The talent show, is it just for fun?

The talent show, is it just for fun? Absolutely not.

Every year, we host summer camps for children living orphanages in Hanoi. The first night of camp usually include a talent show. This is where children, staff from orphanages as well as our volunteers show their talents and skills. The entertainment value is great and that’s the impact that can be seen easily. But let’s dig deeper into the real impact that you make as a volunteer.

To understand the solution, we first have to understand the problem. Orphaned children face tremendous challenges; everyone knows that for a fact. When you think of an orphaned child, what does he or she look like? Are you picturing a sad face? Old dirty clothes? Perhaps a hungry child? If you have been on our orphan trip, you are probably giggling reading this right now. Our common perception of orphans deceives us into thinking orphans are less than normal. That same perception puts us onto an imaginary throne to reach down and lift these orphans up. But is that really the case?

Children from SS3 orphanage during talent show. Summer 2016
Children from SS3 orphanage during talent show. Summer 2016

What we have learned through the years working orphans is that their challenges are often relational. One of the most common problem is a lack of self-esteem. If there is one thing all orphans has in common, it is that they had a broken family. A child is a seed full of potentials and possibilities; a family supports and foster that seed to grow and become a tree. But when there is no one to affirm these boys and girls of their great abilities and potentials, they grow up thinking they are not capable. The results are orphans who have the technical trade skills but struggle to find a job, orphans who never used their talents, and orphans denying themselves of their success. On the other side of the spectrum, we have seen orphans growing up trying to impress their friends to prove themselves. Both ends of this spectrum are problematic and we never want to see our children in either one of them.

Have you ever felt like you are not good enough? Have you ever tried to impress your friends because of your insecurities? Are you the orphaned? By now, you can see that these boys and girls are struggling with the same deep issue that we struggle with. The same power that created you, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Shakespeare, created them too. These young guys and gals hold as much potentials as you do.

Yen from SS3 singing during 2016 Summer Camp
SS3 boys performing a song that combines vocal, cajon and beatboxing
SS3 boys performing a song that combines vocal, cajon and beatboxing
Birla children performing a traditional dance during 2016 camp
Birla children performing a traditional dance during 2016 camp
Rainbow Kinder children reading a poem for everyone during summer camp
Rainbow Kinder children reading a poem for everyone during summer camp

Congratulations! By seeing orphans in an understanding and loving way, you already stepped off that imaginary throne. Now let’s get back to the talent show. Through this talent show, we give our children an audience who values and appreciates them for who they are, because they are beautiful and talented individuals. We do not have judges for our talent shows, because we celebrates their uniqueness, not condemn their differences. We share our own imperfect, clumsy, not so awe-inspiring talents with them, because we are just as broken as they are, just in different ways.

The impact does not stop there. Leading up to the summer camps, our children spent months practicing and preparing for their performance. We also provide classes to teach them arts such as music, drawing, and dance. Through these classes, we were to teach them critical values such as perseverance, social responsibilities, and self-discipline. These are the values and skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.

Now you know why the talent show is such an important aspect of our summer camp. Are you ready to change a child’s life? Contact us for more information on this trip at info@glocalventures.org

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