Over the years I have had the privilege of interviewing many amazing people, each with their own unique story to tell, but never before has the interview finished with a song. Yet this is exactly what happened when I spoke with Irish woman, Christina Noble. She asked, “before we go, can I sing you a song.” I believe no matter what I replied she would have sung it anyway, for it is a talent she has used throughout her life to endear herself to many, and to add a bit of magic, an unforgettable sparkle to the moment.
The song she sung all the way from Ireland, was Fields of Athenry, a haunting folk ballad that talks of a young man taken away on a prison ship for stealing corn in order to feed his hungry family. This sad song speaks of the harshest of human conditions that so many experienced in centuries past: even sadder though, is the fact that to this day, so many of our fellow humans continue to experience similar or worse living conditions. Christina herself, as she explained, is no stranger to hardship. By middle age, she had already lived a life of traumatic experiences punctuated by tragedy and despair. In 1989, spurred on by an unusual dream she had had almost 20 years prior, she landed in Ho Chi Minh City, determined to do something, to change the lives of the many children who lived there in poverty — something she understands all too well from her own shattered childhood.
Stand up across the whole country, and across the world, mums and dads, children, youth, grandparents, uncles and aunts, stand up together for the rights of all our children. Give them back their childhood. Give them something to go for in the future.
It was here that her true destiny began to unfold. Filled with indignation and the deepest of outrage against those who use and abuse the innocent and the poor, Christina set out to give a whole generation of Ho Chi Minh children the gift of normality and choice. In her own words she says, “I worked like a dog, non-stop, day in and day out, to disconnect these babies from all that was bad in their lives. With the help of a lot of good people I was able to give them unconditional love, hope and the ability to dream of a better life.”
This incredible journey of mercy and courage to stand up for what is right, led to the development of The Christina Noble Foundation, which today has blossomed into 80 projects across Vietnam and Mongolia, helping the lives of over 700,000 children.
Christina’s story has been made into the critically acclaimed film, Noble, an inspirational tale of one woman who believes that we should always stand up for what is right, and that it need only take one person to make a difference. It is a riveting and inspiring tale of true valour and is due to be released in Auckland on 28 May.
Christina Noble asked Verve to give a special message to the people of New Zealand: “Stand up across the whole country, and across the world, mums and dads, children, youth, grandparents, uncles and aunts, stand up together for the rights of all our children. Give them back their childhood. Give them something to go for in the future.”