A schoolgirl from a disadvantaged family background in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta has managed to take care of herself for two years as her parents have worked in a different place, although she has suffered from cardiac disease.
Nguyen Thi Kim Vang, a seventh grader at Phu Thuan B Middle School in Hong Ngu District of Dong Thap Province, had to leave school for a year at 12 due to heart conditions.
On resuming her education, the 14-year-old achieved a praiseworthy academic performance over two school years, in one of which she topped the class.
As Vang’s family does not own any arable land, her parents have to travel to a neighboring district to work as fish farming laborers.
The parents grew more concerned about Vang since the daughter would have to live at home alone when her older sister got married and is supposed to stay with the husband according to a cultural practice common in rural areas.
But Vang told her parents not to worry about her, saying she was quite able to take self-care.
The girl has since been alone in the house and remained happy and optimistic even after having an occasional heart attack that caused her to lie unconscious.
She has done the cooking and washing by herself and stayed home alone during storms, but she said the greatest difficulty came on days when she juggled schoolwork commitments and cooking, in which case she opted for noodles.
|Nguyen Thi Kim Vang holds a certificate of merit for her academic performance in her house in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The student never wants to stop partway on her path of learning.
“Other people often imply that we should ask Vang to drop out because she can’t study at higher levels with that disease. But whenever we mentioned the suggestion, she’s adamantly opposed to it,” said Bui Thi Lien, Vang’s mother.
“She loves going to school. She left school in grade six but she’s determined not to be off school any day in the following academic year. ”
Vang’s parents resign themselves to living apart from the child because they wish to earn more money to be used for unexpected future situations.
The mother pays her a short visit when there is little work to do every month, and on such an occasion she buys the daughter some food because she usually skips meals and likes eating noodles.
The woman’s earnings are modest, which is why she tries to trade fish and receives the profit whenever she returns home.
Vang sometimes receives help from her teachers, said Huynh Thanh Tuan, the middle school’s vice-principal, adding that the student is obedient and hardworking.