Several villages in Vietnam’s Mai Chau district, which is about 4 hours from Hanoi, have talked to Discova about their lack of books. The nearest (and only) bookstore in Mai Chau is about 18 miles from the nearest village. But even if books were more accessible to the villagers, they probably couldn’t afford them. Mai Chau is full of small farming villages and the average household income is around $60 per month. Local families can’t afford much beyond their basic needs.
For this reason, Discova started an initiative to build “Happy Libraries” in Vietnam. This project raises funds to provide books for schoolchildren of remote communities in Mai Chau.
To date, Discova has donated books to more than 5,000 villages in Mai Chao. The first library was set up in 2016. In the years following, Discova has installed 9 additional libraries throughout the area. The libraries are open 2 to 3 times a week and give more than 500 children access to educational and entertaining books.
Recently Discova made a donation on behalf of TrovaTrip to install the 10th library on December 25, 2021. While Christmas is not typically a significant day for locals, the spirit of sharing and gift-giving is universal, and the villagers of the Pu Bin community celebrated the day with new books.
"The donation we’ve made on TrovaTrip’s behalf will help to not only cover furniture for the community library, but also purchase 28 books that will help students in this remote village,” says Nick Shuttleworth, General Manager at Discova. “It will advance their learning opportunities, which can be a challenge for remote communities.”
This 10th library in Na Phat village within Pu Bin has more than $1,000 worth of books, including the bookshelves and other set-up costs.
“We could not have achieved this 10th library without the ongoing support of our partners who continue to contribute funding to the project,” says Shuttleworth.
Discova’s next library location will be built in Quyet Thang, an idyllic village in Bao La commune. This area is home to over 50 school-age students, all of whom share a small group of books within the local school. For further reading, they have to travel to the single bookstore in Mai Chau miles away or go on lengthy bike rides to other villages in which we have installed libraries.
How you can help
Discova welcomes support and donations for community projects. You can sponsor the creation of a new library, either in your name or on behalf of a client, or contribute in other ways to their work in Mai Chau.
Thank you Discova, for bringing books and happiness to remote corners of the world. We applaud the great work you are doing and are honored to be part of it.