“Since 2003, Blue Dragon has transformed the lives of over 68,000 children, one child at a time. For all the many children who have gone on to become engineers, top award-winning chefs or successful business owners, one great example of the success of our approach is Huong*. Huong came to us as a hungry, cold and fearful kid who had the lowest self-esteem I had ever encountered. It took many months to gain his trust and build his confidence. When Huong eventually returned to school after a break of five years, he struggled, but he was determined to get his life back on track. Today, Huong has a secure job as a garbage collector. He is married and has a baby on the way, and his income has been enough to build a small house for his family. He is happy and stable, and that’s all we ask for. Huong is one of our biggest success stories and his life – and the lives of the countless thousands of children, family members, communities and local authorities – are the inspiration for our work today.”
Michael Brosowski AM, Founder
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In Hanoi, we have transformed the lives of over 2,000 street kids and children in crisis. Kids like Lan* who ran away from home when he was 13 because his family was so poor. He walked 350 kilometres from his hometown to Hanoi with nothing to eat. Luckily, he met another street kid who knew Blue Dragon. We took him home, obtained his legal papers and now support Lan to stay in school.
Trafficked for child labour
We have directly rescued 386 children from their places of slavery, including Thuy*, who was trafficked when she was only 12 years old. A neighbour promised her training in Ho Chi Minh City far from home, her parents never realising she would be forced to work 16 hour days bent over a sewing machine. Blue Dragon rescued Thuy and she is now at University studying to become a teacher!
Trafficked to the sex trade
We have rescued 230 young women from forced marriage or brothels. Girls like Hanh*, tricked and sold to an underground brothel in China at the age of 16. She was in this awful situation for six months before we heard her story from her family and started a search. After her rescue, Blue Dragon has supported Hanh to return to school where she’s achieved excellent results.
We have provided health care, medical treatment and therapy, education, nutrition and counselling for 44 children with disabilities like Anh*, born with Cerebral Palsy. Anh is extremely intelligent but she was unable to find a place at school. Since 2007, Anh has weekly tutoring at Blue Dragon and sees a physical therapist once a week. Anh’s positive attitude is an inspiration to Blue Dragon staff and kids.
*Not their real names
Photos of street kids and trafficked girl courtesy of James Vigliano