“I felt like a robot. I was working like a machine. The only thing I knew was how to please the person in front of me. I didn’t know how to read, to write, to cook. Nothing.”
“Nhu” grew up in an impoverished family. Both of her parents struggled with mental health issues and often couldn’t look after Nhu. With no support from her relatives, Nhu dropped out of Grade 4 and started working in menial jobs.
At the age of 13, Nhu was approached by a trafficker who tricked her with the promise of a well-paying job, and instead sold her into a brothel. Over the next four years she was sold multiple times to brothels around Vietnam. At the age of 17 she was sold into China, working as a sex slave until Blue Dragon rescued her, four years later in 2018.
When Nhu arrived at Blue Dragon it took her months to open up. With such severe trauma, she didn’t know where to begin. She spent every day in the Blue Dragon learning centre learning how to read and write. Having left school at such an early age, Nhu was basically illiterate. In her confusion, it was common for Nhu to speak sentences half in Vietnamese and half in Chinese. But after six months she was able to communicate and read Vietnamese more fluently.
To help with her communication, Blue Dragon staff suggested she help out in the kitchen. Here, Nhu learnt how to interact and work with others while communicating in Vietnamese. After a few months, Nhu started to enjoy the process of cooking and decided to enrol in a chef training course.
Three months into the training Nhu is enjoying her new career path, and is slowly rebuilding her life. Nhu cannot return to her community due to the stigma, and with no other place to go, Blue Dragon has become her family.
Nhu told us: “I really enjoy going to class. I know that with my new skills, I’ll be able to find a good honest job and support myself.”
Living in one of the Blue Dragon shelters, Nhu is able to make friends, and learn basic skills to help her live independently. She is still haunted by recollections of the dark days. But with long term support she can regularly see a psychologist to overcome her trauma, and continue the healing process.
Nhu recently had her 22nd birthday. To celebrate, many survivors gathered together and shared a cake. This is the first time anyone had ever celebrated her birthday. Knowing that people care about her makes it possible for Nhu to keep going.
But there are many women like Nhu who also need your support to recover and rebuild their lives.
Every year Blue Dragon provides long term support for between 50 – 80 survivors of human trafficking. It is only through the generosity of people like you that this is possible.
A donation of $44 will provide 20 girls with one monthly therapeutic group activity. You’ll be helping the girls to build a strong support network and sense of belonging while going through the healing process together.
$100 will enable a trafficking survivor to complete their vocational training, giving them the tools to rebuild their life.