Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dangerous Hope

When Invisible Children Sing, by Dr. Chi Huang, is a true story of 5 street children, an idealistic doctor, and their dangerous hope. When Dr. Huang took a year off from Harvard Medical School to work with orphans and street children in La Paz, Bolivia, he had no idea it would take only that one year to change his life forever. The son of immigrants from Taiwan, he had grown up feeling like an outsider in an alien culture, one that eventually rewarded him with a coveted spot in medical school. And then he chose to thrust himself once again into the role of outsider, that of a young American doctor seeking to save the bodies and souls of Bolivia's forgotten children.

Dr. Huang learned, among other things, that street children are far from innocent. But that doesn't begin to justify, he says, their unspeakable living conditions. Indeed, the stories he tells range from the appalling--a street infant starved to death in a hospital because it was up to her mother to provide food; when she failed to do so, hospital staff watched the baby die--to the sickening: 89 percent of street children, including those as young as four, inhale paint thinner to stay warm through the frigid Andean nights. And worse: vigilantes rape, beat, and even kill street children to "cleanse" the streets.

"Dr. Huang does not ask for sympathy or accolades but he does ask that we see his children." You'll be glad you read, When Invisible Chldren Sing! (610.737 Huang - Non-Fiction)

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