Brian, one of our Australian board members, who is also part of the Thai Binh Education Program team, visited me in Hoi An recently. He came on our end of year trip assessment into the mountains. It enabled him to see what some of the family situations are like in the more mountainous and isolated areas outside Hoi An.
The countryside is very beautiful and its very peaceful up there; I love visiting the mountains. The families we help up there are clearly poor with very little in the way of work opportunities for the parents in such isolated areas.
Two of the families we visited are very sweet and life is hard for them. One is a single, disabled mum, who does farming. She has two children and is also responsible for her mother. The other mum is also a farmer and struggles to support the two children and her husband, who has had a stroke. Both mums can pick up some seasonal work sometimes.
It's always a pleasure to work with them and to know we ease the struggle a little by helping their children with their education.