Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Suong, a sad story, but with hope ~Guest blog by CEF's Thuy Tran

Suong’s family lives in one of the poorest remote villages in Phuoc Son district. In this village, most of the people are alcoholics and are all related to each other. Many husbands and wives are cousins. Almost everyone does farming. They plant vegetables, collect wood, honey, and wild vegetables in the forest for their family and then share with their relatives if they have too much. Suong's parents can't make any money because they are alcoholics. There is nothing in their house except for clothes and a few kitchen items which look like they haven’t been used for a long time. Because the soil is not suitable for planting rice, the Government supports them with enough rice to eat, but the alcoholics exchange it for rice wine. When they are hungry and need a meal, they go to their relatives who have food. Over the last three years Suong's parents got worse as they have been drunk every day and haven’t worked much which makes Suong and her sister not want to stay home anymore. Suong moved to live with her aunt's family while her sister went to live with granny's family in the same village.

Suong is one of five students in the village who continues their studies at high school. During the academic year, she stays at the school dorm as it takes her two and a half hours from home to school by motorbike. Most of the young people in her community just finished their secondary school education or some just primary school education. They all believe that it is expensive to go to high school and they can't afford it. Suong told them about her experience and that it doesn’t cost much money to go to high school. Sadly, no-one believes her because she has a cousin who works in construction in the lowland and sometimes gives her US$8.70 when he visits home. Suong is determined not to live at home, and continue her education, as she loves going to school and wants to be a literature teacher in the future.

(Name changed)
(Photos show the row of houses where they live and Suong)

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