Two years ago, “Mai’’s reality was very different than it is today.
In 2017, at the age of 18, Mai was tricked into going to China for a well-paying job, and was instead sold into a forced marriage. A year later, Blue Dragon assisted her rescue, and then her recovery. After spending four days in emergency accommodation, Mai was reunited with her family in southern Vietnam.
Her family was overjoyed to see Mai again. After losing contact for almost a year, they thought they would never see her again. Happy to be safe, Mai was quick to busy herself: working hard to help support her family doing manual farm work.
But Mai always knew she wanted something more. A skill and a stable job to call her own.
Staff at Blue Dragon had kept in contact. Over the course of two years, we called and messaged to stay in touch. Frequently checking in and making sure Mai knew that a helping hand is only ever a call away.
Two years later that call came.
Mai had decided that she wanted to do some training to find a better job. After some career guidance, Mai decided to enroll in a sewing course as she knew she could find a job back in her hometown. Our social workers explained the benefits of further study and convinced Mai’s family to let Mai come to Hanoi for the training.
Over time, Mai and her family had come to trust us. After Mai was tricked by the trafficker all those years ago, naturally Mai and her family were hesitant to accept support. But through consistent contact they’d come to understand that Blue Dragon wasn’t another trafficker grooming their daughter for the next “marriage”.
Mai is now in Hanoi and adapting to her new life, and enjoys living with other trafficking survivors at a Blue Dragon shelter. Mai is very excited to be learning, and knows that there will be plenty of opportunities when she goes back to her community. She dreams of opening a clothes shop in her hometown so that she can help support her family.
Sometimes a survivor doesn’t always need immediate help. But that doesn’t mean we will ever stop being there for them. Blue Dragon is there for the long haul. We will always care. And we will never give up.