CEF's Ms Vy writes a powerful story about the every day abuse that can happen to girls from poor families who drop out of school.
During my first home-visit trip and meeting one of the CEF girls, 'L', I was left me with a lot of mixed feelings. 'L' had just returned home after 10 days of working as a waitress, without pay, in a popular restaurant in Da Nang. Having heard from a neighbor that she could earn lots of money when doing this job in Da Nang, she had decided to go to Da Nang without hesitating despite her mother’s advice to the contrary; however, everything was well under her expectations! During the time away, she was working far from home, with hard and severe working condition.
'L' had gradually realized her most important responsibilities are studying and obeying her parents and that realization made her stop working and come back home to say sorry to her parents.
While her cheeks were bathed in tears, she said she had drawn the moral from those terrible days; she had better focus on studying than earn money, so that she can have a full education and full awareness to protect herself from the abuse of employers of young girls.
Learning from her situation, I strongly affirm that it is only a full education that helps girls avoid being victims of illegal employment, and worse and dangerous situations like trafficking, physical abuse or sexual abuse.
Time to mature and develop some wisdom is needed and keeping a girl in school gives her that time. We are pleased she had enough wisdom to know this terrible experience was not acceptable and leave.