Today, I read again, the love story of Chau and Kim and I felt as if I’m reading it for the first time.
A young hopeful lady, Chau, who traveled from Vietnam to Cambodia to look for a job found herself betrayed, sold to a brothel and trapped in a fake debt.
She met a young man, also from Vietnam and confided her story in him. Over time, they fell in love.
Kim worked hard, paid off her debt and freed her. They got married and raised a family, making promising plans for their children’s future.
Then, Kim lost his job at the blacksmith and his new job paid less, so they had to take their children out of school. It soon became a struggle to feed their children especially when Chau was pregnant with their fifth child.
Reluctantly, Chau decided to secretly return to her old job as a sex worker, without letting her husband know. This helped the family financially for a while until Chau began to feel weak, she grew sicker and later learned that she was HIV positive.
Riverkids connected them to an NGO that helps HIV positive people and put her son on antiretroviral medication for free. We helped them navigate the medical system, supported the family with food and enrolled their oldest children in our school programs.
Their oldest daughter, Nyla excelled at school and Riverkids chose her as one of our Smartypants Scholarship students. Things appeared well as Chau’s condition improved and with Kim’s steady job as a tuktuk driver, but it took a turn.
As Kim was driving home two days after Christmas, a car slammed into his tuktuk. The surgery was late. Kim died.
Chau was confronted with the thought of returning to sex work, or worse, to sell Nyla. Grieving, she decided to return to Vietnam with her little children to her mother’s house and later on, she found a job at a bakery shop.
She decided to leave Nyla in Riverkids’ Weekly Boarding so she can have school. Nyla has made great strides and many friends with challenges like her, and together they thrive with school and meals. A bright future is within their reach.
Food is core in ensuring that our education programs run effectively. Children who are properly fed are able to concentrate in class and learn more. They can enjoy their favourite playtime and have a better chance to graduate from school.
A sandwich in the morning and a full bowl of rice with pork and vegetable soup make a huge difference. Thanks to many donors who saw this and supported our food program. With $64,000, we’ll be able to see over 600 children at Riverkids fed for the year and safe from child labour, illegal adoption and sex trafficking. Please help us to feed the children.
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