News / Industry News Article
NorthWood Connection Helps Orphan Find Work and Self-ConfidenceMarch 31, 2011
For as long as she can remember, 21-year-old Thu has lived at Sponsor Society 3 (SS3), a state-run orphanage in Hanoi. She has seen friends and other orphans come and go, and watched as many of them graduated from and left the orphanage at 18. Thu however lacked the confidence to try living on her own outside the orphanage and so she has stayed at the orphanage and helped the nurses to care for the babies and other children.
The parents of a Vietnamese exchange student at NorthWood Church (also named Thu) own a garment factory near Hanoi that makes, among other items, jackets for Columbia, Northface etc. When they learned about GVI's involvement at SS3, they offered to hire orphans and provide vocational training. But SS3 director Mr. Duc has been reluctant to let Thu go because they have needed her to help the staff with cleaning, preparing food and helping with the babies. Mr. Duc and other SS3 staff also didn't think Thu had the ability and confidence to have an independent life outside the center.
Finally after gentle persuasion from GVI over the last year, Mr. Duc allowed Thu to work at the garment factory. She started on March 21 for a 3-month trial. On the nights leading up to her first day at the company, Thu was so excited and nervous about being independent for the first time in her life that she couldn't sleep.
The company took Thu and Mr. Thanh, the SS3 vice-director on a tour of the factory. Mr. Thanh was impressed by the size of the company. He was also impressed by the accomodations for the workers and by the amount of preparation they had that done to receive Thu.
GVI will visit Thu and bring her SS3 visit as well. Thu will return to SS3 for the summer activities with GVI volunteers. GVI will continue to develop an even stronger relationship with her in order to help build her confidence for her new page in life, and will help her integrate into society.
This is a wonderful story about the web of connections that NorthWood and GVI have: our orphanage work, exchange students, our host families and volunteers, and the spirit of Corporate Social Responsibility we help promote in Vietnamese companies.