Chau Ngoc is a 9-year-old girl living in the Mekong Delta. She is one of the 207 students who applied for a scholarship this year. Chau Ngoc was moved to tears during our interview trip because she could not believe that anyone would care so much to come help her. Her story and her gratitude left an indelible mark on our volunteers.
Chau Ngoc lives in this humble home with her mom and 3 of her 4 older siblings. Her oldest sister left to live in a local monastery. Seeing how poor her family is, the monastery volunteered to fix up their house so they could have a safe place to live. Most of our families are not this fortunate, but even with the help from the monastery, their home is still leagues from the common comforts we’re accustomed to here in the U.S.
Chau Ngoc’s father passed away before she was even born, leaving her mom to support 5 children on her own. Her mom only has a 7th grade education, limiting the work she can do. She finds work where she can; currently she’s a kitchen helper at a youth center. Her four oldest children reached high school; two of them even graduated. Her two sons are finding apprenticeships to learn a trade skill so they can earn money but as of yet they haven’t found work. Everyone is doing their best to make money, but even still the family of 6 is living on $2.12 USD/day, well below the poverty line in Viet Nam.
Chau Ngoc is the baby of the family and wants to go to college to become an executive assistant. She thinks this is a good career that will enable her to help her mom and family. She knows that a college education will lead to a good career, which will afford her opportunities to lift her family out of poverty.
Our passion is stoked by children like Chau Ngoc — who is desperate for the education that will unlock her unlimited potential. We’re proud to help her achieve her dream of being the first in her family to go to college.