“Do you play an online game like “Đột Kích” or “Võ Lâm Truyền Kỳ”? Do you have a Yahoo ID?”
No, these were not the questions I asked some of the children at a social organization we visited this afternoon. I was asked the very questions.
The ubiquity of Internet cafes in Ho Chi Minh City has given the so-called “Disadvantaged Kids” an opportunity to gain access to the Internet at a very low cost and explore stuffs that were unknown to them before then.
They may not have parents, essential materials to live as a normal child, or the enjoyment of a better education, but what they do have is an Identity 2.0. They’re playing online games, participating in forums, writing blog entries, talking to their buddies via IM, and using Google to search for topics within their realm of interest.
As we were organizing a coloring competition, the kids were told to set up tables and chairs. I told my friend not to help them, let them do it. There are things they can do that can blow a Stanford graduate away, so approach them differently, if ever.
Don’t help them because you think they’re inferior to their other peers, they aren’t.