The 2020 Blue Dragon Marathon Walk will be a virtual event, so that anyone in the world can join. Here’s why the Walk is so important to the lives of young people in crisis.
For 16-year-old Hien, the cooking course she is taking to become a chef is much more than just a class. It’s an opportunity to turn her life around and put some dark days behind her.
And that is exactly what this year’s Blue Dragon Marathon Walk aspires to do: give disadvantaged youth the opportunity to build a future free from poverty and danger.
Hien was deceived and trafficked from Vietnam to China when she was just a girl. Blue Dragon has been helping her to recover from her traumatic experience since she was rescued in July 2019.
For young people like Hien, who have faced extremely painful ordeals such as trafficking, abuse, or homelessness, true recovery goes beyond receiving psychological support, nutrition or shelter. Recovery also means regaining control over their lives and pursuing their dreams.
To achieve that, Blue Dragon helps young people return to school or, if they prefer to enter the workforce, offers career preparation and job placement support.
The social workers at Blue Dragon hold orientation sessions, organize workshops and training courses, and arrange visits to vocational training centres. Through this guidance, the teens explore employment possibilities, discover what their strengths are and find their passions.
Through counselling and visits to vocational schools, Hien realized that she really loves cooking, and so she decided to get qualified as a chef.
Since she began studying in June, she has been loving the lessons and made many new friends. Now she finally feels she is getting the fresh start she deserves.
Career preparation in the aftermath of COVID-19
Because of the financial crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, Blue Dragon’s career preparation and job placement services have become even more crucial.
Almost 31 million people in Vietnam have seen their jobs vanish, their incomes reduced, or been furloughed as a result of COVID-19. And with opportunities becoming scarcer and competition rising, young people are struggling to find employment.
This scenario is particularly damaging for disadvantaged youth, as their circumstances make it more difficult for them to access education and training.
Blue Dragon aims to remedy this by sending 500 disadvantaged young people to education and training, and helping them find jobs so they can break the cycle of poverty and stand on their own feet.
And you can help achieve this.
Walk to give youth a brighter future
The Blue Dragon Marathon Walk is a global event that will take place on Sunday, September 13 to raise the funds to make this happen. All you need to participate is comfortable footwear, and the determination to take on the challenge of walking a full or half marathon.
You can participate from wherever you are (always following the local recommendations to stay safe), solo or in a group.
Once you have decided the distance and whether you will walk on your own or in a team, all that’s left is sign up, and start training.
Ask your friends and family to sponsor you, and all the money you raise will help young people like Hien get into training and jobs.
The Blue Dragon Marathon Walk is held every year with the support of The Intrepid Foundation.