CHRISTINA "MAMA TINA" NOBLE
Inspired by a dream and motivated by her horrific past as a street child in Ireland, Christina Noble arrived in Vietnam in 1989. Against all odds, she has established the Christina Noble Children's Foundation in Vietnam and then Mongolia to provide medical and educational programs for poor children and families. It has helped more than 80,000 children and has fundraising offices around the world.Christina Noble is the founder and driving force behind the Foundation.
Christina's passion for children's rights is rooted in her own horrendous upbringing. Christina knows what it's like to be young, homeless and desperate. Born in Ireland into the slums of Dublin on 23 December 1944, she was to embark on a childhood of pain and betrayal. She and three siblings were raised by their mother while their father, who was once a bare knuckled fighter, frittered away what little money the family had on drinking in pubs. The death of her mother,when Christina was 10,brought about the separation of the children,as they were all sent to different orphanages.Christina spent four desperate years in the west of Ireland in an Institute being led to believe that her brothers and sisters were dead.Her escape brought her to Phoenix Park in Dublin where she slept in a hole in the ground that she herself dug. It was during this vulnerable time that Christina was subjected to a gang rape and became pregnant. A baby boy was born but given up for adoption against her will.
At the age of 18 Christina ran away to England to be with her brother.This is where she met and married her husband and had three children, Helenita, Nicolas and Androula.Unfortunately the cycle of abuse continued as her husband proved himself to be a violent and faithless man.She was regularly beaten, suffered a miscarriage and was later forced to undertake shock treatment for a mental breakdown and depression.It was during this particularly low ebb in her life around 1971 that she had a dream about Vietnam.
"I don't know why I dreamed about Vietnam, perhaps it was because the country was so much in the news at the time.In the dream, naked Vietnamese children were running down a dirt road fleeing from a napalm bombing. The ground under the children was cracked and coming apart and the children were reaching to me.One of the girls had a look in her eyes that implored me to pick her up and protect her and take her to safety. Above the escaping children was a brilliant white light that contained the word 'Vietnam'." This was a dream which she would one day triumphantly fulfil, albeit 20 years later.In 1989, with the goal to assist children in need, Christina arrived in Vietnam.Against all odds, Christina set up the Foundation in Ho Chi Minh City which has grown considerably. Christina remains the principal driving force and inspiration behind all of the projects and retains close personal contact with the children. In 1997, Christina expanded CNCF's operations to Mongolia.
by Christina Noble Children's Foundation