Life Life

04/01/2020 - 07:58

Border guards’ adopted children

Thin grinned as he saw the familiar uniform color of a man, whose rough hands tightly grasped his small hands. The man’s motorbike then moved slowly in the rain to the border guard the station – Thin’s familiar house...

The border guards of Hong Van station instructed Le Phi Lang to study


Cold rain made the afternoon in the border mountains and forests shorter. In houses of A Dot’s villages (A Luoi district, Thua Thien Hue province), flickering fires in many kitchens had been started.

At the A Dot Border Guard Station, Lieutenant Vo Van Vinh - the officer of the mass mobilization team, temporarily put aside his work, rolled up his pants, and went to the school in the rain to pick up Le Van Thin. At the age of 10, this Ta Oi ethnic boy, who is currently in Grade 5 at A Dot Primary School, is the adopted child of the station.

Carefully going through many small roads in the village, his motorbike stopped in front of the school gate, right at the same time when the school’s drum was beaten.  Vinh rushed to the door of the class. The boy grinned when he saw the familiar uniform color, holding out his small hands to be grasped tightly in Vinh’s rough hands.

The motorbike returned slowly in the rain to the station - the familiar house of Thin. That image has become familiar to the people of A Tin village (where the A Dot station is located) since Thin was adopted by the border guards.

Regardless of sunny or rainy days, the boy was taken by the officers and soldiers of A Dot station 4 times a day from home to school and vice versa. And every night, the border guards gathered and studied the boy’s books to tutor him with a father's love, responsibility and care.

Seven years ago, Thin’s father had a stroke and lost his ability to work. His mother had to work on the farm by her own and took care of her husband, Thin and his sister. The upland farm yield could not support the whole family, so Thin’s mother had to move to the South to work as a hired labor. Thin and his sister had to live without their mother.

 “I was very happy when my son was adopted by the border guards. In spite of living away from him, I am very reassuring”, said Thin’s father - Mr. Le Van My.

Taking Thin to school

Over the years, the model “Supporting children to go to school” implemented by the provincial Border Guards has encouraged and supported hundreds of poor and studious pupils in remote border and island communes to obtain opportunities to continue with their path of learning.

Extending that love, the “Adopted child of Border guard station” model was deployed to welcome ethnic minority children from primary school age to under 15-year-old orphans, who have difficult circumstances to border guard stations to be cared, taught and brought up. When the children reach the age of high school, they will return home and the station will continue to sponsor them with the model of “Supporting children to go to school”. Thin was the first adopted child of the A Dot Border Guard Station.

By the father’s state of mind

Le Phi Lang's father (Pa Co ethnic) suffered from cancer and died 6 years ago. Lang has a young sibling. His family situation was extremely difficult; therefore, he was adopted by the border guard. In the immediate future, a lot of anxiety is foreseen since the boy is only at grade 3 of Hong Van Primary School.

 “Knowing his pitiful situation, we try to make up everything we can. Slowly and very gently in tutoring, we help him with his study. Occasionally, we would take him to A Luoi town to play, buy equipment and take him home to visit his mother. With patience and love, we will make him welcome us as relatives,” Captain Luu Xuan Nghiem, Deputy Political Instructor of the Hong Van Border Guard, pondered as he was talking about the parenting of his unit.

When he was transferred from the 2nd Squadron to A Dot Border Station, Major Tran Quoc Toan, Deputy Political Instructor, immediately scheduled to meet the school principal and head teacher to understand Thin’s study at school, not only by the responsibility of a unit commander but also by the love and state of mind of a father.

Mr. Nguyen Anh, Principal of A Dot Primary School, said: “I follow ‘every step’ of the young student. Living with the border guards, he ‘looks good’, studies better, and becomes more open, sociable and confident. Being trained with a soldier’s ‘manner’, whether he continues to study higher or goes to an apprenticeship, and enters a profession, his life in the future will be more stable and better”.

Lieutenant Colonel Tran Van Tuyen, Head of Political Instructor of the provincial Border Guard Command expressed his belief that the life of border guard’s adopted children will turn to a new and better page. Not only taking care of each piece of the children’s food and sleep, and tutoring them in their study, the border guards also nurture and build their dreams by practicing from small things.

In the morning, in the gymnastic squad on the field of A Dot station, there was a small “soldier” - Le Van Thin. “Tiding himself up and folding blankets neatly, he is also quick to help the soldiers clean chopsticks and prepare meals, and actively do things that suit his ability," Lieutenant Vo Van Vinh “showed off”.

Since Le Phi Lang was younger, Hong Van Border guards did not forget to ask him “do you like it?” when they let him observe and experience the facilities and amenities of the station, and cleverly reminded: “If you want to drive a car like us, to go on business here and there, and want to be a border guard like us..., you have to work hard and study well, really well…”

The “Border Guards’ Adopted child” model of the A Dot Border Guard Station and Hong Van Border Guard Station has been implemented since September 2019. There, the fathers and border guards also devoted a lot of love to the less fortunate children such as Thin and Lang, so that the children could be compensated and steadily better themselves ...

Story, photos: Quynh Anh