"I am Ngoc, I am 32 years old and I live with my mother, my 3 daughters and my husband in a very small house in District 8 of Ho Chi Minh. I am a street vendor and my husband is a motorcycle cab driver. We didn't have enough money to send our daughters to school, so my mom kept them. But she is sick and doesn't always have the energy to take care of them.
I met PE&D through our neighborhood leader who told me that she was in contact with social workers who could help us. At first, I was not too keen on it but I quickly changed my mind when I met Thuy, the social worker.
During the first visit, she took the time to explain to us how she worked with families and that the goal was to improve our situation: that we knew how to solve our problems on our own by knowing where and to whom to turn. That made me feel better!
Thuy first explained to us that the priority was for my mother to get treatment, for the little ones to see a doctor and to go back to school. PE&D helped us get health insurance for the whole family: my mom was able to receive treatment for her illness! The girls now have regular check-ups.
Thanks to PE&D, an association offered us scholarships for my daughters to go back to school. Thuy also insisted that I attend parenting and nutrition workshops with my husband so that we could better care for and communicate with our children. Before talking to other parents and social workers, I didn't see the point of it all. Now it's not always easy after a long day at work, but I've realized that it's important to spend time, to play with them and to pay attention to what they've done in school, to their health. Our relationship is much stronger now.
Finally, as I was not earning enough money with my business, the social worker referred me to the IECD (PE&D's partner in HCMV) to start a basic training in management and entrepreneurship specialized for street vendors. The training lasted one month, in evening classes. Since then, I know how to manage my business better, especially, I know better the selling techniques. Before, I used to earn about 100,000 dong per day (about 4 euros) and now I earn an average of 300,000 dong. The support we received from PE&D was good for all of us, we are all more relaxed in the family and above all we live better. On my side, I have more confidence in myself and I feel that I am doing the right thing for my family and that makes me happier.