Mrs Thuan is a carer at a Blue Dragon shelter in Hanoi. Her job is to care for human trafficking survivors who have sought safe accommodation with Blue Dragon while they start getting their life back on track. She wants to share with you how your support helps to change the lives of girls and women in crisis.
Many of the girls and women that I work with come from remote areas in the countryside, with different customs, beliefs and languages. Some are not used to using a shower or a flushing toilet. Once, I had to show a girl how to wash her hair, as she had never used shampoo before.
These girls have chosen to stay in one of our shelters, away from their families, to have a chance at rebuilding their lives. That is why I and others try our best to create a familiar environment where they can be safe to recover and grow. Crucial for such an environment is the bond among the girls themselves and with the carers and social workers. Every day, we have dinner together, and then everyone shares about her day at school or vocational training centre. This gives them time to listen to and understand each other.
Every weekend, all the girls cook a big meal together. One peels the carrots while another boils the chicken. One makes the dipping sauce while another cuts the oranges. The girls take turns to choose the menu, but whatever the dish, everybody helps. If you visit on a Sunday, all you will hear is laughter and chit-chat, as the girls tease each other about their latest crush or celebrate the test they just aced.
Once a girl enrolls in university or gets a job, we support her to move out and live independently. Moving days are emotional, with many hugs and tears. Personally, I am sad that I won’t get to see them every day, but I am proud of the determination they have displayed in overcoming the challenges presented to them. They do not let their past define their future.
When I see the survivors rebuilding their lives, and laughing at the dinner table, I want to share this moment with you, so you can see how much your support is truly changing lives. You make this possible!