In an area of rubber tree plantations, such as Tay Ninh province, poor families earn a living from tapping the rubber trees. The tapping season lasts around 8 months and workers get hired and paid every two or three days, depending on the tapping schedule. When the season is over, and the family finances are drained, children are at risk of dropping out of education due to a lack of funds. And then, when the tapping season returns, the bigger children are tempted to leave school and earn money on the plantations. And so this cycle of poverty and a lack of education continues.
(Rubber gardens in Tay Ninh)
Trung, aged 12, lives with his parents and three siblings in a small house next to a rubber plantation. His father is the breadwinner, working in various jobs from tapping rubber trees to caring for fighting chickens – whatever work he can find to feed five mouths. His mother is illiterate and is in poor health. She used to work in factory but now she has to stay at home to care for the children. Trung’s elder brother became addicted to drugs and left home. His younger brother has a brain injury following a fever and cannot go to school. His sister is two and is said to be an unplanned child. With the various health problems in the family, the parents could not make ends meet and are now in debt to the social bank and other relatives.
Trung is the most educated person in the family but he is timid and performs only at an average level at school. However, he is keen to continue his studies and enjoys being at school with his friends. Trung has little support around him for his education so, after understanding his case and his motivation to keep studying, saigonchildren has committed to support his education to give him a brighter future.
(Typical living conditions of CDSP children)
We also work closely with local schools where teachers contact us when a child is close to dropping out due to financial hardship. Saigonchildren reviews these cases and, where possible, we help the children stay in school so that they can continue their education.
(Trung eagerly shared about his studies with CDSP team)
We believe that, with continued support, rubber-tapping season won’t mean the ‘dropping out of school’ season. As the saying goes, ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’, and we have become friends with many children through our schemes. And we hope to make many more friends in the future!
Please give us a helping hand so that we can support more children like Trung.