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VVAW Library Project Updates - Spring 2023
By Chuck Theusch
After pandemic restrictions prevented Chuck Theusch, Founder/CEO of the Library of Vietnam Project from traveling for the past couple of years, he and his wife Khoi finally made it to Vietnam to visit all their library projects, including our two projects.
Construction of VVAW's second library has begun in the courtyard of the Hanh Trung Primary School, Nghia Hanh District, in the Quang Ngai Province of Vietnam.
Saturday, January 7, we had a wonderful groundbreaking ceremony. There is a tradition that this groundbreaking ceremony fits into nicely—the heartfelt belief that rain on the day of commencement is a good sign for a new innovative project—the VVAW Library. We are grateful for this positive coincidence.
The school will now have a free-standing, independent building designated for library use, thanks to VVAW's Small Dream project. All they had before was a lean-to roof with a few books, generally useless in the many months of monsoon weather that Quang Ngai is known for.
On March 2, 2023, Khoi and I made our second visit to the Hanh Trung Small Dream Library Site. There has been substantial progress since our prior visit on February 15.
Monsoon rains have largely subsided. Despite the monsoon work stoppages, the project took advantage of a break in the monsoon weather. Now, as the seasons are turning, spring and summer construction should allow the library to be completed by May 1, 2023.
On March 2 we visited the first completed VVAW library, next to the Pho Vinh High School, Pho Vinh Village, Duc Pho District, Quang Nga. Ms. Suong, Vice-Headmaster of the school of 395 Students and 28 teachers and administrators, showed me the work she has accomplished: a Facebook page for Pho Vinh and a website.
It turns out Ms. Suong is the daughter of Mr. Suong Le, our contractor on the first library in 2000 and 2001. He did a great job, leading to the many projects we now have across Southeast Asia. Sadly, he is in poor health. We were unable to see him.
With the completion of VVAW's library, the local authorities contributed support for a swimming pool and physical education facility. Around 2010, several drownings in the nearby ocean and river made learning to swim a priority. Schools throughout Quang Ngai Province are working to acquire swimming pools built for water safety instruction. So VVAW's investment has already led to more resources for the children of Pho Vinh.
We greatly appreciate the funding by VVAW for these projects. So many children at the Pho Vinh and Hanh Trung schools will benefit from these libraries and the other improvements to the living and learning these libraries make possible.
Hopefully, VVAW will continue its support of both libraries so we can add a computer lab at Hahn Trung and help upgrade the furnishings. Pho Vinh hopes to add some landscaping and an outdoor reading garden. Both libraries can always use more books.
Chuck Theusch is a Vietnam Veteran of the US Army, 4/3 Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, Vietnam 1969-70.
He is the founder/CEO of the Library of Vietnam Project.
Small Dream library in Hanh Trung - March 20, 2023.
Ms. Van, Headmaster, Hanh Trung School and Chuck Theusch, Founder/CEO Library of Vietnam Library Project at
groundbreaking of VVAW's Small Dream Library, January 7, 2023, Nghia An District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam.
Mr. Long, Hanh Trung Teacher Ms. Tu, Headmaster Ms. Van, Khoi, and Chuck
at Small Dream construction site, March 2, 2023.
Khoi & Ms. Suong, Vice-Headmaster, at the VVAW Library at Pho Vinh High School, Pho Vinh Village,
Duc Pho District, Quang Ngai, Vietnam, March 2, 2023.
Chuck and Ms. Suong's computer kids looking at the VVAW donated computers in the
VVAW Library, Pho Vinh Village,
Duc Pho District, Quang Ngai Province, March 1, 2023.