn leaves, and the torn leaves will cover the shredded leaves.” Ms. Thao interprets the meaning: “If you are lucky enough to be in a better situation than others, you should help [them]…bringing them the message that they too can help others less fortunate than them.”

The library will continue to serve the community of children by providing a place for them to further their learning and enjoy the gift of reading. This project will hopefully expand to creating a new space and new opportunities for Ms. Thao and her community.

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