Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Launch, farewell, watch, welcome back

Launch: With the summer holidays coming to an end, Blue Dragon held the annual Opening Ceremony for our 350 school kids in Bac Ninh province, just north of Hanoi. These children are supported by sponsors around the world, whose donations pay for text books, school fees, uniforms, and gear such as bags and stationery.

Farewell: James and Alison Kember, some of Blue Dragon's strongest supporters (and also, in their spare time, New Zealand's ambassadors to Vietnam) are heading home after a three year posting to Hanoi. Alison has been teaching English to some of the school girls at the Blue Dragon centre; these girls have just graduated from Year 12 and have benefited enormously from all the extra tuition they have received. The farewells for both Alison and James have been moving, but we know we will see them again soon...

... and we've also just said farewell to Heather Campbell, a member of the Blue Dragon Committee in NSW Australia who took leave from her career to work with us for about 5 months. It's been terrific having her here, and she's really become a part of the family - but time now to go back to work!

Watch: Some great volunteers have made a short film about one of the Blue Dragon kids named Toan, who has been with us for about 4 years now. Check this out for some insight into the life of a former street kid .

Welcome back: And we're thrilled to welcome back to Vietnam two of our kids, Quyen and Nghia, who have just spent 3 amazing weeks in Thailand! The Royal Thai Embassy invited them to join 20 other Vietnamese youth on a cultural exchange to northern Thailand, and what an EXTRAORDINARY time they've had. We went out to the airport to welcome them back on Monday, and I swear they've grown taller and infinitely more confident in just a few weeks. In the pic below, Nghia is the boy standing behind the guard; and Quyen is wearing the pink hat.


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