When saigonchildren’s social workers first visited Cuong’s home in Dong Nai province, his mother, Nhan, was worried that we were scammers coming to deceive her family and take advantage of her disability. Her hearing impairment made the conversation quite difficult as she did not have a hearing aid, and could only interpret a few words through lip reading. Born with hearing impairment and into an impoverished family, Nhan had to stop going to school after grade 5, restricting her to now working basic labouring jobs such as weeding at nearby gardens.
After getting married and giving birth to Cuong, life, unfortunately, did not get easier for Nhan and her little family. When Cuong was 11 years old, he started to lose his hearing, and after Cuong’s younger sister was born, their father left the family without paying any child support. Since then, it has been just the three of them fending for each other. Grade 9 was when Cuong completely lost his hearing and was given his first pair of hearing aid – though they were mismatched and didn’t work well all the time.
Despite fighting poverty and hearing impairment, Cuong continues to strive forward, insisting on staying in school and pursuing his education. He is now a high school student and a recipient of saigonchildren’s scholarship program. He has also managed to set up a small online business selling phone accessories to help his mother with family expenses – as since the pandemic broke out, the jobs available to Cuong’s mother have decreased significantly.
Cuong and Scholarship Programme staff of saigonchildren
Their family of three now depend largely on the income of Cuong’s small online business. The boy’s dream is to one day study electrical engineering in order to earn a good job and support his mother and sister.
The above story was published by saigonchildren on the crowd-funding section of Momo e-wallet in 2020, in a call for support to buy new hearing aids for Cuong. Thanks to thousands of Momo users, the crowd-funding project was a success and enough money was raised to sponsor Cuong with a brand-new pair of hearing aid valued at US$ 1,600. On 23rd December, saigonchildren’s staff accompanied Cuong for the fitting of the new hearing aids, which have the ability to connect to mobile phones, allowing him to adjust the sensitivity depending on different environments. Thanks to Momo and the thousands of silent supporters, not only does Cuong feel more empowered to conquer his dream, but their family of three also feels more hopeful and confident in the future.
If you want to donate to Saigon Children’s Charity on Momo to help more impoverished children like Cuong overcome their barriers to education and reach their potentials, please visit: https://payment.momo.vn/pay/store/MOMOTUUM20191113-saigonchildren