“My mum can rarely afford new shoes or clothes for us [the family’s children], so that’s why I’m so happy to have these new shoes from World Vision. They’re beautiful and I keep them for special occasions, like when I meet with village elders,” said 16-year-old Diem, beaming.
Diem is from a poor single-parent family with four children who live in Bac Binh district, Binh Thuan province. Her father abandoned the family when she was eleven and in Grade 5 at school. At that time, Diem’s mother was unemployed and the household, who live in a rural area, had no land of their own to farm.
To feed the family of five, Diem’s mother and older brother have taken on casual work as bricklayers on private construction projects and as farmhands for other villagers.
Three years ago, Diem had to leave Grade 8 at school so that she could look for work to help with the family’s household income. Only her two younger siblings are still able to go to school: her sister at kindergarten and her younger brother who is in Grade 4.
Recognising that the family was living in poverty and with few employment alternatives available, World Vision’s Bac Binh Area Development Programme (ADP) has provided training to Diem as an apprentice hairdresser, as well as giving her tangible support such as the shoes.
“I’m so grateful to World Vision for helping me to become a hairdresser, that is what I wanted to do,” Diem said.
“I want to earn a steady income to support my family and not have to rely on unstable work like my mum and older brother,” the teenager added. “And when that happens, I’ll be able to buy new shoes for everyone in the family.”
Diem is one of over 17,600 children who have received new shoes as part of World Vision Korea’s 2013 gift giving programme for the ADPs located in Binh Thuan and Dien Bien provinces.