Carry Tofu… “Who wants tofu?”
Mother’s voice – Children’s futures.
Tran Phuoc Khoa – Thu Dau Mot Branch
Returning to Quarter 8, Chanh Nghia Ward in the early days of summer, amidst the blazing, boiling hot weather, the smell of red earth rising, and the feeling of fatigue after a survey. The long, dark red dirt road brought us to the house of Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, a customer with many economic difficulties and a family with many misfortunes. The husband went in search of other happiness, leaving only Huong with a small body, year-round struggling to take care of the family’s livelihood, leaving two children, the eldest child covered the younger in the dilapidated house. Hearing the sobs of Huong’s youngest son, we felt tears again, tormented, especially when Nghia said: “I just wish dad would come back to me and mom, I hope he’d never leave again. “. When will the boy’s desire at an age where he shouldn’t have to worry about coming to fruition?
Since then, in mid-2010, she was supported by CEP with the first loan of 3 million VND to start a business selling tofu. Every day, with a carry of tofu on her shoulder, she crept on dusty roads, or deep alleys that were slick and slippery after the rains, or crossed the narrow paths between two undulating house lines.
At first, thanks to the support of the neighbors, she earned a profit of one hundred thousand dongs every day. Up to now, after 8 loans with the loan amount of 7 million VND, she has partly improved her life and raised two children who are studying in grade 6 and grade 9. Her carry of tofu is increasing day by day. is known by many people for the sweetness of sugar, the spiciness of ginger, and the love of a working man. Now, a day with 2 loads of tofu, she can earn from one hundred and eighty thousand to two hundred thousand.
As fate has arranged, in the middle of this urban place it is not easy to make a living, but they still lived and clung here because of the rapport and the very durable friendship. The so-called “home” here, was just a roof, a place to lie down at night, no walls, no doors, maybe just temporary pieces of cover to shelter from the sun and rain that were slowly rotting under the weather. It was even more pitiful when that roof was located on the low-lying land between the two sides of the interlaced canals, coconut leaves and reeds raced to cover the face of the person. The biggest asset of the house was probably an old television and power lines that bring light to the family, but the fate of her family was still not out of sight of thieves, who rummaged through clothes, her family’s power line was always cut, making her children not dare to sleep at home when she was away. Is it possible that the last way out was to leave the neighborhood to find a new horizon? But what will make sure that the new horizon will be brighter than now when her children and she every day and every minute just wish they had enough rice to live through the day? It seemed that those dreams could not come true when the vicious cycle of poverty kept weighing heavily on her shoulders.
CEP came to her family and awarded the “CEP House” from the community development program, with the belief that a bright future would come for Huong and her two children.
After returning home from school, the two children became the laborers of the family, helping their mother to find food and clothing so that their childhoods were associated with an inanimate, insensitive material, something obscure in the future. Looking at the two of them, tears flowed silently because of the dark-colored visions. Then where would the children go, would they be in extreme poverty like their mother and grandparents? With the “CEP Scholarship” program, we encouraged the two children to overcome their destinies, study hard, and received a scholarship from CEP for four consecutive years.
Ahead will be hope, faith, and smiles. When we came here there was still a strong desire for happiness. There, we – CEP and members live together with love and meaning. Despite being poor and needy, many families like Mrs. Huong’s are still warm and considerate and we CEP staff also come to our members with everything we have, with the desire of our youth, desire to contribute. I pray that she and her two children have enough health and energy to continue to overcome fate and continue the long road ahead. With faith and hope for a bright future in every house, in every alley that CEP has been going to.