Need your advise please...

@vandana7 (68621)
India
December 28, 2011 9:40am CST
I didnt share this secret but on 22nd of this month I started teaching a young girl who cannot afford education. She is a child laborer and dont feel alarmed. Out here it is so common that you wouldnt notice it. So that day it was a little bit of reading an a couple of days we took a break for our reasons. I thought the girl would lose interest, but no..she came here this morning right when I wanted to respond to the discussions of a couple of friends. She is sharp - I taught her how to do totalling, and by god, I am impressed. Now, my dilemma is, where to from here..I mean there are so many unemployed after education. Out here, once the girl gets educated to a reasonable level, she will not be willing to do the work she does as of now. (she prepared a savory using green chillies and gram flour - I relish it and that is how I came across it). Am I doing the right thing...my mind asks. She is drawing about 60 dollars every month. Her mother is not working. Her younger sister is retarded. Her brother, who is older, doesnt want to take up the responsibility of the family. So here I am wondering if she has a future...and hoping I am not wrong.. Her aspirations are limited to becoming a receptionist as she thinks that is a cushy job. She can see one sitting right across the outlet where she works.
4 people like this
16 responses
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
29 Dec 11
Vandana, you have before you an opportunity to do good to others. Consider this: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."-- Galatians 6:10 As I see it, you have the following ways to do good: 1. Teach the child the value and rudiments of proper education. If you have the means, you may send her to school yourself OR refer her to a government institution where she can be provided with higher education under a government subsidy OR a private scholarship from a known philanthropist. 2. Encourage her to dream big for herself and not be content with being a receptionist. I surmise that she had that idea because of her limited view of employment opportunities around. If she will find other lucrative work or profession, she will definitely be motivated to strive more. 3. Give her opportunity to move up career-wise but impress upon her that you will be doing this for her family who need her help more than you do. This will give her a proper mindset to use additional pay she will get from a higher job to help her family who are counting on her. I believe that there are so many unemployed after education because they have not used their opportunity to learn more knowledge and skills while in school wisely. Many students these days, especially in the Philippines, prefer to be with friends and peers often than study hard for the rainy and stormy days ahead.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
29 Dec 11
I am willing to finance her education. It wont be very difficult for me to earn for that even though offhand I dont have that much. But she does need to be taught a whole lot before that. She is just learning additions and subtractions...so that you know where she stands as of now. But she loves reading. She struggles with words but somehow tries to pronounce them. Problem is even receptionist's job is hard to come by these days. She is ambitious, I know. For now, she does not know other professions, and possibly doesnt believe it is possible to get into other professions. :) But the last thing - I am not agreeable. I think her mother should also work. Agreed that her younger child needs constant supervision. But she can keep the older child at home instead of making her work from 4.30 pm to 10.30 pm everyday. I wouldnt have done that to my child. She is just 15!!! There are rules about touching a minor's income. This is what I call laziness and selfishness.
1 person likes this
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
2 Jan 12
I see your position in the last one. Nonetheless, there are things to consider before having her work. Firstly, what kind of livelihood does she know? Can she be employed? Can she come up with a business of her own? Secondly, how shall she devote her time working and attending to her other children? Third, even if she finds employment or livelihood, how shall she get the money to apply for a job or start up a livelihood of her own?
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
2 Jan 12
Sweetie..her mother was employed a few years ago, before this girl started earning. She left the job once the girl's income became adequate to run the home!!! On the pretext that they were exploiting..as if she is not exploiting her own daughter..these folks are sic..
