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Published: August 10th 2007
HAPPINESS IS ANOTHER YEAR OF SCHOOL GUARANTEED
Linh, Thanh, Ha and Huong are all thrilled that they can attend school for another year. The girls all attend primary school in Hoi An.
In addition to supporting students of the Lifestart Foundation Free School, Lifestart supports many students who are studying at government schools, paying for their annual school fees, uniforms, and books for one year. In some cases, if the child has to travel a long distance to school, Lifestart provides a bicycle.
Some of the students we support have been at risk of being forced to leave school, nearly always for economic reasons. If you already struggle to feed your family, finding money to pay for school fees, uniforms, and books is impossible. Once children leave school, despite the fact they may be very young, they become a potential income earner for their family as a street seller.
Some parents will sacrifice one child in order to feed the rest of the family. Others blatantly exploit their children, choosing to make their children work very long hours every day selling anything and everything to tourists whilst they (the parents) do not work, but live on their children’s earnings.
Whenever possible, Lifestart Foundation works with the parents of these at-risk children to try to resolve the economic issues the parents may be facing. Relieving a poor family of the financial
BROTHERS, TRONG AND LUC
Trong an Luc, as with all of the children that Lifestart assists are from a very poor family. They can now attend school on the island of Duy Nghia.
BROTHERS, TRONG AND LUC
Trong an Luc, as with all of the children that Lifestart assists are from a very poor family. They can now attend school on the island of Duy Nghia.pressure of school fees, uniforms, and books for one year gives the parents a little breathing space and, in some cases, time to get on their feet.
It is a sad day when a child has to forfeit the opportunity to receive an education to end up working on the street, pedaling their wares to the ever-present tourists, who unwittingly perpetuate the problem by purchasing from the street workers. Regarding the children who are exploited by their parents, if tourists simply stopped buying, then the parents would have to find work and could no longer live off their children. This is a very simplistic solution to what is at times a complex problem. Again, it is necessary to work with the family to try to find and offer alternatives.
I was with a Vietnamese doctor friend of mine recently, and I had one of our Lifestart kids with me, who happens to be a street worker. My poor doctor friend was staggered when this particular child
EIGHT YEAR OLD MY
My can now attend grade 2 at school on the island of Duy Nghia and has been given a new uniform and books for one year.My lives with her mother who is a struggling rice farmer.
told him how much money he earned selling on the street—it was ten times the amount that the doctor earned!
At the other end of the scale, Lifestart Foundation also provides
EIGHT YEAR OLD MY
My can now attend grade 2 at school on the island of Duy Nghia and has been given a new uniform and books for one year.My lives with her mother who is a struggling rice farmer.educational scholarships to extremely bright and dedicated students who are from disadvantaged and poor families.
One of these students is Nhi who is currently studying to become a teacher at Hue University.
Nhi was introduced to me because he had great potential; sadly, he was unable to afford to go to University to follow his dream of becoming a teacher. He is one of six children from a poor rural family. Nhi was so desperate to get money to pay for his education that he was cutting grass ( by hand) to sell to people to feed their cows. Now that is determination! I was very impressed with the lengths Nhi was prepared to go to try to pay for his education.
Nhi now has a Lifestart
NHON & A
The two top students in the povince!They sometimes go without food in order to purchase a book.
Education scholarship, which enables him to retire from the "grass cutting" business. He can now focus completely on his studies. His education scholarship pays for fees at Hue University, books, food, English classes, and personal expenses. This scholarship is reviewed annually and will continue based on Nhi's results (of which I have no doubt will be excellent).
Nhon and A (that's his full name!) are two more very exceptional young
NHON & A
The two top students in the povince!They sometimes go without food in order to purchase a book.students. The boys were introduced to Lifestart via one of their school teachers, who was concerned that the boys would not realize their full potential without financial help. If you aspire to higher education in Vietnam it is imperative to have tutoring in a range of subjects, usually mathematics, physics and chemistry. This all costs money, of course, and is done outside of regular school hours.
Both boys come from extremely poor backgrounds—about as poor as I have seen, actually, and that is saying something! Remarkably, whilst at Secondary School, A and Nhon have consistently been the number one and number two students in the entire province. They live
Lit's mother tragically died last year.His father was struggling to look after Lit, keep working and find enough money to pay for Lit's school fees.
and breathe study as both boys see that this is their only chance to break out of the poverty cycle that so deeply entrenches their families. Nhon's mother told me that he often went without food in order to buy a book for school.
For the past three years, A and Nhon have been on full educational scholarships funded by Lifestart. This scholarship has helped get them through to the end of year twelve without any additional financial worry and has enabled them to study a full range of
extra subjects to prepare them for their ultimate goal of attending University.
A and Nhon are completing year twelve this month. A's dream is to study medicine at Hue University, and Nhon dreams of becoming an engineer. At the end of this month, both boys will go to Hue to study intensively for three months for their University entrance examinations.
If all goes well, they will be accepted into their chosen courses and will stay and attend Hue University.
Both boys have already expressed a desire to return to their communities to be of service at the completion of their studies. We are always in need of doctors,
The youngest of six children.
so I am sure I will be able to keep A very busy!
It is so important that we continue to encourage and support such outstanding young people who, despite all imaginable odds against them, still strive to achieve academic excellence. Not only do these two have "fine minds," but both boys have impeccable manners and are very, very grateful for the opportunities that have been afforded them to date.
If you would be interested in helping A or Nhon with thieir University studies please contact Karen
The youngest of six children.at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep your "fingers crossed" for them in their upcoming University entrance examinations........
Lots of Love from Karen.
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