Over the years, saigonchildren have managed to help thousands of disadvantaged students to continue their education. Sơn is one such student, one who demonstrates an amazing drive to live his life to it’s fullest despite his glass bone disease. Sơn has received support from saigonchildren since he was in grade 2 and he is now in his 1st year as an IT student at University of Technical Education in Ho Chi Minh City.
Sơn at the recent saigonchildren student meeting
Sơn is the second of three children in his family. The family has lived in Solidarity House, built by the government in 2006. Since then, the house has become old and degraded. His father was born in 1956, and as a younger man, he would use his wheelchair and go to the central city to sell lottery tickets. However, as he got older, his age began to affect him more significantly, and he is now unable to sit up. Therefore, all familial income comes from his mother’s employment. His mother does any work that she can access, such as picking peppers, picking cashews, picking flowers, etc. She earns a maximum average of 900,000 VND / month, to feed and house her whole family. His mother has had kidney stones but due to family difficulties she is not able to seek medical attention. His older sister also has a disability and cannot move around freely. She has to be fed by someone else as well, cared for like a child, despite being 22 years old.
Sơn has a form of glass bone disease. This means he has difficulties with movement and is prone to bone fractures. Despite this, he is very dedicated to studying and very eager to learn. He passed the college entrance examination and is studying Information Technology at the University of Technical Education in Ho Chi Minh City. Sơn’s youngest sister is fortunate to be born healthy. She has just successfully completed grade 12, studying English Language at University of Industry in Ho Chi Minh City. The small amount of money from the hired labor of his mother, together with the allowance of 1,620,000 VND (540 thousand VND/person/month) is not enough to cover the expenses of the family and also for Sơn and his sister to go to college. In order to have money to pay the tuition fee for the two children, his mother collected contributions from her wider family and borrowed more to complete the enrollment procedures on time.
Sơn with his friends at school
Sơn said: “In the future, I will be completely dedicated to my studies. A new page has opened and even though it is more difficult, with the support of my mother and my family, I will strive to succeed and not let this opportunity pass me by. I hope to find a suitable job, self-sufficiency and enough financial stability to support my parents or even help other people. I chose IT because it suits my situation and the market demand, and provides me with the most opportunities to help me realize my dream. “