Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Winter is rapidly approaching in northern Vietnam. The cool days are starting to feel cold and everyone is hoping that we don't have another dreadful winter like last year!

As the seasons change, loads is happening at Blue Dragon...

In coming days, our staff will be traveling between Hue in central Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in the south to rescue up to 20 girls and boys who have been trafficked to work in garment factories. A lot of preparation needs to go in to this - we can't just walk from factory to factory in the hope of finding the children - but so far we've been able to gather quite a bit of specific information. Perhaps the saddest case we know of, and will definitely intervene in, is of a small factory that bought a girl over 12 months ago for 4 million Dong - that's a little over $200 US. After working 16 hours per day, 7 days per week, the girl was able to get a message out that she wanted to escape. An adult friend tried to help, but all he managed to do was arrange to replace the girl with her younger brother, who now has to put up with the same conditions but equally wants - and needs - to get out. He will. Barring some unforeseen intercosmic calamity, he'll be free by Sunday.

Blue Dragon staff are also preparing for our first court case. We have long hired 2 young Legal Advocates who work with the police and with kids in trouble with the law, but this is the first time that one of our boys will have to front up in court. The boy has definitely done wrong - he badged a Mercedes! - but we're hoping that the penalty won't be too severe. It's a tense time as we get ready for the case, although I must say that the police have been supportive and helpful to both us and the boy throughout the whole process.

And preparations of a much happier nature... Christmas and Lunar New Year (Tet) are coming, and in 2009 Tet is unusually early. We're planning parties and celebrations, including our annual Tet Awards Night where all the kids receive certificates and gifts. It'll be a blast - it always is!


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