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Nguyen Thi Thu’s story

Thu’s house is nestled alongside a small road. At first impression, her home looks like a temporary hut where she has been sheltering her family for five years. 5 years ago after suffering from violence caused by her alcohol-addicted husband, she took her little girls to escape and started a new life with Sang (13 years old), Ngoc (4 years old) and Chi (8 months old). Thu’s parents had passed away and her siblings have their own families, so a support system was not easy to find. Luckily, she had received a small piece of land next to her cousin’s house, so Thu and her children could have a place to live.
Beginning a new life, Thu made a hut of corrugated iron plates and old linens found on the ground. The house had just enough space to place a bed and a small chamber for cooking. However, there was no water source nearby or a bathroom. Every day, this single mother and her children have to carry water buckets to their home for use.
When asked how she felt when living in this house, she shared that it was hot inside especially during the hot season. The unbearable heat was one reason she sent her children to study full-time from morning until evening so they stayed away from the hot weather at lunchtime despite the higher cost of full-time study compared to studying in one shift. During the rainy season, Thu and her daughters tried to reside in homes of neighbors/family or friends to get away from the flooding.

Thu and her daughters do not feel safe. The door of the hut seems to be installed temporarily and provides little protection. “I am afraid during the night,” Thu said. “All the girls lie around me on bed and I lie in the middle to notice every child’s presence.” She said she cannot sleep tight because she is worried that bad people will come in the middle of the night to harm her or her daughters.
She has always hoped to have a durable and safe house to reside against the inclement weather and sustain her family’s basic needs of water and a clean bathroom. She is tired of worrying about disasters, or being fearful of bad people during the night.
All of her earnings from her unstable manual work go to raising her children. Sometimes she is forced to ask for loans from family/friends to make ends meet. Due to the family difficulty, Sang, the eldest daughter, left school to help her mother. Sang wanted to continue her studies and become a teacher in nursery schools. She assumed that with the situation her family is facing, their dream house would always remain just that…a dream.

This International Women’s Day – we’re asking you to help make the dream of home ownership a reality for women like Thu – so her daughters can sleep in peace at last.
Please give generously here…..


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