Sunday, November 18 2018

VietNamNews

Back from Japan and on to a bike

Update: June, 16/2018 - 09:00
Tuấn presents scholarships to students at Nhân Chính Deaf School in Hà Nội. Photo courtesy of Trần Thế Tuấn
Viet Nam News

When Trần Thế Tuấn returned home to Việt Nam after studying in Japan, he had a new goal.

That was to cycle from one end of the country to the other giving gifts to poor children.

He grew up poor himself so he knows what it is like to struggle to study.

While on the road he has stayed at the homes of many countrymen and countrywomen he has met along the way.

by Lương Thu Hương

Youth is the time to nurture ambitions and aspirations. For 24-year-old Trần Thế Tuấn, his ambition is to constantly challenge himself and live a meaningful life by contributing to society.

To that end, Tuấn came up with the idea of the Wheel of Love charity programme after studying and working in Japan for two years.

“One Japanese person once told me, ‘Each Vietnamese is a diamond, and each Japanese is a clay ball.’ Do you know what that means? It means every Vietnamese individual is clever, talented and creative, but they can hardly come together to create a solid block, supporting each other like a clay ball, unlike the Japanese,” says Tuấn, of Thái Bình Province.

“Through the Wheel of Love programme, I want to spread the spirit of solidarity that I have learnt from the Japanese culture as well as give the best to every Vietnamese, particularly children, who are the future of the country,” Tuấn adds.

Bringing smiles on a bicycle

Under the programme, Tuấn has been cycling from the Lũng Cú Flagpole in the northern province of Hà Giang -- the northernmost point of Việt Nam -- to the southernmost point at Cà Mau Cape. Wearing a golden star, red T-shirt, along with a small box for donations at the back seat of his bicycle, Tuấn plans to cover 29 provinces within three months by cycling for some eight hours every day.

During his journey, he has been eating, living and working together with the local people, while collecting donations for the charity from his acquaintances and local communities.

All the money collected is being used to buy gifts for poor students. Tuấn will present the gifts as he crosses each province.

“I was born in a rural area and I saw many of my friends unable to pursue their studies due to financial difficulties. Those memories inspired me to start this programme to do something good for the community,” Tuấn says.

He embarked on his nationwide journey from the Lũng Cú Flagpole on April 30, coinciding with the National Reunification Day.

He has carried with him simple items, including some T-shirts with images of national flag, a smartphone to take photos and several personal items.

Tuấn even quit his job and spent all his savings preparing for the unexpected expenses during the course of the journey.

“The most important thing is to train your body, not only physically but also spiritually to prepare for any challenges,” he says.

“I did not tell my parents about my plan, but when they learned about it later on, they did not object but felt both worried and proud,” he adds.

Help and encouragement all the way

Tuấn says that he is grateful for all the help he has received on every path he has cycled.

His online journal contains a long list of benefactors who have invited him to their homes to rest and have meals, in addition to generously donating money for the programme. For example, Sình Mí Nhù and Sình Mí Chung helped fix his bicycle for free when it broke down in Hà Giang, or the doctor who helped to cure the pain in Tuấn’s legs due to excessive cycling.

So far, Wheel of Love has raised more than VNĐ4 million (US$175), over half of which have been presented to 20 students in five provinces.

He has arrived in the central province of Nghệ An, nearly half way through his journey. The searing summer heat has failed to slow him down as he has always received help from the local people.

Tuấn is expected to finish his journey at the end of July, reaching the southernmost point of Việt Nam -- Cà Mau Cape. But that will not be the end of his philanthropy.

As soon as the images of Tuấn’s journey were shared on social media, they caused a stir, inviting words of encouragement from netizens.

“Many of them across the nation have sent me supporting messages and even try to meet me in person to contribute to the fund,” Tuấn says.

“Tuấn arrived in my school on the seemingly hottest day of summer,” recalls Ngô Tuấn Anh, the principle of Lê Quý Đôn Secondary School in the northern province of Tuyên Quang.

“He wished to offer some scholarship to poor students of my school, but unfortunately there were no students as it was already midday. I will hand over his gifts to the deserving students as I want them to know about the kind heart and strong will of an enthusiastic young man as Tuấn. I wish him good health and a safe journey to continue to spread happiness,” Anh says.-- VNS


 

 

GLOSSARY

Youth is the time to nurture ambitions and aspirations.

To nurture something means to care for it and help it grow.

For 24-year-old Trần Thế Tuấn, his ambition is to constantly challenge himself and live a meaningful life by contributing to society.

Contributing means giving.

To that end, Tuấn came up with the idea of the Wheel of Love charity programme after studying and working in Japan for two years.

In this case, end means purpose.

“Through the Wheel of Love programme, I want to spread the spirit of solidarity that I have learnt from the Japanese culture as well as give the best to every Vietnamese, particularly children, who are the future of the country,” Tuấn adds.

Solidarity is the feeling of strength from people standing together.

Wearing a golden star, red T-shirt, along with a small box for donations at the back seat of his bicycle, Tuấn plans to cover 29 provinces within three months by cycling for some eight hours every day.

Donations are gifts.

During his journey, he has been eating, living and working together with the local people, while collecting donations for the charity from his acquaintances and local communities.

Acquaintances are people you know that are neither friends nor enemies.

“I was born in a rural area and I saw many of my friends unable to pursue their studies due to financial difficulties.

To pursue studies means to go ahead with them.

Financial means to do with money.

Those memories inspired me to start this programme to do something good for the community,” Tuấn says.

To be inspired means to get a feeling of wanting to go out and do something positive.

He embarked on his nationwide journey from the Lũng Cú Flagpole on April 30, coinciding with the National Reunification Day.

To embark on a journey means go on a journey.

If two things are coinciding they happen at the same time, without being planned.

His online journal contains a long list of benefactors who have invited him to their homes to rest and have meals, in addition to generously donating money for the programme.

Online means on the Internet.

Benefactors are people who give to charities.

Generously means unselfishly.

For example, Sình Mí Nhù and Sình Mí Chung helped fix his bicycle for free when it broke down in Hà Giang, or the doctor who helped to cure the pain in Tuấn’s legs due to excessive cycling.

Excessive means “too much”.

The searing summer heat has failed to slow him down as he has always received help from the local people.

Searing means very hot.

But that will not be the end of his philanthropy.

Philanthropy means wanting to help others.

As soon as the images of Tuấn’s journey were shared on social media, they caused a stir, inviting words of encouragement from netizens.

Netizens are people who use the Internet.

“He wished to offer some scholarship to poor students of my school, but unfortunately there were no students as it was already midday.

A scholarship is an award that gives a person free education.

 I will hand over his gifts to the deserving students as I want them to know about the kind heart and strong will of an enthusiastic young man as Tuấn.

Enthusiastic means keen.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

  1. Cà Mau Cape is the northernmost point of Việt Nam.
  2. Trần Thế Tuấn’s travelling clothes have included a gold-star, red T-shirt.
  3. The central province of Nghệ An is nearly half way through Trần Thế Tuấn’s journey.
  4. Trần Thế Tuấn’s bicycle broke down in Hà Giang.
  5.  June 30 is National Reunification Day.

 

 

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. False; 2. True; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

 

 

 

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