Saturday, November 07, 2009

Giving and taking

Over the past few days, some very different events have highlighted the contrasting nature of my work in Vietnam.

First, this article came to my attention and the Blue Dragon staff have already made contact with the family of the child involved. The story in brief: yet another child from Hue in central Vietnam has been working like a slave in a garment factory in Ho Chi Minh City, and fallen extremely ill due to being overworked and undernourished.

The boy is back home now with his family; Blue Dragon is paying for him to undergo some tests at the provincial hospital. Meantime, some questions need to be answered. Why was the factory owner able to do this to a child? And will he be allowed to get away with it, or will he be prosecuted for this?

In contrast to an unscrupulous factory owner making money by exploiting children, one of the Blue Dragon kids in Hanoi has made a most touching gesture. In my previous blog entry, I wrote about Hanh, in her first year of art university and already exhibiting her art work. The gallery paid her for her involvement in the exhibition, which was truly exciting - her first ever substantial income! So what did she do? The following morning, she called to say that she wanted to donate 20% of her payment to help disadvantaged kids.

This is the largest sum of money that Hanh has ever made, and her instant reaction was to give it back to needy children. Hanh has every right to keep this money for herself - she needs it! She earned it! - but she has the moral compass to think of others.

Now, if only we could get the garment industry to start thinking like Hanh...


1 comment:

Terynn said...

Tears in my eyes as I read about Hanh. What a wonderful indication of her heart condition! Inspiring.

Prayers for the overworked, undernourished little boy from Hue. Prayers for the system to be corrected...