• Philippines
28 Dec 11
You've gotta big heart vandana, i salute for your kindness to her. You are teaching her not only knowledge but a great wisdom, planting to her a great attitude of kindness that she can even share also to others as what you did. Hoping for a greater future will mean so much to her since she really need the your help. she will be inspire in her life as long as you continue to work with her.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
29 Dec 11
Its too early to say whether my heart is big or not. As yet, the only thing I can do is bring her up to high school level as fast as possible. I spend about 2 to 3 hours per day. And she gets loads full of homework, which she does without fail.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
31 Dec 11
What you do is big enough for her to start as for my evaluation. If she dont experience your kindness she will not be inspired and make her assignments without failing to do so. She had a dream once and you are a great help for her that open the door for her to start. Even if it small act that you might say, if i am in her shoes its big enough for me... Next in line was an add on to the open door that you give to her.. Keep on vandana..you inspired me to open a door to someone...
@ksherrie (891)
• Singapore
29 Dec 11
Wow, vandana, you are doing the right thing! I guess do help her as much as you can, as far as you would go? I mean, teach her to stand up for herself. Teach her to defend herself too! I know certain bad people are hard to identify, maybe you can guide her to see and avoid the signs that may lead her to the wrong way. Although she has responsibilities, she need to take care of herself too! I know your country has certain limitations and law. But do your best to help that child. No matter how feeble, do try. It might lead the child to a slight better future?
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
29 Dec 11
Thanks sweetie.. today she came and she'd done 70 math problems..last night she returned home at 11 pm. So you know that she got up early to do all those. She is just a kid. I hope whatever I do for her does her good and leaves me with no guilt. Thanks one again. :)
1 person likes this
@allknowing (70861)
• India
29 Dec 11
This thought has been haunting me too vandana. The moment they enter the portals of a school they stop taking up jobs such as visiting people's homes and doing their household chores. Educating this class has been a way with me. One such person is now a data entry operator and is not in my life anymore. Another one was with me for 9 years. I educated her, got her married and now she is not in my life any more. Household chores are a drudgery and even if they get perks and stuff they would rather prefer lesser emoluments and work in offices. Also there is the government that insists that every one gets education and is offering it free It is time you mechanised your house vandana and continue teaching these girls! I hope you will take this advice
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
29 Dec 11
I am already educating her allknowing. Data entry operation..she is earning better than that already..may be she stands for six hours for that. But she is earning 3000 INR at 15 years of age. This one is smart allknowing. She is good looking as well. Yesterday I gave her 70 math problems. Believe me she did them all and came today. I taught her subtraction today. I know she will do them and come tomorrow. She is determined little one..and am now quite fond of her. :) I'll try to help her as much as I can. Hope she does not make any mistakes on the way up.
1 person likes this
@ajagogo (153)
• Philippines
29 Dec 11
Since you already start teaching and helping her, maybe you should guide her all the way to her success. She just need guidance and inspiration to move forward and be successful. Don't limit yourself for just being a teacher but do it as her mother, sister, counselor and protector. She needs you.She just need to be guided and supported physically,mentally, spiritually and if you can, help her also financially.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
29 Dec 11
Of all the help that you ask me to offer, the last one is the only one possible to an extent. I can teach her till we are here. We may be shifting in a couple of years. I am hoping I can make her clear high school till then. Please remember it is a lot of hardwork for both of us. She is just learning how to total the given figures.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
28 Dec 11
Hi there Brownie, What you are doing for this girl is a wonderful thing!! Don't even question that! Will she have a future? With the economy the way it is and jobs hard to come by, who could know. But you are giving her HOPE. Without an education then there is no question that she will never advance in her life. Keep teaching her, Vandana and also teach her that she needs to be patient before changing jobs. She needs to make sure that she has another one lined up before quitting her current job. At least with the education, she can always keep her eyes out for better opportunities while those without education are just stuck where they are.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
28 Dec 11
Blondie..she is sharp..and honestly I enjoyed teaching her. She questions so rationally and I really liked her. There are, however, problems. Out here, law enforcement is not up to mark. This girl is good looking. If she tries to get into employment without a godfather, she might get into soup with people promising her marriage and then taking her for ride. Normally, her mother should be searching for a boy for her by now even though she is only around 15. But her mother is not because she does not have monies to pay as dowry. Effectively, the girl is destined to have late marriage. I feel a sense of admiration for her because it is her money that is running the show. I feel contempt for her mother because she could have left her older daughter at home to look after the younger sister, and worked. Instead, she is making the daughter work. May be I think too much.
