Searching for Safety:

The story of two boys sleeping rough during the global pandemic

As featured on ABC’s “Pandemic Warriors.”

The Delta variant hit Vietnam hard in 2021, and in July Hanoi locked down. As the pandemic cast a shadow on the city, two teenage boys found themselves in a situation they never expected: they were homeless. Without any jobs available, they had to rely on begging to survive.

Tuan and Phi are two H’mong teens from a remote province in northwestern Vietnam. They had never met until their circumstances and fate brought them both to Hanoi. They were 15 years old and were both looking for jobs to help their families.

The city seemed almost empty and after days without food, Tuan and Phi were exhausted. They had nowhere to go and nothing to eat. Their only option was to sleep on the streets.

When Blue Dragon met Tuan and Phi with the ABC film crew, they had been living at an empty construction site in concrete blocks under the scorching summer heat for a week. We provided them with food and clothes but it took a few days to win their trust before they accepted our offer to stay in an emergency shelter.

 

The boys found more than a place to sleep. They were safe. They helped cook meals and clean up, played badminton with other kids, and joined a career counselling workshop organised by Blue Dragon.

 

“When I was on the streets, there were days I didn’t have anything to eat. And sometimes there were perverts who approached me.

But I am safe now and so happy to have a place to stay.”

- Tuan -

Blue Dragon contacted their families and assisted them to return home. Both Tuan and Phi are now safe. As the pandemic is now under control, Blue Dragon is building a longer plan together with their families. Whatever the future holds, Blue Dragon will be with them.

Blue Dragon’s work with Tuan and Phi appeared in the short film on ABC TV, “Pandemic Warriors.” 

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