Hundreds of students in Tieu Can district in the Mekong Delta’s Tra Vinh province were presented scholarships and taught self-defense in a program called “Giving knowledge - Training skills”, organized by FE Credit and its execution partner Saigon Children to help poor students have the chance to go to school and equip themselves with necessary skills in life.

The program is being held in the context of more than 10,000 local footwear workers losing their jobs just before Tet in January this year, putting many families in the area in difficult circumstances and being unable to afford their children’s school fees.

There were 102 beneficiaries, both primary and secondary school students, from an underprivileged section of society whose family’s financial situation is classified as poor or near-poor, with a limited ability to earn more and students receiving little or no support in continuing their studies.

By taking a holistic approach, every major aspect of a child’s well-being is addressed in the program, so that not only financial assistance but also personal development is offered. The scholarship package includes visiting each student frequently to encourage and support them, holding regular soft-skills training and fun activities for students’ personal development, and collecting their study reports.

Loc, one of the students who has received a scholarship from FE Credit and Saigon Children for the last two years, said: “If I didn’t go to school anymore, I would be very sad because I would feel my life is without purpose. I think going to school is a very important thing because it will help me get a stable job and make money for my family.”

Loc is an excellent student with a love for chemistry. He wants to be an agricultural engineer in the future and the support from FE Credit empowers him to make his dream come true.

Apart from scholarships, over 200 children were also taught self-defense, to give them vital skills to protect themselves in certain situations.

According to UNICEF Vietnam, 68.4 per cent of Vietnamese children under 18 years of age have experienced physical or sexual violence at least once.

FE Credit felt the need to provide students with self-defense skills so they could better protect themselves. These classes also aimed at sharpening the children’s perception of risk and strengthening their belief in their own ability to defend themselves successfully against any violence or sexual assault.

FE Credit and Saigon Children hope to expand both the scholarships and the self-defense lessons around the country to equip more children with the skills needed to lead brighter, better lives.