Child marriage deeply affects not only the child brides, but also their next generation.
In a village in Tua Chua, Vietnam, the life path of girls is often decided for them – drop out of school at 10, get married at 14 or 15 and then become a mother at a tender young age. Di’s mother was one of them.
Di’s mother was married when she was only 15 and gave birth to Di at the age of 17. When Di was 6, her mother decided to run away because she had had enough of living in poverty and her alcoholic husband. Di had to move to live with her relatives, and she never saw her mother again.
At the very beginning, Di still had the chance to go to school. She enjoyed school life very much as she was surrounded by love and care. Through different classes, she discovered a whole new world! Outside of school, she was still very busy as she had to support her relatives with farm work. Although life was difficult, Di was happy as long as she could go to school.
But not too long after that, Di’s relatives could no longer afford to pay for her school fees. They told her,
“Perhaps you should go back to your father, work and find a husband.”
Growing up in a broken family, Di did not want to go down the same path as her mother. “I didn’t want to get married. I realised I would never have the chance to explore the outside world, and perhaps, my dream of becoming a teacher would never come true.”
Di's journey was not easy, but thanks to Child Sponsorship, she could be spared from the impacts of child marriage, continue her studies and pursue her dream.
World Vision organised activities in the community to reach children dropped out of school, where Di expressed her desire to return to school.
In less advanced areas, school fees are a heavy burden for many families. Moreover, villagers believe girls do not need further education as their main responsibilities should be giving birth and taking care of the family. This was why in the village where Di lived, many girls dropped out of schools.
Upon learning about the situation, World Vision organised communication sessions to reach these children, and Di was one of the participants. During the session, she expressed her desire to return to school.
Knowing of her story, World Vision staff, along with people from the Child Protection Board and village authorities, visited her family multiple times in 5 months to persuade them to let her return to school. As school fees was a critical consideration for the family, in order to help Di return to school, World Vision supported her family in improving their livelihoods, by providing cows, goats, seeds and agricultural trainings through Child Sponsorship. With her family in a better living condition and able to pay for the school fees, Di was able to continue her education.
Eventually, Di became the first person from her village to go to university and is now pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher as a student at the Hanoi National University of Education.
Di says, “Education is especially important for girls! Education can cultivate our minds, expand our horizons and give us the key to a brighter future!”
Inspired by the people on her education journey, Di is determined to become an inspiring preschool teacher in the future and inspire others. She also wants to be a volunteer at a charity club to help underprivileged communities in remote areas just like herself, as a way of giving back to society.
Di says, “I hope my story can encourage more girls – that no matter what, pursue your education, believe in yourself and courageously overcome the challenges!”
You can save girls from child marriage and give them the opportunity to stay in school and complete their education. Sponsor a girl today and help her become the next Di, so that she can also achieve her dreams!
Bringing along people from the Child Protection Board and village authorities, World Vision staff visited Di's family multiple times to persuade them to let Di return to school.
With the help of World Vision, Di became the first person from her village to go to university, and is now pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher as a student at the Hanoi National University of Education.
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