Today we are celebrating and honoring all the strong and inspiring women in our lives. Through our Empowering Single Mothers Initiative we work alongside and collaborate with these women who are the embodiment of what it means to be a mother: divine, unconditional love, nurturing, giving, and selfless. Mothers deserve more praise and definitely more than one day to be acknowledged for all that they do for the children of the world.
At Children of Vietnam, we wish to shine light on Ms. Hau, a single mother from the Ngu Hanh Son district, whose admirable motherly traits are inspirational.
Growing up from a poor local household, she learned the discipline of hard work early on in her childhood. In addition, she also knew the importance of family and the impact a mother can have both on her family and children but also her community and those around her. Consistently showing up to ensure that the needs of those dearest to her where met, Ms. Hau stepped into her role as a single mother with strength and compassion. Before joining Children of Vietnam’s Empowering Single Mothers program (previously known as EYWC), her days were filled with from dawn to dusk taking care of her two children in primary school and the responsibility of handling daily chores and work to make ends meet on her own. Her standard schedule looked like starting her day at 4 am, preparing both food for her children and tools for work that would stretch for the duration of her day. Her day only began to wind down around 11 o’clock at night, initiated after a long preparation of herbal medicine.
It was a schedule of diligent labor, and one that only granted a few moments for herself – moments that she deserved more of in reflection to all she compassionately and generously gave to her two children.
Her enrollment in Empowering Single Mothers sparked a different way of living – one that also created time and sustainability for nurturing herself and strengthening the bond of her family.
As one of the program participants in 2019, Ms. Hau and her family were supported by Children of Vietnam with an individualized wraparound service that took into consideration all the factors of her current situation. This included health care services, learning tools for her children, livelihood development capital and event policies with a total amount of VND 17,000,000 ($805). Since this extra support and collaboration with COV, her family’s life has become exponentially better. Ms. Hau intelligently and effectively used the capital from her livelihood fund, investing in production equipment to cut working time and increase product quality. The investment provided an increase in both income stability and home-life. Ms. Hau’s income doubled from 100,000/day ($5) to 200,000/day ($10) over just a short period of time, and continues to increase. She now has more time to be with her children – and time to really be present with them, rather than the overexhaustion of constantly doing to provide for them she now can enjoy the quality moments they all share.
Ms. Hau’s story continues on through the impact of enrolling in this program, including an all around fairy-tale ending. As part of the program, all the thirty participants in the Hoa Quy project come together to meet, collaborate and share their stories. A reminder that they are not alone, and together are building a network of support and community. It was here, in on one occasion, that Ms. Hau was introduced and acquainted with a brother of her peer friend, Ms. Nguyet. Like a predestined fate, Ms. Hau and Ms. Nguyet’s brother came together and decided to get married, determined to build a bright future together.
In catching up with Ms. Hau, she has shared she has found the happiness of her life. The support of the Empowering Single Mothers program provided her the extra help, encouragement and community to create a new solid foundation for herself and her family’s well being.