Businessman with cancer dreams of school for poor children

February 13, 2020 - 09:58

Nguyễn Công Nội, 29, has found a reason to fight cancer, namely his dreams of opening a school for poor children.

Nội playing with his students. — Photo

ĐẮK LẮK — A young businessman has found a reason to fight cancer, namely his dreams of opening a school for poor children.

Nguyễn Công Nội, 29, lives in Cư K’Pô Commune, Krông Búk District of the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk, and was diagnosed with colon cancer three years ago.

He returned to Đắk Lắk from HCM City, expecting to live out his remaining days at home.

Once a hard-working student, Nội immersed himself in books as a child with the dream of escaping his poverty.

The poor schoolboy passed an exam to enter HCM City’s Banking University and after graduating, he earned enough money in a job in the financial sector to open his own business in the same field.

“At that time, my life revolved around work and work,” Nội told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.

“After work, I hung out with my friends and colleagues. I never cared about my health,” he recalled.

In 2016, he got a serious bellyache after a medical check, he was shocked to be diagnosed with colon cancer.

“Since I was a student, I had small pains but I ignored them,” he said.

“When the doctor told me about the disease I felt like I was dying,” he added.

After surgery and chemotherapy that made his condition stable, Nội decided to sell his company and returned home.

In desperation, he decided to do something useful for his community in the last days of his life.

“The days living in my motherland away from jobs and parties in the big city changed my mind a lot,” Nội said.

“When I succeeded, I only cared about how much I earned. I realised that the most precious part of life was my health. It was too late,” he said.

“I needed to live happily and usefully even though my life may be shortening every day,” he said.

Then Nội opened a free-of-charge class for local children.

Initially, Nội bought some desks and chairs and brought the children in his village to his house to teach them maths, English, baking and farming.

After good reviews from the kids and their parents, his class gradually attracted many children. In the peak period, there were more than 80 kids, forcing him to hire teachers to run the class.

“I did not set a goal of how many words a student must memorise or how many exercises they had to do every day.”

“I found they learned quickly from stories or games in the class. I cared about each student’s hobbies and skills,” Nội said.

Tuấn Anh, 12, Nội’s student told the newspaper: “I liked to learn with Nội. I was taught a lot.”

“I could speak my opinion to him. He taught us not only maths and English but also knowledge of health care,” said Tuấn Anh.

Nội said he found each student had his or her own colour, so he dreamed of opening a school on a hill full of sunflowers named Rainbow.

He plans to sell his avocado farm to build the school.

“I may not live long. But I believe Rainbow School will become a place to help children develop their creativeness,” said Nội. — VNS