In a poor house in Nam Dinh province, rays of sunlight pierced through the old roof tile holes that is sagged and languid. This is the house of Mrs. Vu Thi Man with her husband and two daughters. Mrs. Man, 56 years old, is the breadwinner in her family. No one else in her family can make money, even by growing vegetables or raising chickens at home. Her husband, Mr. Du, 60 years old, has been paralyzed for nearly 20 years due to an accident falling from a scaffolding while bricklaying. Her two children were born well and beautiful, but when they reached 3 years old, they had a cerebral palsy fever. The youngest daughter is 21 years old with 18 years of cerebral palsy movement.
Mrs. Man must manage family’s life by herself, with 2 hectares of paddy fields and monthly disability living allowance of VND 1,830,000 (or US$78) from the Government for her husband and two children. She occasionally works as tenant for others, but it is becoming more and more difficult for her to find job as they are being replaced by machines. Many people in her village left for big cities to make more income to support their family, but Mrs. Man cannot work far away from her three loved ones who need her care.
For Mrs. Man, the day she receives monthly cash transfer is the happiest day. On the 9th of every month, she rides her bicycle to the commune center (around 4 km away from home) as early as 6am to queue up and wait to receive the cash transfer. Rarely did she arrive home before 10am due to the big crowd at center coming early for the cash transfer just like her.