‘Tan’ comes from a remote village in central Vietnam. His family situation was very difficult as only his mother could work. She earned a meagre salary as a cook in a local kindergarten. In the summer of 2008, a visitor came knocking on their door. It was a man who promised a good and easy job for Tan in Ho Chi Minh City. Tan was keen to help out the family, so he agreed to go with the man. Together with some other kids from his village, he dropped out of school and followed him. He was just 14 years old then.
It was the first time that Tan had left his village. He was very excited to travel to the big city. When he got there, he realised that they had all been tricked. He found himself locked up in a sweatshop and working between 7am and midnight every day.
Tan was so tired, both physically and mentally. There was no way to escape. He felt that he had no future. He could not see the sun as the room where he slept and worked in did not have windows. He lived in that miserable condition for more than one year.
Blue Dragon worked with local authorities and his family to rescue Tan and the other kids from that sweatshop in November 2009. Blue Dragon then supported Tan and all the other kids to go back to school. Tan was so happy to return to a normal life after living in slavery. Blue Dragon helped Tan’s family to build a new house in 2010 to replace the shack they were living in.
After graduating from middle school, Blue Dragon supported Tan through vocational training to be a baker. He then became an apprentice in a 5-star hotel in Hanoi. They were so delighted with him that he ended up working as a full-time baker there.
In May 2016, Tan will return to Saigon. This time, not to work in a sweatshop, but to take part in an international pastry competition. He is one of only 2 staff members from the hotel chosen for this event. We are so proud of Tan.
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