The future for these children lies in their literacy and knowledge. They need to be fluent in the official Vietnamese language to be able to communicate with those outside of their villages or those of different ethnic backgrounds. They need to be able to manage commerce and business beyond their villages. They need to be able to take advantage of and absorb the information available to them through media such as radio, television, and the Internet. The people of these villages fully understand that education is the key that opens the door to a better, more prosperous life for their children. The children themselves also understand this fact. This is the reason they must leave home and traverse long trails, crossing creeks, climbing mountains to get to school. And no trail will be treacherous enough to keep them from their dream. Meanwhile, the carefree songs that they learn from school carry them through the forests on their way to their dream “From my village, my pace quickens toward school. Mountains may ask, river may ask ‘Why is your village so cheerful?’ … “
Above are a few of the children I encountered and some of the observations on their lives I made while teaching in these villages. I can attest to the hardship they endure, and I recognize their needs for help. Their stories truly stir my emotions. Their innocent songs echoing through the mountains on their way to school touch me deeply. I want to dedicate more of my efforts to help them alleviate the difficulties on their way to school, on their way to a better future.
I want to extend my most sincere gratitude to all past and future supporters and benefactors who give me the chance to help these children.