(Written by Tran Thi Phuong)
Have you ever been afraid of yourself? Have you ever been obsessed by your past? Have you ever been desperate because you couldn’t live this life the way you wanted? Those things seem to be as easy as the equation of 1 plus 1 equals 2. Much simple as they were, I used to consider them impossible.
Seeing my friends hanging around happily, I just wished I could join them but I didn’t dare.
I came from a poor doing farm family. I left my hometown at 15 hoping that I could earn some money to support my parents with raising my siblings. I wanted to get enough money to better my life and to have some vocational training. So badly that I didn’t hesitate to work as a maid in a family. Though I received much support and encouragement from my family and friends, I always felt ashamed and inferior to others. I felt like a loser, that I was a good for nothing. Though deep inside, I always yearned for making friends and learning from and with them.
Without confidence, we may lose many things of which one of the most important is interpersonal communication. I was on the verge of life disorientation when I heard about LABS from an acquaintance. I came to LABS with a belief, a dream and a desire that I would be able to go to school, to interact with friends and learn lots of interesting things.
Back on the first day I attended the project, I was just a little shy girl. However, after the life skills training session including communication skills and team working skills, I came to realize that “We are equally important.” Moreover, I could discover my hidden ability such as creativity, bravery and sympathy. I became more confident and could present my ideas convincingly either in a team or independently before class. Furthermore, I was also trained as a salesperson. I learned that even small duties such as arranging goods, listening to customers were crucial factors determining your business success. I also learned how to do inquiry into products, consult and persuade customers. I trained to observe, analyze, evaluate and anticipate customers’ behaviors.
I find the time I spent at the project so meaningful and happy. Even now, after my graduation, I still miss the days I was there. Come to join with people at the project, you will be supported and loved, much more than you ever expect.
Now, having known that our Big Love family is expanding nationally and named REACH, I even feel happier and prouder of things I have done. Although I haven’t achieved a lot, I will always claim proudly that “I’m a student at REACH” wherever I am.