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
28 Dec 11
Brownie, I know that doweries are customary in your country but I really find it degrading to women. It's like women are objects with a price tag. It's just so different here. Do women in your Country ever marry just for love?? Ok, considering the customs, I also feel a bit irritated with the mother. Sounds like she is a single mother?? Regardless, it is HER responsibility to see that her daughters are raised well and look out for their future. In my home, the older ones did sometimes watch the younger ones so I could work. I actually put in most of my work hours on the weekends when they were most apt to be with their father so that I could have time off to take care of other things they needed. I never pushed them to work because their education was the most important. They did work at times for extra money and that was ok too as long as they kept up with their grades. NEVER was it expected for them to work to provide for family. I know they would have and gladly but that was MY job. This girl sounds amazing!
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
29 Dec 11
Blondie..she is just 15..law does not allow the earnings of children below 18 to be touched. And she has been feeding that family since she was 10! And no her mother is not single. Her husband is alive. But he is idler.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
28 Dec 11
If she doesn't learn how will she ever break out of the poverty that she lives in currently. You must continue to help her but also try to respect her need to earn money for her family whilst showing her new avenues to pursue. If she were to become an accountant she would earn much more than $60 a month and her family would receive enough to live more comfortably.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
28 Dec 11
Who will employ her as an accountant? We have postgraduates..M.Com, who are sitting at home.
@allknowing (70861)
• India
29 Dec 11
The kind of jobs that an illiterate gets in India are accepted more out of compulsion. Household work is a drudgery and no educated person will opt for it. If with some education they can get out of this trap why not give them the opportunity. Any specialisation can open up avenues.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
29 Dec 11
Accountancy is just an illustration. If she receives no education she is condemned to a life of drudgery and low wages. Education will open other opportunities and helpin her towrds those has to bve a good thing.
@ratyz5 (7829)
• Philippines
4 Jan 12
What you did is very commendable, vandana7 You are teaching that young girl and here she is aspiring for something better than what she currently had at the moment. You are doing the right thing. Educating someone who cannot afford education is really a right thing to do. Now, you worry about what will happen to her as time goes by. That is normal as it shows that you have become attached to your student. Yet, seeing how she is motivated to change her situation shows a great deal of determination. With what you have been teaching her, just keep being a mentor. What she decides on the knowledge that you give her is her choice.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
5 Jan 12
You are right. I have kind of become fond of her. I sort of wait for her to turn up, so it is more than simple fond. I really like the girl. But the situation here is different from your part of the world. If the girl remains unmarried at 25 guys around the house would be making her life miserable. She is 15. And she is running her mother's home ..has been doing it since last 5 years! It means she has no savings, and she needs to pay dowry otherwise she cant get married. I keep wondering if education is going to make it harder for her to adjust to a guy from her background, if she gets married. Even otherwise, if doesnt, she would frustrate if she does not achieve decent income level, and jobs are not exactly in surplus. In fact, she might be exploited in lower level jobs because of her financial and social background. She would feel hesitant to continue working in present type of jobs. Her present employer is an old man. He can kick the bucket anyday. Now, that was my concern when I invited her over to get educated.
