To date, more than 200 free libraries have been established, helping thousands of ethnic children around the country to access a wide range of age-suitable of books.
Established in 2007, the “Sunday of Love” group has implemented various activities to help poor people, lonely elderly, and street children in Ho Chi Minh City.
In early 2014, the first library of the "1,001 libraries in remote hamlets" project was built for poor pupils in Binh Phuoc province.
To date, the group has set up more than 200 libraries nationwide in remote, extremely disadvantaged villages or villages in border areas to help local children access literature.
Each library has from 300 to 1,000 books depending on its scale. Tu Anh, the group’s founder, said book festivals or programs combining entertainment and charitable purposes have also been organized regularly.
“We will not only give them books to set up libraries, but will also regularly send additional books. Each year we plan to organize 1 to 2 trips to deliver new book titles and make up the lost ones for the libraries.
We will link libraries in one district, commune, region, or schools with each other to help them exchange books to create new sources of books so the libraries will operate more efficiently,” he said.
The project has garnered positive public response. Even strangers have joined the efforts, contributing money to buy books and organizing trips to present gifts for the recipients.
Over the past 2 years, weekends have become a time for group members to gather and classify books or call for either financial or material support for the project.
Nguyen Thi Hoa Tranh, a group member, said “The most wonderful thing about this project is the long-term benefit it will bring for children. In the future the children will become more educated and create prosperity for their families and their homeland.”
The group has set a target of establishing 1,001 libraries by 2020 in the hope that children everywhere will have enough books to read every day. Pham Thi Nhu Thuy, another group member, said “I myself come from a rural area so I can understand how children in remote areas have lacked books and reading culture. The program is very meaningful for children in disadvantaged regions.”
Books provided by “Sunday of Love” are not only available at schools, hamlets’ houses of culture, and family libraries, but also in pagodas, churches, and will soon be available in prisons.
According to group members, they will try their best to link with communities to develop a network of libraries beyond their target of 1,001 in order to serve the needs of the poor nationwide.