STORIES THAT INSPIRE A FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
This is Volek.
Volek travels by bike each morning to attend school in a neighboring village that is over half an hour away. Volek makes this daily trek in extreme unpredictable weather for up to 6 months of the year. The road she travels on is mediocre at best – thick with mud and sludge in rain, or a waving sea of potholes in the dry seasons. It is nearly inaccessible for most of the year.
As if the severity of the conditions in the former minefield is not enough of a burden, this young woman carries upon her shoulders an incredible heartache. Volek’s Mother left to work in neighboring Thailand, leaving her daughter void of a provider and mothering care. Now, Volek lives with her aging Grandparents and a few cousins. Though they provide a home, the health of her Grandparents diminished long ago. As Volek grew older, the expectation and need for her to leave and find work in Thailand grew as well. Compassionate as she is, it was only natural that she would become a breadwinner for her unusual family unit - but this would mean quitting school and forgoing education. Fortunately, Volek found Landmine Design just in time. After learning of her situation, we were able to supply Volek with the opportunity to study in the mornings and work in the afternoons.
"Her actions show the strength of a woman who resiliently twists fear into energy..."
Though hope is strong and the burden has decreased in weight, Volek still faces fear on the daily. With four more years of high school ahead of her, she worries of what will happen if she is not able to bring home enough money for food.
Volek is quietly confident. Her tender smile masks the fear she faces daily for her family. Her actions show the strength of a woman who resiliently twists fear into energy that propels her forward as she pedals to school, rolls thousands of beads for Landmine Design, and watches for the opportunity to help others. Volek pushes through her schooling because she carries upon her heart a desire of becoming a doctor so that the people in her village can receive appropriate medical care. Her hard work is a testament to the hope she hangs onto for seeing desires and freedom come to fruition.
The testimony of Volek’s commitment to family, work, study, friendship, community and hope for a future is incomprehensible. The radiance of her story at 19 already shines a light on the immense importance of caring for ourselves, and caring for others.
- Kaitlyn Rude, Creative Director