One afternoon, a young girl appeared at the restaurant where I was a regular. She went from table to table trying to sell her wares - articles of clothing. Whenever she approached customers seated at a table, she bowed and smiled politely. Then she tried to promote her wares. When the customers refused to buy, she responded by bowing and smiling and then moved on to the next table.


A hostile customer once waved her off rudely. She looked shocked and hurt, but recovered her composure quickly. She went over to another table and her smile was back on her face.


When she came to my table, I decided to buy a few things from her. She was delighted. "Thank you for your support. Today, I'm far from my target. It's my fault. I was held up this morning and started my rounds late."


I was curious. "It takes a lot of guts, especially for a young girl like you, to sell to complete strangers. Why do you choose this job?"


She replied, "I realize that this is better than working for a fixed pay. If I'm willing to work hard, I can earn more money."


"Have you ever thought of doing a different sales job?"


"Yes, I do. But, I can't speak good English. How I wish I can speak better English, then maybe I can take up a better sales job."


"Do you have any plans for the future?"


"Yes, I'm saving up my money to take English lessons."


I paid for my purchase and wished her luck for the day. After she had left the restaurant, someone who worked there came over to speak to me. "Why do you support the girl only? Why do you not support the group of boys who are here everyday?"


I replied, "The boys are selling pirate CDs so I can't give them my support."


He winked at me. "How do you know what you've bought is legal?"


I thought for a moment before I said, "What I'm supporting is the girl's enterprising spirit."


Indeed I am concerned about a few things:

  • Who are the adults who are offering jobs to these youths?
  • How are these youths recruited?
  • What does the future hold for these youths?