Trang's smile says it all!
She is absolutely thriving with her new life and in her new environment.
A brief snapshot of Trang's story............Trang a vibrant 25 year old had been living in a small room with three elderly dementia patients for the past four years, she lay awake every night in fear.
Trang has polio and it is very difficult for her to walk let alone climb stairs. Her accommodation was on the first floor of an old building. She had access to terrible bathroom facilities down a walk way some distance from her room. Trang had few possessions and what little she had could be put in a plastic bag.
Despite this Trang has the sunniest smile that draws you to her. She attended school to Year 9 and came to Hoi An when she was 18.
That was the darkest time in Trang’s life. Her parents lived far, far away and struggled to survive farming rice and mint. Trang was forced to leave her family home because her parents could no longer support her and her younger siblings. Being disabled, Trang was unable to find any work in the countryside and had no choice but to come by herself to Hoi An. She had no money, no job and nowhere to live. Trang’s
A TALENTED CRAFTSWOMAN
Trang completes the most lovely traditional silk embroidery.
confidence was at rock bottom, she felt very sick and very alone.
Despite her hard life Trang remains cheerful, bright and bubbly with a huge smile.
Eventually she found a room provided by the government, which she had to share with three geriatric ladies who had dementia.
Recently though, things have been looking up for Trang - becoming involved with the Disabled Group has transformed her life! Now she has friends, friends that understand her and support her. Trang no longer feels alone and “different” but loved, accepted and cherished. Her confidence is soaring and her English is improving as she now participates in the Lifestart ESL classes.
When I first went to visit Trang in her room I was momentarily in shock as I am on many occassions. This short of shock usually jolts me into action and it was only a nano second before Trang was being moved out of her distressing accommodation and into what she would describe a " her haven ".
I knew that when I met Trang that she could not possibly survive mentally and emotionally in the conditions that she was living in for much longer and
Trang was given this hand made rug which was lovingly made in Benalla, country Victoria. Australia.Groups of women all over Australia get together and create these rugs which are then donated to Lifestart. The group is aptly named "Wrap with Love"
goodness knows she already had enough on her plate coping with her physical disabilities.
Lifestart has moved her into much better accommodation. Trang now has has a lovely comfortable room to her self with a private bathroom and simple cooking facilities. She is surrounded by other lively,vibrant young Lifestart recipients who her keep her company.
This is all made possible by a group of ladies from Melbourne who support Lifestart and in turn support Trang. Thanks girls for your ongoing support!
Before Trang moved into her new room each of the Lifestart kids contributed something to her room. Two of the girls scrubbed the floors and bathroom. One of the boys made her curtains another installed rails in her bathroom to make it safe and everyone helped to set it up. Jac, one of our volunteers at the time helped me shop for all of the things that we thought Trang should have. When we finally took Trang to her new room and did the " SURPRISE HANDS OVER THE EYES DEAL !!!! we were all close to tears.
Trang told me the day that she moved into her new room was the " happiest
A simple room.........no television, carpet, 6" mattress or "mod cons", nevertheless this is a home and haven for Trang. Do you recognize your blanket Sally?
day of her life"........ It is really a very simple room decorated modestly, but it is just lovely compared to her previous accommodation. Trang no longer spends her nights awake in fear, she sleeps soundly....
Trang is also now involved in the Lifestart Foundation womens workshop ( much more about this exciting new project soon!)
Trang has a great love of embroidery, and is very good - you can see from the photo the standard of her work. This picture would take her about a month to make. Trang makes beautiful silk embroidered pieces, unfortunately they have a limited market so it is important to work with Trang to help her use her skill in a way which will create a sustainable income. We aim to do this with our womens workshop project.
When I first asked Trang if she would like to learn English and participate in one of Lifestart's ESL night classes she was delighted. The classroom is small and the students sit on the floor and work around a low table. I thought that is would be impossible for Trang to sit on the floor during English class so I put a small desk
Trang is a member of our workshop for women with disabilities. She is pictured embroidering a note card.
and chair in the room for her. Attending her first class, Trang took one look at the desk and chair I had provided for her and painfully but promptly got down on the floor to sit with everyone else! I know that it is very uncomfortable for Trang to sit on the floor but she wouldn't have it any other way, they joy of being included instead of excluded must be a wonderful panacea..............
Lots of love from Karen.
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