That’s how to describe 13-year-old Liang.
She lives in southern Peru
in the Pueblo de Dios
community, a place World Vision has wrapped up its work. Liang’s confident voice and the navy blue jacket she wears call to mind a pro athlete waiting for the signal to enter the game. Liang’s sport is volleyball. After her brother introduced her to it when she was four, playing became a part of her life. She plays for two clubs: one for school and the other in a league. The young teen plays one day a week—and practises on the six other days! Though she loves the game, she imagines she’ll turn to medicine and eventually become a doctor. She wants to help people.
That gets to the advocate part: The other club Liang’s a member of goes by a Spanish name that means “the Network for Children, Boys, Girls, Leaders in Transformation.” After she became sponsored through World Vision, Liang joined the club in 2012, learning her rights as a child and a person. “Before, I was afraid to talk in public,” she says. “Now I can talk freely.”
Liang has also learned that even without World Vision, she has the skills to advocate for a better future. She wants politicians in her community and in her country to be aware of the problems with child health, education and domestic life. She believes she has solutions. She smiles as though she’s already won. A coach would take one look, see that confidence, and signal her into the game.
A version of this article appears in the Summer 2015 issue of Childview.