During the week, Long came to visit Blue Dragon.
He’s 23 now, but when we first met him he was 14. He and his sister were sleeping alone on the street. They were cold and hungry and had smeared themselves with mud to stop the mosquitos biting them.
Although he’s a young adult and fairly independent, Long has faced some crises in the past year. His wife died suddenly in an accident, leaving him a single father of a little boy. Around the same time, he brought his 12 year old brother to live with him to escape a difficult home situation and make sure he was cared for properly.
For a young man, he has taken on a lot of responsibility.
And recently he’s had a few more setbacks. Just before the Lunar New Year, he lost his motorbike and then he lost his job.
Sometimes, everything seems to go wrong at once.
When Long came by the Blue Dragon centre and we heard about him losing his bike, we reached out to some friends in Hanoi asking if anyone could donate one. Within hours, not one but TWO motorbikes had been offered.
Long is now mobile again. He’ll be able to take his son and brother to their schools, and will soon return to work as a delivery driver.
There’s an expression we sometimes use to describe Blue Dragon’s work. Some other people and organisations use it too: Whatever it takes.
It’s a bold and evocative statement, but it’s easy for this slogan to become just a cliché. And then in the end, it’s simply: Whatever.
From day to day at Blue Dragon, though, that’s the guiding principle. Whatever it takes.
Long needs a motorbike so he can work and get his family to school. So our mission was to find him one, and thanks to some very generous people he now has wheels!
Other families we meet have needed their houses rebuilt – like Trang up in the mountains bordering China. She was trafficked and enslaved for a month before escaping. When we helped her return home, we saw that she was living in extreme poverty and simply was not safe in her house.
Again, we called out for help and people donated. Trang now has a new house.
Just two weeks ago, Bao needed surgery to recover from an accident. Friends around the world donated… and Bao is now home and healing nicely.
More often, the help that people need is less tangible: counselling, crisis accommodation, legal advocacy, or help to pay the rent.
Sometimes it’s short-term and sometimes it will be over a decade.
Everyone’s need is different, and there’s no single way to solve all the world’s problems.
Whether it’s a motorbike for Long or a house for Trang – or counselling, schooling, or anything at all – Blue Dragon is here to do whatever it takes.
We can’t stop supporting someone after a fixed period of time, or when they reach a certain age. We can’t narrow down the scope of our help to just a few specific needs. We can’t insist that everyone who comes our way fits into the box that we’ve built for them.
Because life isn’t like that.
Life is messy and complicated and rarely works out the way we think it will. And that’s OK.
The people who support Blue Dragon understand this, which is why so many children and young adults have received help so far. Everything that we have achieved so far is only possible because of people around the world who believe that we all deserve a fair chance in life.
And because of that belief – the belief that we must do whatever it takes – Long, Trang and Bao, and many thousands just like them, have a whole new chance in life.
Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation does whatever it takes to rescue kids in crisis.