Talking to recipients of the 7th Nguyen Van Huong scholarship of the Sai Gon Giai Phong (SGGP) Newspaper, SGGP reporters have learnt about their moving life stories and cannot help feeling proud of a young generation. Hardship has moulded their will to hone their skills to serve people in the near future.
Pham Huu Dung (pharmaceutical class 2002, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Medical University)
Saving some money to learn a foreign language.
Born and grown up in a poor family in Loc Son Commune, Bao Loc District, Lam Dong Province, Dung was lucky to go to school at 8 years old while his six brothers and sisters were not. His study was interrupted in the 5th grade when his family ran into financial trouble and could not afford his school fee.
Two years later when the family economic conditions improved, he had to return to a private school because he was too old to study in a public school. Loving his parents and seeing their difficulties in earning living, Dung was determined to study well.
As a result, he was awarded the best student of school and district every year. Thanks to these awards, he was eligible for a deduction in school fee.
A disaster occurred to his family in 2001 when his father was killed in a traffic accident. He was only in his 11th grade then. Overcoming the grief, his mother continued to work hard to support Dung's study.
After high school, Dung successfully entered HCMC Medical University. On the date of his departure for HCMC, his mother had to sell her earrings and called for contributions from his relatives, grandmother, uncles, aunts and his siblings for his tuition.
Despite having to work part time as a tutor (24 hours/week) during the past 4 years to make ends meet, he managed to constantly score good results in his study, 7.9 points in the last semester.
Dung confined, "My current difficulty is that I do not have opportunity to improve my foreign language and informatics as I am in the last year of the course. I love my mum so much. Although she is over 60, she has to make a living as a sugarcane juice peddler. Due to hard work, she is suffering from back pain. My siblings are married and their lives are tough, working as motorbike taxi driver and brick layer due to their low level of education. They cannot afford to send their children to school. I hope I will have a stable job after graduation to cure patients and to help my nieces and nephews go to school. If I have a scholarship this time, I will use some of it for school fee and the rest for improving my foreign language and informatics, which will be useful for my career later."
Le Thanh Binh (medical class 2001, HCMC Medical University)
A dynamic Youth Union member, Nguyen Van Huong scholarship recipient for 2 years.
Born and brought up in Nhon My Commune, Cho Moi District, An Giang Province, the same town of the late doctor Nguyen Van Huong, former Minister of Health, Binh is not only a good student - this is the 2nd time he receives Nguyen Van Huong scholarship - but also a dynamic Youth Union secretary.
During 2004-2005, he participated in Green Summer Campaign that sent him to isolated areas in Tra Vinh and Binh Phuoc provinces. Binh said, "When I was about to enter senior high school, I heard the news that Dr Nguyen Van Huong had a noble desire of setting up a scholarship fund to help industrious poor medical students. I never thought I would receive it one day."
Being a poor student whose parents are frequently away to earn living and can not help him in his study, Binh always has a strong will of self-teaching. Being a good student for the 12 years of highschool, he won the National 3rd Prize of Biology in the 12th class and was admitted to Medical University without examination.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Giau (pharmaceutical class 2005, HCMC Medical University)
I can afford to pay the first school fee debt!
Ngoc Giau comes from An Thoi Dong Commune, Can Gio District, HCMC. Her parents are fishermen whose revenue depends on the up and down of water. Everyday they have to be at the pond to draw net and to drain dam after dam to catch fish. If an accident happens, such as a breakage on a dam’s wall or a long spell of drought, their income will seriously be affected.
As the eldest sister, Giau has had to do housework and look after her two siblings while her parents are away. She, nevertheless, was always the best student of her class and successfully passed the entry examination to HCMC Medical University in 2005.
Due to her family's financial difficulty, Giau cannot pay her school fee. Once a week she has to return home to collect VND100,000 - 200,000 from her family. So after class hours, she has to teach English in private classes to get money for books.
The news of getting Nguyen Van Huong Scholarship made her so happy. "Now that I have money to pay for school fee of the 1st year!" said Giau with a smile. She broke the good news to her family last week. They were so happy and cried with joy.