Why Scholarships Aren’t Enough

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Trung Tin, one of our scholarship applicants this year, lives with his 3 siblings and parents in this small farm hut with no electricity, running water, or any other modern day conveniences. His dad, with a first grade education, works on a shrimp farm as a hired hand. His mom has a 7th grade education, but living in such a remote location (a couple hours outside Sai Gon) she can’t find work. Her kids must walk 3 km (1.86 miles) to and from school.

Do you see the Jpegsolar panel on the thatch roof? This isn’t a statement on green, renewable energy — it’s the only source of power available to the family. There is no option to run electricity this far out of the city across such vast farm land. It’s amazing to have the solar technology to provide power to this most remote, rural home. There’s also no water line or running water to this home. The family must set up bins to catch rain water, which they use for cleaning and boil for drinking and cooking. It’s a hard life, to be sure. Our volunteers were saddened to note not only their small living quarters, but their meager and insufficient food, clothes and basic living supplies. Despite their hardships, this family of six is full of smiles and happiness.

Trung Tin’s family only has one mode of transportation – a simple bicycle, which his dad relies on to make shrimp deliveries, leaving Trung Tin and his siblings to walk the 3 Km (1.86 miles) to school. The path is not only long & arduous but it’s dangerous as well — especially when it floods. He is happy to make the walk because he loves school and his parents encourage all their kids to get an education so they can have careers and a future outside this small farm hut.

For families like Trung Tin, our scholarship only breaks down the first barrier to education but not the only one they face. There is a more practical hurdle many of our students must overcome — how to actually get to school. This is one of the reasons we started the Transportation Access Program (TAP). By granting families like Trung Tin a bicycle, we can help him have a reliable way to get to school.

We believe in setting all our students up for success by providing comprehensive programs & services to help them in all aspects. For some students, transportation is one of their greatest needs.

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