Monday, February 28, 2011

a dirty 500,000VND is still worth 500,000VND

Shine started today! We decorated the table with all things manicure. We also had pink rose petals and each young woman was given a small Shine journal.
I welcomed the girls and had all the leaders and volunteers introduce themselves (leaders have gone through the training). Everyone took some gummy bears from a bowl, and the number of candies they took was the number of things they were to share with the group. Some shared in Vietnamese and our translater for tonight interpreted for us. Most shared in English and she would translate into Vietnamese.

They are told they can take notes on the presentations, things they learn, their thoughts, etc. No one reads the journals except for them. Girls were already using the journals today. I saw them writing during the presentation about hands. It was really neat to see them exciting about what we were presenting.

I did do small examples of showing that they are valuable. I took a fresh, clean 500,000VND bill (Vietnam's largest denomination and worth about $25USD). To these students, this is a lot of money. Then I crinkled it up and stomped on it and asked the girls if it was still worth the same. I did get one shake, but most girls nodded and I went on to explain (through our interpreter) that it doesn't matter what you look like, or what people have said or done to you--you have value and it doesn't change.

Then I showed them two gifts. One in a cute box and one in a grocery bag. Two different students opened them up to find that the gift inside was the same (fun, fake diamonds). Again, I explained that value is not from the outside. It doesn't matter what you look like, you have value.

From Shine's experience of running hundreds, even thousands of programs, we know that this information is new and life changing to many of the girls that will go through Shine.

Here are some of the girls soaking their cuticles, pushing back cuticles and painting each others' nails. Why do this? Well, besides the fun, light nature of doing nails for them to feel comfortable with each other and to have fun, we explained that taking care of yourself is one way that you show that you value yourself.

And here is the final product.

As the girls left, we gave them a gift to help them remember the session. We'll do this every week. This week we gave them a nail polish and emery board, wrapped in colourful tissue paper and ribbon.


  1. love it! What a great experience for them that will touch their hearts and stay with them. Great job!

  2. This is SO great! I just discovered that your blog is indeed up! I was thinking you weren't doing a blog for some reason...not sure why! So fun to read!

  3. love this-- can't wait to hear how lives are changed.