Mang Thị Hay is a 16-year-old student in the Vietnamese village of Suối Cát. Many girls her age have already stopped attending school in order to work or to marry—and girls in her village are often pulled out of school for months at a time to work on cashew tree plantations.
Hay is not one of them. Her father, Mang Đẫn, makes sure of it. Having never attended school himself, Đẫn, who lost his wife during Hay’s birth, has spent the last sixteen years ensuring that Hay would be able to complete her studies.
“If she finishes school, she can do anything she wants, and she’ll never have to take care of the cows or go to the cashew fields,” he said. “I want her to dream her dreams and be who she wants to be.”
Luckily, Hay and her dad have support. The Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund Opens in a new tab — one of the organizations featured by the Girls Opportunity Alliance—works to provide educational resources for hundreds of children in Vietnam by providing sponsorships, educational materials, and bicycles that help girls get to school safely. Hay rides her pink bicycle to school each morning—and last year she didn’t miss a single day of class.