Ailing girl inspires book-collection drive

VietNamNet Bridge - A courageous young woman suffering from a serious kidney ailment has died leaving her dream of providing books for impoverished children unfinished.

Several days after her death, a group of young people in the northern province of Bac Giang, Nguyen Hong Cong’s homeland, took up her task.

They launched a campaign to collect books and build book cabinets, named after Nguyen Hong Cong, for children. The first collection was donated to students at Dinh Tri Secondary School where Cong studied, and since then, the campaign has spread throughout Bac Giang, Ha Noi and HCM City.

Born to a poor family, Cong had to drop out of school when she was 17 because local doctors said her kidneys were in the final stages of failure. While her friends were enjoying school and having fun, Cong faced the harsh reality that she could die at any time.

The 29-year-old girl wrote books to inspire her young readers, leading them to rethink their views o­n life, love and people. "I can’t believe my unfortunate destiny. I am too young to die. But my life is real," Cong wrote in her book.

She said it was her optimistic attitude that helped her fight death. Through her work, she has also left a precious legacy: the story of her experiences, which have inspired others to live, love and believe in a better future.

Although suffering from a serious disease, Cong spent her last days joyfully helping others. She participated in Bac Giang View Forum at and joined various social activities.

Her friends from the forum began donating books and money to set up Nguyen Hong Cong Bookshelf and Nguyen Hong Cong Sponsorship just several days after her death.

After being launched, the charities received enthusiastic support from many people and organisations such as poet, Dang Vuong Hung from the People’s Public Security Publishing House, poet Nguyen Xuan Hong and the provincial Communist Youth Union.

"Bac Giang View Forum’s members raise reading awareness and provide books for children in rural areas which is a meaningful and necessary job and I feel a responsibility to support them," said Nguyen Xuan Hong.

Cong’s friend, Dinh Hong Lam, said Cong had talked about a library, free of charge, for children in her homeland. Lam promised Cong that she would help collect books. Now thanks to this programme, Lam has a chance to complete her promise.

Hoang Thi Thuy Dung, a student from the Academy of Journalism and Communication, was elected head of the charity’s management board to link members and sponsors in Ha Noi, Bac Giang Province and HCM City.

"We feel very happy and proud about our meaningful work," Dung said. "We will try in the future to promote the collections and run the organisation effectively, as Cong desired."

From now until 2014, the forum’s members would expand the charity’s work by establishing book resources in ten districts across the province, Dung said.

All donations to the charity will bring joy to children across the country. For more details about the programme, please contact Hoang Thi Thuy Dung o­n 0983 308 235 or visit

Overcoming her pain and trouble, Cong was still optimistic and believed in a bright future, not for her, but for other people. Although she passed away, her name and attitude still live in people’s minds.