QUẢNG TRỊ — Poor residents in remote areas in western Quảng Trị Province consider teacher Lý Chí Thành as part of their families thanks to his volunteer work.
Thành, 39, is a chemistry teacher at Hướng Hóa High School in the central province of Quảng Trị.
He told the Vietnamnet e-newspaper that he was born in a poor family, so he understands poor people’s difficulties and is determined to help as many poor people as possible.
Thành’s father was disabled, so his mother became the breadwinner of the seven-member family.
Thành entered university in 1999 and was able to complete his studies thanks to scholarships for poor good students.
After graduation, he volunteered to teach in remote areas in Quảng Trị.
Sharing is happiness
Thành joined a volunteer campaign with a group of students from Huế City in 2015. After that, he founded the group Thiện nguyện Khe Sanh (Khe Sanh Volunteer Donation) to do volunteer work in Quảng Trị.
At first, they helped poor households. Then financial support from sponsors gradually increased thanks to the hard work of Thành, and they organised more donation programmes.
So far hundreds of volunteer programmes have been organised. Each programme is worth around US$500.
During the programmes, Thành’s group often make concrete roads, houses for the poor, concrete schoolyards and give coats to poor students for winter.
“Sponsors trust in the group’s work,” said Thành.
The most impressive programme for Thành was one in Ho Le Village, Húc Commune, Hướng Hóa District in 2017.
At that time, Thành’s group cooked bún (rice vermicelli) for poor people, and many children heard about bún for the first time in their lives.
“A boy, about six years old, ate six bowls of bún while many others held a box of milk in their hands, but did not know how to drink it,” said Thành.
“I have received much help from society, so now it’s time I gave back,” he said.
The biggest motivation of Thành is from his wife. She is also a teacher of Hướng Hóa High School and was born in a poor family, so she understands and encourages Thành’s volunteer work.
Now Thành hopes to build a place for unlucky people to come and live.
Students of Hướng Hóa High School, especially the poor, think of Thành as a dedicated teacher who gives them material and spiritual support.
Thành has given guidance for many student's scientific research projects. Last November, Thành was one of two teachers from Quảng Trị Province to receive an award from Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ for his outstanding contribution.
Nguyễn Thanh Nga, principal of Hướng Hóa High School, told Vietnamnet that she was very happy when she saw a teacher of the school do meaningful work for the community.
Nga expressed her hope that the school and the province would have more teachers like Thành so poor students would be supported to continue their schooling and achieve their dreams. — VNS