You want to build a school? Of course you need to think about money, and a lot of it!
One young man has successfully built schools for poor ethnic minorities in remote areas raising funds from a very simple source.
Hoàng Hoa Trung, 29, and his friends have built eight schools that should last for more than 20 years, for students in mountainous areas.
The inspiration came from a visit to Bát Tràng Pottery Village in Hà Nội’s Gia Lâm District, where Trung saw many items with slight defects.
This gave him the idea of selling the faulty goods for discount prices to raise money for poor students.
Together with a friend, he visited every house in the village to discuss the plan.
He received overwhelming support from the villagers, and has been collecting faulty pottery for three years to sell for VNĐ10,000 (US$0.4) per item.
The highest amount he raised was during a sale at FPT University where he earned VNĐ6 million ($260).
Not content with one revenue source, Trung found an even less likely way of raising cash.
Passing under Vĩnh Tuy Bridge one day, he saw a great amount of cow pat so he decided to collect it and sell it to farmers to use as natural fertiliser.
On another occasion, Trung was presented with bags of old clothes which he sold for VNĐ1,000 ($0.04) each.
Trung also had the idea of asking students for scrap from their dormitories, including used paper, pots and pans.
All of this has gradually added up beyond Trung's expectations.
Since 2012, Trung and his friends have built on average a new school each school for minority students in northern mountainous provinces such as Lai Châu and Điện Biên.
This goes to show many small things can add up to something a lot bigger than you think, as long as you have the determination. — VNS