1 person likes this
@ratyz5 (7829)
• Philippines
8 Jan 12
Aren't there any successful women in your country? I mean those women that are known to be independent and were able to prove their worth just by their determination to succeed? You mentioned that she is still young and there is still a long amount of time for her to actually change her condition before she gets to reach that age you mentioned. Perhaps by that time, she must have already earned enough recognition and not only from the current background that she has. If you are so much as worried to what might really happen to her, you might as well offer your assistance further. Who knows, perhaps she would become a teacher herself? I hope I am not imposing on anything but please focus only on the good things that you want to happen. If you give effort to worrying about things that are just possibilities but not exactly assured of happening, why not spend more on the good ones? They require the same effort anyway.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
9 Jan 12
Oh no issues.. :) I am seriously contemplating that. I have already volunteered to be a baby sitter for her mentally challenged sister. And teach her, and pay for her education. And I am buying her books, pens, and even clothes. She also has an offer from me that should she ever need a shelter at any point of time in her life, she is welcome to come and stay with us. It is my way of indicating that should she fail on both sides then she need not despair. There are successful women in our country, no doubt about that. But they are so few! And most are from good financial backgrounds. The social situation here is not that good thanks to the non-enforcable and non-existeng laws for some torts. I should know - I have been there and done that. I am lucky I was educated in English medium from 6th grade. So I could get me a job and hang in there. At 15 starting with spellings like Ball, Apple, aeroplane, arrow..and reaching those heights by 25..its a tall order I think. Lets see..where all this leads to..
1 person likes this
@mayka123 (11050)
• India
29 Dec 11
You are doing a very good job in teaching her. But you should also make her understand that good jobs are not easy to come by. Till then since the family responsibility is on her she should accept whatever jobs come her way. She should not be too choosy about her choice of job.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
29 Dec 11
Mayka, you and me, we've seen the other side of the fence..and we know how tough it can get. It will be hard to tell a 15 years old to study without a promise of job at the other end. For now, I am just teaching her how to total and subtract. Believe me, she is really good, and better than that..hardworking. Her enthusiasm is what scares me. If, after all this, I cant get her a good job, she would be neither here, nor there.
1 person likes this
@mayka123 (11050)
• India
30 Dec 11
Reading your discussion I remembered another friend of mine who lives close by here who is teaching his servants daughter the same way since many years. He has taught her to talk in English and she stays the whole day in his house to study and only goes home at nights. While visiting my friends house the first time only the girls mother was there and I spoke to her in Hindi. This girl just ignored me then, During subsequent visits she heard me talking in English and then she made friends with me. I have now realized that she only talks to people who converse in English!!!! Very wierd behaviour.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
30 Dec 11
Yeah ..need to distinguish themselves from their previous background is stronger in these people. They want to leave it all behind. In a way, may be, we are also like that. Just that we dont realize it. It is not as pronounced because we dont differentiate in terms of language.
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
15 May 12
I hope she can be a receptionist like what she wants, even though we know it's not as cushy as she thinks and may not pay well for her future and family. At least she would have improve herself and who knows she would grasp another career along the way that would really launch her to a better life. She would be thankful of what you did for her and you can launch another girls and boys to have a better life... Make it a mission...
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
17 May 12
Hi jenn - I knew I could count on your support. I am mighty glad with the progress we are making so far. Though there are occassional lapses on her part, but I forgive because she is young and has more than her fair share of problems to forget and concentrate on her future. I agree receptionist's job will not give her much. But every evening this girl goes to the cart at about 4.30 pm and the receptionist sits across the road in a cabin that is cool because of Air Conditioning. This girl stands from 4.30 to 10.30 or 11 in the night. The receptionist leaves by 6.30 pm or so. My student's legs get swollen at the end of each day standing from 4.30 to 10.30 without break. So yes, she thinks receptionist's job is cool. :)
1 person likes this
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
18 May 12
Wow, you must be a near saint person... I don't remember ever helping people to get what they want. Can I have your support, too?
@KrauseHome (35514)
• United States
30 Dec 11
This sounds like an interesting situation, and truly wishing you the Best with this. I have heard all the stories about Child Labor there and it is sad, and in reality gives the child no real chance later on in life. Personally I would continue to encourage them as you are teaching them to want something more from their life, and if they have a Dream go for it. Nothing in reality should stand in their way.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
1 Jan 12
Happy new year sweetie. :) Her enthusiasm is infectious. Yesterday she did 100 sums. I had tough time clearing them ..:) But I am beginning to become very fond of her - if she continues to display this kind of interest in studies. I want her to become a senior government officer someday hope I will be able to coach her to that level. Would love to see this girl in that position. :)
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
2 Jan 12
Wow! It would really be a pity if she won't reach that position with that kind of talent and enthusiasm!
