A difficult start
Xiu is from an ethnic minority village in the north of Vietnam. His mother left when Xiu was just 2 years old. His father was having great difficulties with drug use, and sent Xiu to work when he turned 8. Xiu spent a few years doing the back breaking work of raising buffaloes with little care and no chance to go to school. He ran away, hoping for a better future in the big city.
No bright lights
In Hanoi, life grew worse. He was malnourished and often beaten by older kids or gangs. He survived by begging on the streets, but was caught by police and placed in a reform school, a place where kids living on the streets or who have got into trouble are held in detention. When Xiu was allowed to leave the reform school, he met Blue Dragon. He moved into our shelter and has since returned to his education, coming home to a safe bed every night.
Once Xiu started back at school, he told his social worker how happy he was to go to school and finally have a home. His younger brother is also now supported by Blue Dragon. Now in Grade 8, Xiu dreams of going to university so that he can help his family when he grows up.
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*Name and photo have been changed