I’m embarrassed to have missed blogging for the last two weeks. I’ve tried to keep a good routine but sometimes life gets out of hand. Mea culpa!
One of the joys of blogging is sharing stories of the wonderful children and young people I meet and work with. There are so many happy stories to tell. Even though most stories start with suffering or crisis, most do end with a real hope for the future.
But not all.
Since we rescued our very first trafficked child back in 2005, I’ve seen so many lives turned around. We use the word “rescue” even though it is a contentious word in some circles; there are good arguments that the word has all the wrong connotations. It implies that the people we help are powerless victims, dependent on us to change their situation.
I agree with those concerns, and yet I still use the word “rescue” because… Well, that’s what we do. People call for help from places in which they are trapped and cannot escape. We find them, get them out of danger, and bring them home. That’s a rescue.
By far most of the people whose calls for help reach us eventually get home. What makes me lose sleep at night is the thought of all those people who have no chance to make that call.
Thu is one woman who was trafficked and sold as a bride in China and was desperate to make it home. She had no way to call for help, so she took it on herself to escape. Her dream was to make it back to her 5 year old son in Vietnam.
Thu didn’t make it. The man who bought her discovered her plan and called the trafficker to help. The trafficker found her as she made her escape through the streets; Thu ran no more than 10km before she was caught.
Even though she knew she was trapped, Thu refused to go back into slavery. She argued and fought. The man who had bought her, the “husband”, could see this was never going to work, so he told the trafficker to just repay him his money and let Thu go.
The trafficker knew he had lost. In his fury he beat Thu, tortured her, and finally killed her. He dumped her body down a well, leaving her there to rot. Nobody found her until it was too late. She was just 29 years old.
Normally Blue Dragon’s work is to bring women and children home to start their life again. In Thu’s case, we can’t do that. All that is left is to bring home her remains so that she can be buried in Vietnam in her ancestral village, and her infant son can visit his mother’s grave.
There will be no joy in this reunion. We are bringing Thu home this week, determined to give her in death a dignity she was denied in life.
This senseless loss will only drive us to be more determined to keep on rescuing those in need of help, and to do all we can to bring this evil industry of human trafficking to its knees.
Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation is holding its annual appeal. Please consider making a donation of any amount to continue the fight against trafficking.