By Lydia Hollister-Jones, Communications Intern

Today is Ngày Quốc Khánh (Vietnam’s National day) and in honour of that we’d like to share with you the story of Huong, an eight-year-old girl living below the line in Cao Bang Province.

Eight-year-old Huong

Huong is eight. Her favourite game is shuttlecock, she has a best friend called Li, and she looks forward to music and art the most at school. She has a beaming smile and pink shoes on, but the part of this story that makes Huong so different from the eight-year-old girls that you and I know is that Huong lives below the extreme poverty line.

Huong’s family has 5 chickens, and she secretly likes the smallest ones the best because they’re the cutest. Taking care of the chickens is Huong’s favourite chore, this is because she knows that if she takes care of them well, they will grow up to make money for school fees. An eight-year-old with such an awareness of her family’s financial state is enough to make anyone’s heart feel heavy, and right now, Huong’s family collectively lives on less than $1.25(NZD) a day. Paying for school fees, food, and clothing is an uphill battle. Basic hygiene also proves a challenge for Huong’s family; their house is a health risk in itself and they have no latrine. At the moment her eye is sore and infected but medical treatment is too expensive.

Huong outside her house

What seems like dire circumstance doesn’t seem to tamper with Huong’s hope. She dreams of being a doctor so that she can help others; Huong wants to treat the sick and the injured. What is so astounding about Huong is that her hope is not just for her future, but for the future of her community. She might only be eight but she understands what it is to put others first and what it is to sacrifice for the sake of them. Huong is always willing to help her mother; taking care of the house when her mother has to work long hours, deseeding the corn, lending a hand in meal preparation.

Li and another friend help Huong to prepare the corn

Huong’s attitude presents us with a challenge, a challenge to sacrifice for the sake of children all around the world. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to change the lives of children like Huong, give up 5 days to live on less than $2.25 a day to make a real difference. Join Live Below the Line with ChildFund.

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