Family fights poverty to send 5 children to school
  • | SGTT | April 08, 2010 07:14 PM

Although it isn't easy, a couple are determined to save ever penny so their five children can study in university.

Dang Thi Tho and Nguyen Duc Hai have five daughters and are currently living under very poor conditions near Thi Nghe Canal in Ho Chi Minh City.

Helping father to make paper propellers

Hai makes a living by selling balloons and paper propellers on the street. Tho is a tailor but she always tries to earn some extra money by cleaning houses or washing clothes for other families.

Her five daughters shared with each other only one small desk or using the floor for their studies. Thuy An is a first year student in the English Faculty at Ho Chi Minh’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities; Nguyen Thi Hoa is a second year student of the Accounting-Auditing Faculty, Hong Bang University; Nguyen Thanh Cuc is also a first year student in the English Faculty at the Industry University; Nguyen Thanh Chuc is an 11th grader and Nguyen Thanh Mai a 10th grader.

Tho reflected on difficult days in her life when she could not afford the fees for her children to study. She was forced to borrow money from gangsters and had to pay them interest of VND20,000 ($1.05) per day. If she could not manage enough money to pay the interest, they came to her house and made trouble. However, she tried her best not to let her children leave school.

Unfortunately, when Thuy An was in secondary school, a gas tank was burst that making one eye of Hai impaired totally.

When Thanh Chuc was 3, she fell down the stairs, injuring her head. Tho’s family once again had to deal with challenges as both Thanh Cuc’s head and her eyes were injured. Several years later, she lost vision in her left eye completely. Tho said through tears, “The doctor said it would take VND4 million ($210.5) to cure her eye. But I could not afford such large money. I spent my money on schooling fees.”

Having no other choice, Thuy An was forced to leave school and went to work. Tho shared, “An was very good at studying. She won prizes of Le Quy Don for several consecutive years. But she could not enter university because I didn’t have enough money.”

Working hard for some years, An could make as much money as the total income of her parents that brought a chance for Hoa and Cuc to go to universities.

Then Thuy An worked in a supermarket and earned about VND1 million per month. When the family life was better, Tho asked An to continue her studies. Cuc helped An a lot and finally she entered university at the age of 25.

Tho said, “I did not have an opportunity to go to school, now I have to work hard to earn money but I will never let my children’s future to be like mine.”

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