Today Blue Dragon is excited to announce the appointment of Vi Do to the role of co-CEO, along with our current co-CEO Skye Maconachie.
Founder Michael Brosowski is leaving the co-CEO role, but staying on with Blue Dragon in the role of Founder and Strategic Director. In this role, he will be focusing on the organisation’s vision to end human trafficking.
Vi has been a staff member of Blue Dragon since 2009, although his history with us goes back long before that. So we put some questions to Vi to find out more!
1. Tell us about your history with Blue Dragon – how did your relationship with the organisation begin?
In 2003, when I was 15 years old, I met Michael Brosowski on the street in Hà Nội city. At that time, Blue Dragon had not even started. I was a shoeshine boy and offered to shine Michael’s shoes. As soon as I knew he was an English teacher and offered free lessons on the weekend, I joined his class with another of my friends, Điệp. A few months later, Blue Dragon began and helped me to have a safe place to live and go back to studying. From that time, I didn’t have to work on the street anymore. My life totally changed.
2. You’ve been an employee of Blue Dragon since 2009. What has been the focus of your work in that time?
When I came back to work for Blue Dragon, I asked Michael: Who is going out on the street today to find street kids? It used to be Michael’s job, but at that time Michael was the CEO and he didn’t have time to do that anymore. So that became my job. I went out to find kids sleeping rough under bridges, at parks, and around the lakes. I started working with kids who have run away from their families and kids who have been sexually abused, or experienced domestic violence. Sometimes they’re in gangs. I help them to get off the street and solve the problem that got them there in the first place.
After I had been doing that work for about 10 years, I became the manager of Blue Dragon’s program in Hanoi, leading a team of 40 professionals to care for children who have been abused, trafficked and neglected. I focused on building a strong team and work culture within Blue Dragon and also reaching out to partners and finding resources in the community to help us achieve our mission.
3. Why did you decide to apply for the role of co-CEO?
Blue Dragon is on the verge of reaching a new level, with a huge opportunity to make a massive impact on the world. I have a passion and vision to bring us forward to expand our impact in the community. Becoming Blue Dragon’s co-CEO is a great opportunity to implement that vision.
To achieve Blue Dragon’s mission, I want to inspire and empower passionate leaders within our organisation and society. We need to create a safe, agile environment and a culture of staff sharing, caring, and standing up for what’s right. And we need to connect with the world, sharing our mission so that we will inspire the world to act.
4. What do you hope to achieve in the coming years? What’s your vision for the future of Blue Dragon?
I hope that we are able to expand our work to new areas of Vietnam. We will have a super star team to support more people around the country. We need to scale up our partnership with businesses, government partners, other organisations, and people to mobilize resources to achieve our mission of ending human trafficking.
5. What’s your favourite thing about Blue Dragon?
I love the smiles of the children at the Drop-In Center. It means to me that they are safe and happy — and Blue Dragon exists for that reason.
6. In this new position, you will be one of two CEOs along with Skye Maconachie. What does it mean to be a co-CEO, as opposed to a CEO on your own?
It means that we will each work to our different strengths to run the organisation. We can focus on areas we are really good at and support each other. I have known and worked with Skye for many years, both in ‘normal’ times and during crisis situations. We are good team players and I am so happy to be the co-CEO with her.
7. Your story is an inspiring one: you’re now becoming the co-CEO of a charity that helped you when your life was very different. What do you hope the children of Blue Dragon, and other disadvantaged young people around the world, can learn from your experience?
I felt like I was at the bottom of society when I lived on the street. I didn’t believe in myself or think I could ever change my life. Now I am a co-CEO and in a position to help others, I hope that the children of Blue Dragon will believe in themselves that their dreams can come true. It may take a lot of work and time, but it is possible.