After a three day break from my voluntary work, today I went over to Lin’s house to send this month’s supply of groceries.
And since I wasn’t rushing to go anywhere else after that, today I had ample time to chat with Lin. And so we were chatting about herself and her past.
You know, all the while I thought Lin had at least completed her SPM. She’s quite a smart lady, I must say. The way she handles situations had been quite commendable.
Today I found out that Lin had only completed primary school. Well, she did go to form one for a short while despite her family’s financial difficulties. They couldn’t afford to buy her school uniform, so she used a pinafore handed to her by a neighbour. The pinafore was rather big for her, but having no other choice, she wore it anyway. As for the white blouse underneath the pinafore, Lin wore the same white (but no so white anymore) blouse she had been using in primary school. So there she was, wearing a blouse a few sizes too small and a pinafore a few sized too big.
That wasn’t a problem for Lin. Her problem started when her teacher started asking for the students to pay up their fees. After a while Lin became embarrassed to go to school as she had not paid her fees, and so she stopped schooling ever since. Yep, as simple as that.
She was too young to get herself a job, and so she just stayed home helping her mother. At 17 she started working at a small private soy sauce factory nearby, and at 18 she got married to none other than Mr Darling. And she was an obedient stay-at-home wife, seldom going out anywhere.
So it really amazed me that after her divorce she didn’t just wait for people to come and help her. She went out to find ways and means to earn an income for her family. She wanted her children to go to school despite she herself not having the opportunity to be in secondary school. She saw the importance of education for her children’s future.
Her 3 elder daughters I must say, had been very supportive. Even though they are all still studying in higher learning institutions and cannot afford to help out financially yet, they had always been Lin’s pillars of strength.
Now only her 2 younger children (15 & 13) are at school. And they are both being covered by our sponsorship program and so at least Lin doesn’t have to worry about her children’s schooling needs.
I just hope the children will not waste the opportunity given to them.
The opportunity of going to school is something we tend to take for granted. Let’s not forget that there are people out there who were never given the same opportunity. Let’s make sure people like Lin’s children are not deprived of their rights to go to school. Let’s not just allow them to inherit the poverty their mother inherited from her parents.
Let’s make sure these children go to school and complete at least form 5.