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Published: March 21st 2007
A HOME VISIT
No matter how many times I visit these families who live on the river and try as I might, I will never really understand how difficult life is for these people.
Them and her son Quan live on the Thu Bon River in Hoi An. Them’s husband deserted her and Quan six years ago, leaving them without land or a house. Them had a small boat to use for fishing; she had to borrow a boat for her and her son to sleep in.
They have been sleeping on the river, in a boat measuring one metre by three metres, for the past six years.
Life on the river is as tough as it gets. The boats are cold and damp in the rainy season and extremely hot in the summer months. The river, which floods annually, is used for everything from bathing to defecating. This is the same river in which Them and Quan fish.
Quan works as a builder’s labourer for a salary of about $3 AUD on the days work is available. If there is no work, he doesn’t get paid. Sponsorship paid for a bicycle for Quan to use as transportation. A bicycle will allow Quan to travel a greater distance to find work.
Them uses her boat to catch fish and also to transport people around the river. Them’s salary is unstable;
A HOME ON THE RIVER
These tiny boats often sleep up to eight people.
on a good day she earns approximately 5,000 to 7,000 dong. That’s about 50 cents!
Sponsorship had a new boat built for this family and also purchased new fishing nets for Them. When I first met this family they did not have any food, so sponsorship also paid for a large quantity of rice.
Them is another hard-working woman who, despite the odds, just gets on with her day without a complaint. She is very grateful for the assistance given to her, and also for the security of knowing that her new boat is not borrowed—it belongs to her.
Love from Karen.
P.S. Don't forget the Lifestart Foundation Dinner Dance and Charity Auction is just around th corner. It will be held on July 28th.
We need your support, if you can get a table of friends or family together that would be great!
Donations for the charity auction are also most welcome.
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