We continue publishing the stories, we received during the #FeelYourRights contest.
I worked as an English teacher in a boarding school in Kyiv. I worked with the high school students who had their own vision of life, their own needs but always lacked money. Does anybody have enough money?! Especially if we talk about the children, who are deprived of parental care or live in single-parent families...
They were adult children though they were trying to behave like independent people.
So, I came to a classroom in the morning. It was time to start a lesson but I could not calm the audience: I saw smiles, gloomy glances, sadness in the eyes, disappointment, pain.
"So, you’ve worked...yeah, workers."
Not everyone in the class had the status of an orphan, many students simply studied there for some sins or the parents had nowhere to leave 16-year-old children for several weeks or months.
"What happened?" I ask.
"You do not need this," someone slammed. "It is beyond remedy. What's done is done."
A friend helped: "They wanted to earn a bit but they were scammed out of their money. They went to some office where they were offered to buy the list of vacancies and the addresses. The list cost 50 hryvnias. Money was paid, the list was received, but the phone numbers and addresses turned out to be simply invalid. It’s a well-known scheme, but could they think it would be so? You always believe that it will never happen to you... "
I felt sorry for them. The guys wanted to earn a bit, they were orphans, vulnerable. Who dared to do that?! They are children, orphans. They have been unlucky since their birth but the cruel life still adds dark chocolate into their cups, which they will have to drink during the lifetime. As if someone has marked them for fraudsters (something similar has already happened).
I decided to put an end to it. Fortunately, then I was not just an angry teacher, who sought to protect the rights of minors, but the head of the youth organization as well. My brief experience was useful, and my friend Orest was also very helpful.
Having found out the address of the office, I reached the company and its phone number. A friendly female voice answered.
I politely introduced myself as the chair of the NGO that protects the rights of orphans and children from the low-income families (it was partially true as I worked there exclusively because of my moral convictions). I said that I was aware of their activities and their robbing the orphans was a crime. First, it was the use of child labor. Second, it was a fraud. I, as the chair of the NGO, could easily file a lawsuit then, and I would be glad to take the advantage of my rights.
The woman listened to me carefully and said that they must have made a mistake and they were ready to cooperate with our organization and even to help my orphans.
I said that I would send my lawyer for the money. The lawyer was my loyal friend Orest.
Money was returned!
I was very happy. The guys were very surprised but glad. Now they will know that not everything in this world is ordered, purchased, and settled.
We should fight, try, stand to the end and know our rights.
All is well that ends well. The guys have grown up. They are about to graduate from the universities, some of them have their own children already. We keep in touch, and I want to remind them this story on Christmas. Will they recall it, I wonder?
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