A Taiwanese-Vietnamese girl from Chiayi, Taiwan, was selected from 1,800 candidates and listed as one of the top ten most resilient model children in the county by a local charity.
The girl, nicknamed Tiantian, is the elder child of a Vietnamese woman who divorced her Taiwanese husband two years ago. Since then, Tiantian’s mother has supported her family by shucking oysters, the most important aquaculture product of Budai town, the Taiwan Times reported.
Tiantian, even when she was still in kindergarten, was curious about her mother’s work, and begged her for instructions on shucking oysters.
Over the years since, she has become an expert, and was even given an award for being in the top seven fastest oyster shuckers in the county.
Despite the hard work and despite suffering painful cuts, Tiantian never backed out as she knew her work contributed to alleviating the financial difficulties of her family of three — her mother, her younger brother and herself.
After school and upon completing her homework, Tiantian joins her mother every day, earning more than NT$400 (US$13) by shucking around 16 kilograms of oysters.
She also excels at school, both in her studies and in extracurricular activities, particularly swimming, music, and painting.
The director of Chiayi Center of Taiwan Fund for Children and Families praised Tiantian for her bravery, dedication and persistence in achieving every task she set out to tackle. The director said her story is inspirational to many other children.