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Getting more marginalised children in two wheels in pursuit of their education

date_range2023-02-21

Tân Phước Hưng Ward is a community with one of the poorest access to critical services in Phụng Hiệp District, Hậu Giang Province. Local inhabitants usually choose to move to urban areas to find better employment opportunities. Not only do the children here lack parental care, they also have limited access to financial resources to follow their schooling. Hence why scholarship support – to ease the burden of tuition fees, and afford a bicycle as a means of transport – is an immensely valuable gift to these children.

On 16th February, the bicycle distribution ceremony for financially disadvantaged students took place at Tân Phước Hưng A Primary School (Phụng Hiệp District, Hậu Giang Province). As part of the annual partnership between saigonchildren and Zwilling J.A. Henckels Vietnam, 15 new bikes were awarded – 10 of which were sponsored by Zwilling and the remaining belonged to saigonchildren’s alumni support fund. The corporate donor also supported 172 scholarships for students from low-income families in Hậu Giang, who without support, have a high chance of dropping out of school to either join the workforce or become street children in urban cities.

Thùy Dương, a 5th-Grader benefiting from the bike support programme, shares: “Unlike my peers, my parents don’t walk me to school as they work far away from home. I’ve had no choice but to walk on my own since an early age. When I was in grade 4, my bike suddenly broke and I had to go on foot. Today was such a happy day for me. I never would have imagined a day where I would be awarded a new bike like this.”

During the ceremony, local children in our scholarship programme also received learning gifts from our sponsor. To end the day, saigonchildren and the Zwilling team were divided up and took visits to the homes of our beneficiaries, in which we were made aware of the extreme financial difficulties for these families, and how they have had to overcome numerous obstacles for their children to continue their education for as long as possible. Some of the residences are located in hard-to-reach places, so at times, saigonchildren and the donor team even had to use a ferry or motor boat as transportation.

“For the last 5 years (since 2018), we have built classrooms, computer rooms, sponsored scholarships, distributed bicycles and given food packages during COVID, and certainly there will be more support in the future. We believe in long-term support because we know that changing a person’s future is not overnight work. That’s why we have focused on building school infrastructure and scholarships that will benefit children for many years to come.” said Samuel Ernst Sonder, General Director of Zwilling J.A. Henckels Vietnam.

Saigonchildren has cooperated with Zwilling Vietnam in numerous projects in Hau Giang for years, and we always appreciate the effort the team contributes to providing access to education for underprivileged children – not only through building school infrastructure and supporting new equipment, but also through primary methods such as gifting scholarships and bikes.

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