Confidences after a trip - Be Better Foundation

Confidences after a trip

  • “How do you go to school? I walk to school.
  • How far do you walk? I don’t know.
  • Does it take you a long time to walk? Yes, it is.
  • How long does it take you? More than 1 hour.
  • What food do you usually eat with rice at home? Vegetables.
  • What vegetables? Vegetables in the forest.
  • Don’t your parents buy fish and meat for you? Occasionally, there is fish in meals.”

The children are 13-14 but look much smaller than their ages. With emaciated faces and bodies, worn-out clothes, “unique” footwear, shy words, and tearful eyes when talking about their families, they made the listeners hardly fail to be moved.

The teachers were also in tears when mentioning their students. They said, “They cannot pay their tuition fee, so the form teachers have to help pay for them in advance, then their parents return it in installments of VND 50,000 – 100,000. When they miss school, the teachers have to go to their houses and beg their parents to let them go to school, but sometimes their parents even refuse to see the teachers. Every teacher tries to contribute a little, but it does not help much. Each year, there are only a few grants from the district authorities. This year, you have not only come to this place in person but also given more than fifty grants. It is the first time the school has received so much support in the past 20 years, making us thrilled. Please try to help these children. They have no shoes and must walk more than ten kilometers in slippers, falling up and down. Poor them! Due to the changes in the government’s support policies, they will no longer get meal allowances, which may force them to drop school.”

In the distance, on the wall, there is a written statement, “For the sake of ten years, we must plant trees, and for the sake of 100 years, we should cultivate people”. Reading such a sentence and thinking of the local children is heartbreaking. How can they grow up without shoes to go to school and nutritious meals?

Mang Den is as beautiful and cool as Da Lat, but it is so sad to see those skinny bodies strolling back to their villages through deep trails in the mountains.

Tony, the founder of the Be Better Foundation

Some feelings after the scholarship-giving trip to Kon Plong District, Kontum province