Meet La

  • When initially asked what she wanted to do when she grew up said that she wanted to be a garbage picker.

La is an 11 year old Vietnamese girl who helped make Greeting cards with Work of Your Hand (WYH) during the summer of 2014.   She has no education and lives in an area that is a very dark and evil.  You see piles of garbage everywhere, no clean running water and the majority of adults are gambling and drinking.  She is expected to pick recycle to provide for her family.  If she doesn’t recycle her father will beat her.  La is hungry for love and is starting to dress in seductive ways.  There is a large concern that she will be sold for prostitution.  She has a rebellious nature.  She accepted Jesus and is learning of His love for her.   Her dream is to be a hairdresser.  When initially asked what she wanted to do when she was an adult she said – Garbage Picker –shocking that that was her aspiration.

  • General Background Of The Children

The Vietnamese children may look like normal children with beautiful colored clothing, dangling gold earrings, and gorgeous dark hair but they live in extreme poverty (by Western standards), a mere one room housing or wooden shacks where at night they are afraid of the rats nibbling on their toes.   These families are always at the mercy of the landlords and often find they’re relocating because the landlord wants to use the property for a parking lot or a business.

Their parents convey a hopelessness regarding their circumstances.  The majority of families are in Cambodia because they can’t return to Vietnam.   Some have outstanding debts, or have committed a criminal act.  They are disliked by the Cambodian’s, which aggravates their hopelessness and puts them in situations where it is hard to find employment.  A few of the parents work by collecting recycle, selling noodles or baking, working on construction sites or even have their own recycle business.  But the majority spends their days gambling (Card games) and drinking.  They expect their children as young as three to go out and pick through the garbage for recycle, to bring in some money.   If their children don’t go out picking they will beat them.  They also expect the eldest girl to care for their siblings.  Often you will see the eldest girl picking garbage with her two or three year old brother and sister.   Due to these expectations the majority of children don’t attend school therefor they have no education (most of the parents are uneducated).  WYH is partnering with Love Your Neighbour (LYN), an organization that gives opportunity for the children to be educated.  Unfortunately it is often a fight with the parents who would be happy if their children just learnt the minimal reading and writing.

The greatest fear is when the parents become so desperate for money (for gambling, debts, alcohol etc.) that they choose to sell their daughters for prostitution.  They can be sold to a brothel or taken to a local “coffee shop” where tourist come and pick a girl of their choosing.  As you walk through the community there are Karaoke Bars that offer sex for locals and tourists.  Many of the girls are forced into this type of setting.  Although the majority of the children at LYN have no immediate threat of being sold, it is a concern however that if one child is sold the parents will see the money and begin to sell their children.

Please help provide economic alternatives by purchasing greeting cards that La has made.