Friday, April 20, 2007

Turn around

Procrastination! Drug of the nation... It's been far too long since I blogged, and my list of excuses is long but totally uninteresting.

Unlike events this week - which have been hugely interesting.

ON WEDNESDAY, I travelled to Bac Ninh to meet the province level Red Cross and chat about the progress of our sponsorship program. All very good and well. Then in the afternoon I went to see some children who had previously run away to Hanoi, and we helped them return to their families.

One of the children was a boy named Duong, about 12 years old, who we met in Hanoi just last month. His father beats him badly - and often - so even though Duong went home, we are worried about what will come of him.

The father clearly had mixed feelings about me and my colleague turning up to tell him how to raise his son. So we were relaxed, and won him over with some smiles before giving some friendly advice about how to deal with 'young people these days'. I won't fool myself into believing we've solved all of that family's problems, but I hope that we had a bit of an impact.

THIS MORNING saw another moving case to deal with. In January last year, I was blogging about the many children in our program who were mugged and robbed in the lead-up to Lunar New Year.

Each time one of our kids was mugged - often in daylight, once with a knife - my staff and I would try to track down the robber and get the money back. We were usually successful.

One of the muggers came to see me today to ask for help. He has a heroin addiction, and is desperate to get off. A few years ago he spent 8 months in rehab, but before long he was back with a needle up his arm.

He happens to know Binh, who we helped through rehabiliatation last year, and came asking if we could do the same for him.

After a very long meeting - it's on. He flies to Saigon on Saturday, he's said goodbye to his family already, and we have a rough plan for what to do when he gets out in a year or so.

It's going to be an expensive process; the cost will be somewhere around $2000, which is about 3 times the national GDP. But then, it's only a small amount to give somebody back their whole life.

1 comment:

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