Saturday, January 27, 2007

I can't believe it IS butter!

An important part of our philosophy at Blue Dragon is that family members should be involved in our work with their children - if possible. Often it isn't.

Some kids have no family, of course; and some do have family, but they are uninterested in their own kids, and so don't want any involvement.

Still others have families in the countryside, and while we communicate as much as possible with them, it isn't possible for us to go and visit all of the families of the kids in our programs.

About a year ago, we started working with a teenage girl named Tuoi; she's bright and has a heart of gold, but was trapped in a domestic labour position, working 10 or 12 hours a day for $10 a month. A local community center, called Mai Am, alerted us to the situation and we helped Tuoi to get out of her situation and go back to school.

As usual, our work was multi-faceted. We helped Tuoi's mother in the countryside get medical help (Tuoi was working so that she could send her mother medicine). We helped Tuoi find accommodation, gave her a bicycle, enrolled her in a school, and we continue to supply her with food and clothing. During last year's summer holiday period, she joined a 3 month vocational training course in cooking, as she wanted to learn some extra skills instead of taking a break.

All good - and all pretty normal for the Blue Dragon staff to cover such a broad range of needs for one child.

This week, one of Tuoi's aunties came in from the countryside, a four hour bus ride to Hanoi. She not only wanted to see Tuoi; she also needed to see us.

Her neighbours, she said, had urged her to come and check us out. Why? Because they had never heard of a program that would do so much for one young girl. They were suspicious of us, because they couldn't imagine anything quite that good!

So she came to the center, had a look around, talked to the staff... and went home satisfied. We are real, after all!

I receive a lot of compliments, and they don't go to my head because I get an equal number of insults. But this is one compliment that I truly am proud of.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very cool... keep up the good you bring to the world.