Nguyen Minh Hau (right) in an activity of the V.Gen Station project. — Photo tuoitre.vn

"I'm determined that besides studying, I spend most of my time participating in community activities," he said about the annual project V.Gen Station that he helps run.

Hau, 21, from the southern province of Kien Giang, came first in the entrance exam for the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities three years ago with a score of 28.8/30.

When Hau studied at Huynh Man Dat High School in Kien Giang, he joined many community activities related to environmental protection and events at historic sites.

When Hau entered university, he spent time attending a course lasting several weeks abroad, called scholarship for Young Southeast Asian leaders. The scholarship was founded by former US President Barack Obama in 2013.

"We wanted to design a programme where Vietnamese young people can understand themselves, social issues and commit to creating positive changes ​​for the community. We also want to help young people have a place to share their emotions and build social skills," Hau said.

Though this is his final year of university, Hau still works hard to call for sponsors and promote the programme. He has invited university lecturers since March to speak so the programme can run this August.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Hau worried he would have to forget about the programme but he was fortunate enough to receive support from others.

"Unforeseen risks like COVID-19 are an opportunity for us to find ways to optimise solutions. For example, we regrettably have to limit trainees from affected areas and carefully conduct measures to prevent the pandemic," said Hau.

"I want my youth to be beautiful and meaningful. And these two things often come from donations and giving, especially when there are still many miserable lives around us. I am especially interested in the disadvantages of rural children.

“It may be a bit contradictory, but thanks to such external activities, my living capital and learning results are greatly improved. They help me feel more confident, which I think is very important in a life that is so challenging," said Hau.

In 2016, Hau joined a charity programme which delivered gift on Christmas for poor children in Rach Gia City, and he still remembers the image of a little boy on the night.

"When asked what gift he wanted, he told me that he wanted a book. Before that I thought he would say sweets or toys and it was surprising that what he wanted was so simple," Hau said.

That was also the driving force for Hau to call for book donations and bring them to the poor.

Talking about Hau, Professor Christine Buzinde, manager at Scholarship for Young Southeast Asian leaders, was full of praise.

"Minh Hau is one of the youngest faces in the scholarship programme that I know. And I believe this young person will bring many positive values to the community," she said.

"The things I do are small, but I always find happiness in what I do or have, even if it's something very small or failures. It tells me that I need to improve and I will come back better,” Hau said.  VNS

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