During my trip to survey a few families of students in Binh Thuan who needed help to finish high school and go to university, I suddenly remembered the “small BIG” rule (the rule of how the little things make up great things).
Children in primary and secondary schools actually do not spend much money a year (VND 2–3 million maximum). However, family pressure and other miscellaneous expenses on a daily and monthly basis make their poor parents needy and discourage the children from studying. If we calculate the expenses of a poor child in the countryside to be fully educated for a year, it is only about VND 5–6 million/year including all miscellaneous expenses for clothes, books, and bicycles. On average, the daily amount is just VND 14,000–15,000. Sounds like a very small amount, but over 365 days, it is enough for a child to go to school, finish high school, and go to university, changing a family and a generation.
In our daily activities, at least in my experience and that of the families around me, just giving them “leftover” food or things we do not use anymore will leave them free to make enough money to study and even finish university.
I would like to speak for the children and ask you to donate your leftovers to Be Better Foundation’s scholarships:
“Dear aunts and uncles:
Please give me a portion of your leftovers. When ordering food, just by ordering enough to eat, leaving no leftovers, you save a few tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. Instead of drinking a cup of coffee of VND 60,000, you can choose a normal coffee shop. You can save VND 30,000 just by buying a normal cup of coffee with VND 30,000. Don’t throw a new outfit away or buy a more fashionable one; you’ll save a few hundred thousand or a few million VND. The new iPhone that has just been bought a few months ago, or even the upcoming iPhones 12, 13, and 14, are actually not necessary. The amount of money you spend on them is enough for me to go to college for a year. It’s also the amount my father saves each year. You just need two–three pairs of shoes for seven days of the week; don’t buy dozens of pairs of shoes and wear them only one–two times. The money you save will be enough for me to go to college for a few months or half a year, or at least help to pay for a month’s rent. I wish you would remember me for just a few seconds whenever you went to a party. Please give me the extra food that will inevitably get wasted. The money spent on all that discarded food is enough to pay for a child’s entire school year. Please do not buy too much luxury jewelry, because but one item is enough for your child to study for one year. Please do not spend too much on “tipping the waitresses” and save a little for us children. We can use that money to study and to live in the countryside for one month. For those who smoke two packs a day, please reduce your smoking because it is not good for your health. Please save the money you spend on half a pack of cigarettes for me. You buy many types of cosmetics at the same time without using them all; please think carefully before buying them. Don’t waste cosmetics. Please give me a box of leftover cream so that I can go to school for a month . . . Please save your leftovers for me so that I can go to school.
My sincerest thanks.”
Be Better Foundation