Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sam and Viet - doing fine

A few weeks back I told the story of Sam, a kid who came to Blue Dragon after running away from a pagoda to look for his father.

Since then, Sam has gone back to live with his family and is doing fine. He's about to go back to school to repeat the 2nd half of Grade 2, as it's too late in the school year to start at Grade 3. Sam has been coming to hang out at the Blue Dragon centre from time to time; he seems much happier now than he ever was before.

At about the same time that we met Sam, we also met another runaway boy, named Viet. Although Viet is 4 years older than Sam, they're about the size - Viet has grown up in rather severe poverty and hasn't received much in the way of nutrition.

Viet stayed at our shelter for a few weeks before opening up about himself and agreeing to return home. He had been living with his mother in the countryside, and desperately wanted to go to school. At age 14, he'd never had the chance to study. But his mother just wanted him to work as a shoeshine boy in the provincial capital so that she could live off the earnings. Even before we took Viet home, we knew this would be a tough case.

We did reunite Viet and his mother, but Viet ran away again - within hours of going home. His mother was insisting that he get back to work, and had no intention of letting him go to school.

So Viet is back living with us, and studying in Grade 1. He's happy and lapping up every opportunity for study and play.

Things have worked out well for both Sam and Viet, although life is very different now for each. Viet will spend the next few years in the care of Blue Dragon, while Sam returns to family life.

We hope that for both of them, the future brings better fortune than they've had in the past.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find the most heart-breaking thing about Viet's story isn't the struggle with poverty, but the fact that his mother is someone who just does NOT deserve to have children! What good is all the money in the world when one can't trust their own mother? :(

But I'm so glad that both he and Sam are doing well.
hugs to the whole gang at BD, Michael. :)