Thursday, August 27, 2020

Lan's letter to CEF telling her story of challenge and hope ~ Translated by CEF's Kim Chi

                          Lan and her mother ~ 20103 (Photo by Brian Kuhl)

Dear CEF,

I hope this letter finds you in good health. 

I am very lucky to receive your care and your support. I am the youngest child in a family with three children. When I was born, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. My father had to take out a bank loan to cover her treatment and pay for all our education expenses. Being aware of our difficult situation, three of us always tried hard to be good students. Unfortunately soon after sailing through the university entrance exams with a score of 29/30 and being accepted into the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, my brother developed mental illness. We were very shocked. My parents’ hope of breaking the poverty cycle of the family was dashed at the time as my brother was then not capable doing his university course. My mother was very upset, but she always encouraged my elder sister and me to study harder and take good care of our health. Although she was very ill, she still worked really hard on farms, putting aside her earnings each day to pay for our school expenses in the hope that we would have a good education. 

She finally left us forever on the day when my sister had her university entrance exams. I was in grade 7 at that time, so I understood that now on I had lost my mother, her love and her care. My father became the sole breadwinner as well as being responsible for the children and the house. He had an accident a few years ago when working on a building site, so he now suffers with a lot of pain due to that accident and spinal degeneration and can’t do any physically demanding work. But, he had to work far from the family as a construction laborer and send money home. My father was worried a lot when he worked far away because my brother has still on medications. He borrowed a lot of money to take my brother everywhere for assessments and treatment in the hope that his health would be more stable and he would stop annoying our neighbors. My father is getting old so his health is not good at all. Also, he has ulcerative colitis and often lacks sleep. Sometimes, he has to stop working for a while due to his poor health. My father has taken on a lot of responsibilities while he is also getting older. I am well aware of my family’s situation, so I wish I could help my father more. Although I have to deal with many challenges, I will never stop my schooling. I always try hard to be a good student. I’m now going to start a new important journey in my life which is the final exam to get into university. I want to go to university to have a good job in the future, and then I can help my family.

CEF has been helping me since I was in grade 7. This support has greatly helped to reduce the financial burden for my family. I highly appreciate and am very grateful for my sponsorship and your support so that I can go on with my education. I am now confident enough to make my dream come true.

I wish you good health, happiness and success.

Once again, thank you so much for your support.

Best regards,

Bui Thi Huong Lan

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