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Affectionately dubbed Grandmama Thuy by her students, this elderly lady’s heart of gold has been providing essential education to Vietnam’s poorest children.

For over 16 years, Trần Thị Thanh Thuỷ has been pioneering her own charity school for the children of District 2 in Ho Chi Minh city. The classes were set up by her closest friends for parents who worked low paying jobs in the city and could not afford to give their kids a proper education.

Living in a poverty stricken area, Grandma Thuy knows of the struggles that can come with the choosing between filling her belly and filling a book. With most of the children illiterate getting into better living standards becomes a harder challenge. When she was young, she had trained as a preschool teacher but an accident to her legs made her unable to continue her studies. Forty-six years later on, she decided to set up her own class.

At first, there was not much interest in the school and for those under her tutelage it was often the food incentive, rather than the curriculum that drew them to her. But the number of her students began to grow as more and more people heard what she had to offer.

By the end of it, she had become a teacher and a mother to all with feeding and washing the children becoming part of her duties. Not only do her responsibilities end with the children but extended to the parents, with her efforts in allocating them proper jobs.

Many of her graduates come back to help with the school and she has been honoured with HCM City’s People's Committee with the title 'Silent but Noble Examples' award. Let’s be grateful for the teachers dedicated to their pupils after all they are the backbone of a society and for District 2, there’s a remarkably strong one.

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Bio: Sidney Boen is an energetic 1st gen Indo-Chinese Aussie with a penchant for food. She’s going into her last year in her Bachelor of Digital and social media with her eyes set on the marketing world. Loving food and travel with a voracious appetite for media and writing, she’s always out for the next interesting read. Currently working as part of the ABC News program team and a contributor to UTS Central News.




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