Language Learning

‘I’m losing hope”: ‘Petrified’ West Yorkshire teacher faces homelessness in Vietnam due to outbreak of Coronavirus

By February 11, 2020 No Comments

A West Yorkshire woman teaching English in Vietnam said she has been left ‘petrified’ – after the Coronavirus has caused all schools to be closed until further notice.

Kirsty Fenton, 31, moved to Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam in October 2019 following the death of her dad.


Kirsty Fenton



She said she moved to continue ‘one of the most rewarding careers’ and honour her dad’s name.

However, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, every school in the area including Kirsty’s was shut on January 20th.

The schools have now been closed for the past two weeks, with no sign of reopening.

Kirsty, from Wakefield, has now launched a fundraiser as her savings ‘gradually disappear’ due to not working.


Kirsty Fenton

Kirsty Fenton



She told your Yorkshire Evening Post the ‘word stress is too small of a word to describe how I feel’.

Kirsty said: “Since the Coronavirus decided to appear, not only has the world come to a stop still but also my mind and mental health has abruptly come crashing down.

“So much so I’ve been contemplating giving up this dream completely, so much so that I am sleep depriving myself, so much so that anxiety and panic attacks have become second nature.”

Kirsty described how the move was initially a ‘dream’.


Kirsty Fenton

Kirsty Fenton



She added: “I came here to teach English, and to change my life for the better.

“Not only that, but to make sure I could make my dad proud and honour his name.

“After a three week trip to Thailand in 2018 I knew I no longer wanted to limit myself to just working the 9-5 grind in the UK, I wanted freedom and a change.

“That’s when I started to study to teach English, the more I learn the more I realised that being an English teacher is one of the most rewarding careers I’d ever have.

“Not only do I get to have fun with my students on a daily basis but I’m also helping them learn a language that is so universal.

“Giving them the opportunity to communicate with nearly the whole world.

“I remember the months before my father passed away I’d call him and tell him how excited I was, I would tell him all of my plans to move and become a teacher.

“He was always so proud, he would always tell everyone how he knew I would do great things in life.

“So here I am, keeping my promise, and hopefully still making him proud.”

Unfortunately, the dream came crashing down due to the recent outbreak.

Kirsty explained: “The schools closed on January 20th – February 3rd which was the Vietnamese Tet Holiday/ lunar new year.

“Unfortunately, during this time the Coronavirus hit, causing a lot of panic and disruption throughout the country.

“We were advised by the Department of Education that all schools stay closed until further notice, and here we are still no word as to what the situation is and personally I’m losing hope.

“My savings have gradually disappeared over time, paying for food and rent, as far as getting paid from the company I work for we have already been told that they cannot pay any of us as they aren’t receiving any payments from the schools.

“Unfortunately, not only has the Coronavirus affected me financially but mentally, I’m finding each day more and more of a struggle to not break down into a million pieces.

“The word stress is too small of a word to describe how I feel, devastated, petrified, and anxious are just a few.

“I’m worried about what the future holds here, as it stands, not only will I not have the financial capacity to have a roof over my head but I won’t have access to basic human needs such as food and water.

“The Coronavirus is something none of us expected and something that’s completely out of our hands however many people don’t realise how it’s affecting others.

“The thought of being not only homeless, but homeless in Vietnam is truly petrifying.”

Kirsty has set up a fundraiser to raise £600 on GoFundMe.

She has raised almost half of the target.

Click here to visit the fundraiser and donate.

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