This is the first time I learned their stories, and some of them are shocking, you wouldn’t tell if you saw them that they had hardship in their lives, because they are full of life and positive energy. The following is from Celia’s file about 6 girls I taught last year:
Ho Thi Hoang Anh (1995) is 15. She is an orphan who was begging at the Saigon train station before coming to Ba Chieu Home. Her father was from Hong Kong, and went back there. Her mother died of breast cancer in 2000. Hoang Anh came to the home in 2002. She finished Class 6 with above average in 2009 and wants to be a kindergarten teacher. (She also wanted to be a teacher 2 years ago.) In 2010 she finished Class 7 also with above average grade. She likes sewing.
She finished Class 7 with above average grade in 2009 and Class 8 also above average in 2010. Huong likes cooking. She wanted to work in finance and banking when she grows up but is now favouring cooking (chicken with ginger is her favourite dish).
She has always liked to cook, and gave me the recipe for Bun bo Hue.
She finished Class 9 (end of Junior High School) in 2009 with above average grade and Class 10 with excellent. She is now going on to study at a City School for 4 years from which she should graduate with 2 certificates, one in accounting and the other a high school certificate.
The following three girls are not longer at the shelter, and as Celia mentioned it is a good thing because it means that they reunited with their families:
and wants to be a hairdresser when she grows up.
Pham Thi Mai Thao (February 1997) is 13. She came from Ben Tre. Her family migrated to Ho ChiMinh City to find work as servants and were transient with no home. Thao has just finished Class 7 with excellent. She enjoys literature.
Phan Thi Huong (1994) is 16. She’s finished Class 8 with average in 2009 and Class 9 also with average in 2010. She will now leave school and start a 2 year course in hospitality learning the restaurant trade. She wants to work in a restaurant. She left the Home to go back to her family.