• India
28 Dec 11
all the things that you are doing is just marvellous and worth taking. now when its comes to the concern of the girls no matther how much she is earning and what she want to become in life, all the good thing about the discussion is that the girl has a will power, will power to do some thing, once in a while she entered into the sky of education she will definately explore her horizon to a much larger extent....cheers..
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
28 Dec 11
Since you are an Indian, and you know the situation better, I think I can discuss this with you. First - she earns 3000 pm working between 4.30 pm to 10 pm each day. In the day time she is at home. Her mother too stays home which I think she should not. One of the two can stay home and the other can work. I can get this girl of 15 a part time job that would fetch her about 1500 pm. She could save up all that money till next three or four years, and get married, which is essential. The other alternative looks rather bleak to me in comparison. I mean she would study for three years, and then get a job as a receptionist. But that would still mean she has to continue taking the responsibility of her mother and younger sister! Not fair isn't it? Finding a suitable groom at that stage would also be tougher because she would be educated, and the groom might not be. She might not be able to adjust to that, or groom could have ego hassles. In any event, without monies, marriages are virtually non-existent out here. So when will she save up for her marriage, and what will happen to her life is now becoming a matter of concern for me.
• India
29 Dec 11
do not know what is going to be happens next, my advise is that she have to educate herself first, because in that instance she can become more open towards the world. she wants to become receptionist may be its look to her to seen herself as a receptionist may be she does not know the other thing,by opening up herself she will definately get to know about other things as well. and doing other things will looks fascinating to her. this all can be done which one who eager to learn and she will. and most of the all you are with her , thats important. and now my question i am still looking at your first line that "since you are an indian, you know the situation better".
@boyuancy (1709)
• India
28 Dec 11
It is not upto you to decide what she does after education. You are taking a noble step to educate an unfortunate and your duty ends at that. You can tell her a few ways where she can find work from, like online job search engines and that's almost it.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
2 Jan 12
But invariably a bond develops! You want your protege to come up in life. If she fails after that, you do think of your role and whether you did the right thing or the wrong thing. Sure I will try. I am going to teach her how to use the computer today. :)
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
28 Dec 11
I say teach her. What she does with it is up to her...
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
28 Dec 11
If I said she can also take up a part time job elsewhere and make another 60 dollars which will be useful for her marriage..she is already about 15 years old and starting with additions and subtractions.. I hope she doesnt get airs.. And by calling her to my place..I make it difficult for her mother to take up any employment. Effectively, the child has no choice but to continue slogging ...
• Belgium
28 Dec 11
As people have said before, it's a wonderful thing you're teaching her. Besides that, it is perhaps better to be educated. She can look for a better job, give her life a better family. I'm pretty sure if she tries hard and looks well, she can make it.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
29 Dec 11
She is extremely hard working, and looks good too. Thanks for wishing that, and making me more confident on the course that I choose.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
28 Dec 11
Hi Vandana! You have been doing a good deed and there it stops. Ultimately things will fall in place.Let it continue for the next six months or one year and you can start having SElf-doubts. If the girl is bright and motivated then rest assured she will find some gainful employment. Whatever is her destiny will take place.If it were fated that she gets education , you have been instrumental in it. If not she will still pursue her labour as a maid and this will also be a 'sought after' skill a few years down the line.So, do not worry. We do thngs with hte best of intentions ; that is all.
@vandana7 (68621)
• India
28 Dec 11
Problem is, she is also a good looking girl. Right now the person who is employing her is like a god father to her. But once she is educated, she might face difficulties kala..without any godfatherly figure in new environment...and the prospect scares me. What we start as good should have good outcome.