Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Crazy schemes

The plans I described in yesterday's blog are taking on a life of their own - 'evolving', I call it.

In a blog some months back, I described The Crying Day in a village that had learnt the truth about the fate of their children: that the traffickers were using them as slave labour, in dangerous and vulnerable conditions.

Now we know that, following that terrible day, nine families confronted the traffickers to demand that their children be allowed home. They succeeded.

But we also know that yesterday, one more trafficker was in the same village, and rounded up eight more children. This morning, the trafficker and the kids went to Saigon.

It's not all bad news, though, because we have good reason to believe that the trafficker, a woman, will soon be in prison. I'm looking forward to making that announcement soon.

Meantime I am still in Hanoi, with lots on the go here. I've just returned from seeing Narnia at the cinema with 9 of the Blue Dragon kids (compliments of Rachel and Phil - THANKS!) and the next two days will be taken up with the Vietnam Innovation Day. Our staff and vols spent this afternoon decorating booths at the Horison Hotel in preparation for two days of competing for some funding grants.

Hanging out at five star hotels competing for donations isn't quite how I like to spend my time... but fingers crossed for a good result. (If we succeed, we will receive grants to improve our services for girls, and to train our staff in awareness of disability issues).

So while my time is fully occupied here at the center, my mind is torn between here and the action surrounding the trafficked children. I am extremely fortunate, at times like this, to be working with such an amazing team here at Blue Dragon - everyone from the social workers to the accountant are on board with all the crazy schemes currently on the boil. I could never do all this on my own.

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