This mobile model began once the central city entered its “new normal state”, aiming to provide students in epidemic-hit areas with learning tools for the new academic year.

Dao Thi Chi’s family is a poor household in Cam Toai Trung village, Hoa Phong commune, Hoa Vang district. Her third daughter has entered first grade for the 2020-2021 academic year. Due to the two recent COVID-19 outbreaks, both Chi and her husband were forced out of work. Following the city beginning its “new normal state”, she came back to work and her children started the new school year and the family facedmany expenses. Therefore, the “VND0 bookstore” is the most special one that they have known.

The first mobile bookshop was launched by Da Nang municipalHo Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in collaboration with the City’s Vanguard Teenager Union to provide students with learning equipment. Hoa Vang district has a large number of students who are living in difficult circumstances; meanwhile, Lien Chieu district features many industrial parks. Therefore, Hoa Van and Lien Chieu have been chosen as the current location of the bookstores.

They have hundreds of products, including textbooks, reference books, books covering various skills for children, notebooks and learning tools. They have been divided into different types so that visitors can browse and choose easily. The youth volunteers are always available to instruct students on how to “pick” suitable items, always at the price of VND0. In addition, the bookstores offer several food options such as rice and instant noodles.

Vo Thi Luyen from Bo Ban 1 village, Hoa Phong commune, who has a fourth-grade son, shared: “My son is very fond of books on living skills and nature; however, due to our low income during the outbreak, we have not taken them to buy books. Witnessing my son’s joy upon buying his favourite books, I also feel so happy”.

In order to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control, only ten students are allowed to choose books and learning equipment at a time, avoiding crowds. They are asked to wash their hands and have their body temperature checked. At the two schools, the youth volunteers participate in support activities such as receiving students and their parents, checking appointment papers and helping students choose books.

Nguyen Ba Duan, Deputy Secretary of Da Nang municipal Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union said that following the two COVID-19 pandemic, many local poor and near-poverty households are facing numerous difficulties due to the many expenses their children face entering the new academic year. Therefore, this bookstore model aims to partly support the families and students to attending their schools joyfully.

Although they are operated only at weekends, the bookstores have already helped 100 students living in difficult circumstances have basic things needed for their learning. The municipal youth union will continue to mobilise sponsors to contribute to developing this model in other districts. They will become a great spiritual encouragement for students to study well.