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The Power of Dreams.

“For every new story I read I am given a small window into another life in need. It is a great tragedy that for every person we help there still remains someone else in need.”

Such were the mixed emotions of Mr. Huynh Son Phuoc, Deputy General Director of Youth Newspaper, in July at a ceremony which offered “Raising” scholarships to 250 pupils in Tay Nguyen. We encountered the same concerns when we were given an insight into the process of selects talented but economically disadvantaged children to receive help from “ITA Foundation For Future”.

Only 8 years old, Bui Tien Si (2nd Grade pupil, Dong Phu Primary School, Thai Binh province) has to face the difficulty of not only living without his father but also help look after his mother who suffers from a brain. Ontop of these commitments Bui Tien must also keep ontop of his school-work. In spite of this Bui Tien works hard at school and behaves for his grandfather.

My father died. I’m with my mother and grandfather. My grandfather is over 70 years old and weak. My mother is always ill. My family doesn’t have other incomes except growing rice on the field with area of 3 ha…”

Tran Thi Thuy was born to a family afflicted by dioxin poisoning. Her father, an older sister and two older brothers also had dioxin in their bodies. Two of them died because of this poison, whilst his father and brother were left without the ability to work. Her mother, who still suffers from poor health, has no other option than to work in the fields alone in order to support the family. In spite of these difficulties Tran Thi Thuy Ha, a ninth grade pupil in the secondary school in Diem Dien Town, Thai Binh Province, was awarded Province Prize for her outstanding academic achievements in English.

Over the past 10 years, Nguyen Thi Kim Anh, a tenth grade pupil of Long Thoi High school, Nha Be District, HCM city, hase regularly stood on the stage and received awards for outstanding academic work. Sadly, Nguyen Thi Kim Anh can not share this success with her parents. She lives with her grandmother and aunt.

“My grandmother is old. My aunt grows rice but suffered a bad harvest last year. My younger brother has just started school, placing another huge financial strain on the family. I hope so much that I will be selected by “ ITA Foundation for Future” to receive a grant to pay for my school fees. I am determined to continue studying so I will be able to secure fixed job after I graduate. I then hop to use the new income to pay for my brother’s school fees. I don’t want to stop studying because if I did that, I don’t know what would happen to my future or my family?”

The story of 10 year-old pupil, Dang Thi Phuong (4th Grade pupil, An Primary School, Quynh Phu district, Thai Binh province) is also truly moving.

“I‘m a poor child in a difficult situation. My grandmother is 75 years old and has a brain disease. My 44 year-old mother suffers from a mental illness. At one point to stopped attending school but my school and Children and the Population Organization helped and encouraged me to overcome difficulties and continue to go to school. When I see other friends being rode to school by their fathers, brothers and sisters I’m very sad. I have to walk alone because of my difficult situation”.

13 year old Le Thi Lan 7 th Grade pupil, Nguyen Chanh Secondary, Son Tinh district, Quang Ngai province has to face challenges that no child should be expected to face.

“I have not known my father since I was young. I had to spend all day, everyday, carrying for my mother and had difficulties going to school. When I was in the 7th Grade a dangerous disease killed my mother. From that point on I became a child with whom everybody was concerned. My school gave me a lot of help. But I engraved that sorrow in my mind and soul. The imagine of my ill mother will stay with me forever. It won’t fade. It makes me think and concern about great pain that ill-treated her. But I couldn’t do anything, I could only sit by her side and cried…”

lofty and beautiful dreams…

In spite of this unhappiness, misfortune and hard work demanded of them these children miraculously still have a burning determination to overcome these difficulties.

These childred are full of dreams but tragically these ambitions often seem beyond reach. “ITA Foundation For Future” gives children the opportunity to realize these dreams.

“I wish to have a happy and comfortable roof over the heads of my parents, brothers, and sisters so that I can live in happy family”( Nguyen Thi Thuy, 8th Grade Quynh Khe, Thai Binh province).

“When I was young, I had a dream of becoming a doctor to treat my father but luckily I’ve been able to make that dream a reality” (Quach Thi Huong Giang, a student of Industrial Art University, Ha Noi capital).

Nguyen Thi Kim Chi (10th Grade pupil, Long Thoi High Schools, Nha Be district, HCM city) has a burning wish to improve the life of her family.

“At first, I want to study hard. Then I plan to graduate frody with high marks. Later I plan to graduate to fros company in order to provide my family with a fixed income. Second, I wish to win a first lottery prize so that my grandparents can pay government debts and my grandfather has money for the judge to file a legal action against injustice. Third, I hope my parents have enough money for me and my sister to visit my grandparents and my youngest child during the Tet holiday. It’s 6 years since I came here but I had no Tet occasions to visit my country in Can Tho city. Fourth, I wish there would be more equality and toleration on this earth. The last, my most important dream is that my grandfather will beat his illness so that he can share these wishes with me .Through they are just dreams I still hope”.

Other dreams are deeply touching.

“I wish to become a teacher so I can teach lovely pupils, who are in far away regions. I want to stand on stage and see my eager pupils’ hands rising up. I want to hold their hands to write beautiful letter and help them carry out their wishes…” (Kieu Nu Linh Hoat, 3rd Grade pupil, Thanh Tin Primary school, Ninh Thuan province)

“I have a dream to become an agricultural engineer. My country is a huge and sparsely populated land where people have a very poor level of culture. Most of families here are poor. Although all of villagers worked hard, crabs, mussels, rice and litchies still exit misserably as people’s destiny here. Every year, we grew a litchi crop but the price is about VND 800 to 1500 per kilo. A hard poverty hangs heavily on my family. I want to be a good engineer, and then I will come back my fatherland to make it change its skin and flesh”. (Phan Thi Tho, 8th Grade pupil, Viet Huong Secondary School, Bac Giang province).

Smiling and “dreaming “with their pink and devotional dreams, we are stunned by “very experience” confidence lines of a 7 th Grade pupil (Le Thi Lan, Quang Ngai province).”I don’t want to be wounded not to be healed but in our life, there are not too many people who are in accordance with their wishes. Although we cut ourself a little or so much, our flood will flow. If that injury is not dressed until we die. But if it is dressed and treated well, it will be adaquate then. Thanks ITA Foundation for Future . Please help me heal my sorrows!”

We are as determined to help these children out of poverty as these children are to lift themselves out of hardship.

Dreams fuel dreams. Love and compassion burns the light of faith and hope. Your future will be built up by the sweet taste of love and helping hands.

“I wish to make a small contribution to ITA Foundation For Future to light the flame of studious spirits across Vietnam. I hope every next generation will have a good future” ( Nguyen Van Vui a student of Ha Noi Constructing University).

By: Minh Hà

Translator: Thanh Truc