A heart-rending dream led to the founding of a global charity that has helped close to a million destitute children. Christina Noble tells Emilie Yabut-razon of its tumultuous beginnings and Hong Kong’s role in her mission
hat’s where America dropped the bombs,” said a man sitting beside Christina Noble as their aircraft dropped low over Ho Chi Minh City preparing to land. It was September 1989 and Christina—a middle-aged Irish woman with no formal education and what she considered a life devoid of accomplishment— didn’t know what she was doing there, except for a 20-year-old dream.
“I saw the skies, all red and blazing from bombs, and two little girls running towards me, their faces just terrified, reaching out for help,” she recalls of her troubling dream. “I wanted to grab their hands. Some people might call it a vision from God, others merely a memory from a scene I saw on television, but the most important thing is that it never left me. I couldn’t explain it, but I had to go to Vietnam.”
It was almost two decades before Christina was able to set foot in the country of her dream, where the Vietnam War had continued until 1975 and its consequences for much longer. “When I finally arrived, everywhere I saw ragged children. It was a horrendous, horrific scene. There was a lot of suffering and sickness yet at the same time there was this incredible strength borne out of adversity. I was reminded of my growing up as an orphan on the streets of Dublin, alone, separated from my siblings, and how badly I was treated by others because I had