In rubber land like Tay Ninh province, poor families live on wages earned from tapping rubber trees. Tapping season lasts around 8 months a year, and workers get hired and receive money every 2 or 3 days depending on tapping schedule. When rubber tapping season is over and the family’s pockets are drained, children from poor families are at risk of dropping out. When tapping season returns, older children are tempted to leave school to make money for their family. Thus, the vicious cycle of poverty continues.
(Rubber gardens in Tay Ninh)
Trung, aged 12, lives with his parents and three siblings in a small house by a rubber garden. His father is the breadwinner of the family, working hard jobs from tapping rubber trees to caring for fighting-chickens for money, whatever he can do to feed five mouths. His mother is illiterate and is in poor health. She used to work in a factory, but now she has to stay home to take care of the children. Trung’s older brother became addicted to drugs and left home. His younger brother has a brain injury after an illness, and he cannot go to school. His sister is 2 years old, and is said to be unplanned child.
The parents could not make ends meet after having to pay large medical expenses. The family is in debt to the social bank and relatives. Yet life keeps going, surrounded by rubber and chicken-fighting gamblers.
(Typical living conditions of CDSP children)
Trung, by far, is the highest educated person in the family. He is timid in the class and performs just about average in school. However, he is keen on continuing his studies and has good time in school with his friends. When Trung meets us for the first time, he tells us many stories about his hobbies, his life, his friends and his dream with excitement. The opportunities to meet Trung and children like Trung inspire us a lot, to keep following our mission and help more and more children in need.
After learning about Trung’s case and his motivation to keep studying, Saigonchildren has decided to support Trung to go to school for a brighter future.
(Trung eagerly shared about his studies with CDSP team)
We also work closely with local schools where teachers call us up when a child is on the edge of dropping out due to financial hardship, so we can provide support to help them stay in school longer.
We believe that with proper support, “tapping season in rubber land” will no longer be in line with “dropping out of school season”. We work hard to provide a helping hand to the students and become a companion that they can turn to.
And you can help them too.