Friday, November 25, 2016

About our CEF students adjusting to life far from home ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

Living far from home to study is not easy for teenagers who are still in high school. Besides the experience having advantages such as helping them improve their confidence and create more self-awareness, there are challenges and disadvantages, like missing home, balancing budgets and their personal safety.

‘H’ is one of the children in our education program living far away from her home to be able to study. She shares a small room with another friend to be able to attend an advanced high school in Hoi An city. She was cared for by her father while her mother died of cancer over several years, but sadly he left before she died and never returned and 'H' was then taken care of by her granny. She can manage to live away from home thanks to her sponsorship that helps her with her costs, and on top of that she does a part-time job in her free time to help herself.

On the first days of living on her own balancing her budget was the most challenging thing she faced. Accommodation, food, school fees, stationery, personal costs and other related costs needed calculating and the small amount of money she had needed to be dividing carefully. In the beginning she always spent more than she had estimated; therefore, she had to skip breakfast and cut remaining expenses as much as possible at the end of the month. Gradually, she learned many things to help control her life, and her spending, making living and studying away from home much easier and less stressful.

Another CEF sponsored child is ‘Ha’, who is a freshman at Da Nang University of Foreign Languages. She was only familiar with a countryside life and had a very close and caring family; therefore, she felt depressed and stressed in the process of adjusting to her new life and environment. On the first day, she enjoyed her new life, but day by day, she missed her family and her friends a lot. In addition, she had to say goodbye to the carefree life and step into a responsible life with a lot of duties. She has to do things by herself now, from big things like managing her budget to smaller ones like doing her own housework and washing, which used to be done with her family’s help. It took her nearly two months to adapt to this new life and environment. Currently, she returns home twice or three times a month instead of once a week as she did at the beginning of term. This reduces her expenses as well as providing her with more time for her studies.

In general, facing and overcoming a diverse range of challenges in this life is not easy; however, once they can do it, their lives are much better, less stressful and they are able to be more successful. I hope that each child in our program can do like ‘H’ and ‘Ha’ have been doing and consider the challenges just as a part of adult life.


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