Gia Han is currently a Year 9 student at Thi Tran Secondary School, Hoc Mon District. Throughout the three years she is at Hoc Mon Ceporer, she has had chances to work with two mentors for over two years. Due to family circumstances, that she only lives with her maternal grandmother, a much younger sister, and some relatives, Gia Han barely has anyone to talk to, to share her feelings and thoughts. And at Ceporer, because most kids are younger than she is, Gia Han often has to take on the role of an older sister. She does not get to talk, share, and receive advice. Instead, she takes it on herself to help and care for the younger ones. Things started to change when Gia Han got selected to be a CHUM's mentee. ‘I'm so happy to have a mentor to talk to. Before I had no one!’ The stories which Gia Han tells her Big Chums are often day-to-day, just that someone is bothering her at school, or that at school there is this really interesting game, or that she just finished this novel…, but to be listened to, that makes her happy.
‘There used to be people coming in because of some programs, but they usually left after a few weeks. On the other hand, CHUM mentors come here quite often, so I save up stories every week to share when I see them!’ Gian Han cheerily shares. With sharing, talking, and participating in CHUM's activities regularly, Gia Han becomes more open towards both the mentors and her friends. ‘The first time I joined the story-telling contest at CHUM , I was so scared. I couldn't think of what to say in front of a crowd, but eventually I got better. I became more confident and with that I got more to tell and to draw.’ Gifted with imagination, Gia Han loves to create stories, draws comics, and enjoys CHUM’s Talent contest, Reading and Just Write campaigns; these have been the motivation and opportunities for Gia Han to, with the help of her mentors, become more confident and creative in her artistic endeavours.
My mentor couldn't make up to the talent show, but she texted me an encouraging message,’ Gia Han recalls. Winning the first prize, Gia Han drew a portrait of her mentor and gave it to her. They became closer thanks to that. With her second mentor, Gia Han gets to produce comics and learn English, a subject she struggles with in school because she can not afford extra tuition like her friend.
For me, those I love the most are my family and then there are my mentors. So one day, I also want to take on such a role for another child,’ Gia Han reveals.