Friday, May 23, 2008

The end is nigh

The end of the school year is almost upon us! Many Blue Dragon kids have already started their summer break. Woo hoo!

Last weekend, I headed out with a few of the staff and a group of about 8 kids to Bac Ninh province, a beautiful rural area not far from Hanoi where Blue Dragon supports 350 students to go to school.

Our gathering was not simply to celebrate the end of the school year; it was also to celebrate the fact that these kids have persevered with their studies, despite terrible difficulties in their lives. Many have done really well at school, but that's not even the main point: the fact that they have made a commitment to study, and followed it through, was the key theme of the day. We were very proud to be awarding certificates to 18 students who had graduated from Year 12 - what an achievement!

As always, a picture tells...

Here's the crowd, with teachers and officials at the front.

Some of the Year 12 students receiving an award for completing their studies.

Down in the crowd... the kids with the groovy hair are former street kids from Hanoi who came to help out as community service.

One of the Hanoi teens handing out gifts to the kids. Each bag contains items donated by Unilever Vietnam - shampoo, tootpaste, cleaning products, and a toothbrush. Worth a small fortune to these families.

A fruit snack before the kids head home. Man, did that fruit disappear quickly.

In coming days, all of the kids will be on holidays, and then we can turn our attention to the next challenge: how to make sure these kids, and others, can stay in school for another year.

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