Children make a living on river to access education

By Diep Anh   September 8, 2022 | 07:00 pm PT
Anh Quan started cutting hyacinths on the Vam Co Tay River from the age of 10 to earn money to support his entire family.

The grade 8 student started this job five years ago when his brother was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to drop out of school. Since the incident, the boy has had to support his family along with his mother.

He has been wearing a cap to cut hyacinths with his mother in the afternoon for the past five years while attending school in the morning.

Despite the challenges of life, Quan never loses hope and consistently strives to earn the distinction of a good student.

"My dream is to be a doctor, so I can take care of my father and brother," Quan said.

During a visit to Anh Quan's home, Jason Turnbull, deputy managing director of Masterise Homes, followed the boy to pick hyacinths from a tiny boat.

Turnbull, always struggling, only cut a few flowers, whereas Anh Quan filled about half the boat.

Anh Quan demonstrated how to cut hyacinths to Masterise Homes representative during the trip of Pair of Loving Leaves show to Long An Province. Photo by VTV

Anh Quan demonstrates how to cut hyacinths to a Masterise Group representative during the "Pair of Loving Leaves" program in Long An Province. Photo by VTV

Touched by Quan's filial piety and spirit of overcoming difficulties, Masterise Group offered him a scholarship worth VND20 million.

"We admire Quan's story, which would motivate other children," Turnbull said.

"I wish him much luck in the future, in the way of studying and supporting his family."

Guests of the Pair of Loving Leaves show visit Anh Quans family. Photo by VTV

Members of the "Pair of Loving Leaves" program visit Anh Quan's family. Photo by VTV

The Huong River was also a part of Nguyen Ly Ly's childhood in Hue, where she spent her leisure time reading comic books.

Every day at 5 a.m., her father must sail to Sinh Junction to fish and return at 1:00 p.m. to deliver the fish to Ly and her mother so that they can sell it at the market.

The four-person family lives in a land boat, where "if two people walk inside, the other two will have to go out due to lack of space," according to Ly.

On hot days, Ly would study in an old basket while her father sits on the side of the boat fixing his net.

The little girl always tries to study, as one of the two top students in her class this past semester.

When talking about her parents, Ly expressed her appreciation for them because "they try their best to allow me to go to school despite them being illiterate." She is happy because her family is always beside her.

"When I start working and get my first salary, I will buy a lot of food for my parents," Ly expressed.

The donors were touched by Ly's story. Masterise Group offered her a scholarship worth VND 20 million and comic books.

Starting in July 2022, Masterise Group is cooperating with the "Pair of Loving Leaves" program to provide scholarships to studious students across Vietnam. This is an educational and voluntary endeavor under the group's sustainable community program - "Build a Better Future."

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