Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest blog by Brian - 'Doubly Hard'

Life for many in the picturesque rural countryside of Thai Binh Province in Northern Vietnam can be very hard. The tranquil setting of small villages, dominated by beautiful church spires and old Chinese style buildings, tucked into the verdant green rice fields, belies the often difficult daily struggle faced by so many in those communities.

Many families are almost totally reliant on the output from their small rice plot as the principal source of food and a meagre cash income. And it is typically a full family effort; every able bodied family member doing their bit to ensure the best possible yield.

The loss of the physical presence of a key family member can have a significant impact on the family effort to provide for itself. But how doubly hard can it be when a family, already battling impoverished circumstances, is faced with the emotional stress of a beloved wife and mother of four young children suddenly up and leaving the home.

Such is the case for one particular family in the village of Phuc Li. The four young children of the Nguyen family were devastated some five years ago when their mother, with no explanation or warning, left the family home, never to be seen nor heard from again. The case was brought to the attention of CEF, which has seen fit to provide education support for the children in the hope that they may be able to build a life for themselves despite their hurt and the loss of a mother’s nurturing and guidance.

The family now comprises the father, his 75 year old father, twin boys Do and Doc, and sisters Diu and Nga.

The emotional plight of the children is accentuated by the fact that it is necessary for their father to spend long periods away from home in an attempt to earn a living for the family. Thus the physical and spiritual care of the children falls largely on the shoulders of the grandfather, a delightful and spritely old gentleman. However, it is a matter of concern that his ability to keep doing this for much longer must be questionable.

The emotional effect on a child of being deserted by a loved parent is profound. CEF representatives on annual visits to the family try to give these children a feeling that there are those who care about them, and who are willing to stick with them to help them build their own life, despite the cruel hand that fate has dealt them.

There are so many deserving cases but this is one that CEF firmly hopes to see result in a real success story.

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