Luong was 15 when he faced a critical decision that would shape the rest of his life.
He had grown up in a town not far from Hanoi, surrounded by rice fields. As far back as he could remember, life was difficult. Luong was one of four children. When his father lost an arm in an accident, his mother became the family’s sole breadwinner.
For Luong, this meant that going to school was a luxury. He was only in Grade 9, but it seemed his education was at an end. Luong’s family just couldn’t afford the costs of schooling.
By some good fortune, Luong’s teachers recognised the challenge he was facing and introduced him to Blue Dragon. We were able to help out with his school fees, text books, and other equipment he needed right through to the end of Grade 12.
Among that ‘other equipment’ was a bicycle.
Bicycles might seem like a luxury to some. To Luong this was a prized possession. It enabled him to get to school and back home much more easily, but it was even more than that. The bicycle represented a change in his fortunes; it made him feel like all the other kids at school, and he rode it proudly.
Last week, Blue Dragon shared a story on social media about giving bicycles to disadvantaged school students.
Luong, now in his mid 20s, saw this post online and the memories of his own childhood flooded back.
Today Luong is a young man with a thriving career. He has his own media company, and although the past two years have been tough he’s still going and the business is growing.
But he’s never forgotten the help he received to finish his schooling… or the bicycle. More than ten years since he received the bike, it’s still used by his family. Luong’s mother rides it to market every day.
Seeing Blue Dragon’s post, Luong reached out and made a donation. He’s delighted to be back in contact with us, and for the staff who first met him over a decade ago, it’s a lovely affirmation of our work.
Luong’s life could very easily have turned out quite differently. All he needed was a little help to get him through, and now he’s a successful businessman employing others and giving back to society.
Who could have known just how far that bicycle would take him?