Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting things done

I'm in Hue now, in central Vietnam, and head back to Hanoi in a few hours.

I've been here with Van, our lawyer who works on rescuing trafficked children, but this trip has had a very positive purpose: we've come to celebrate lunar new year (Tet) with the 60 or so kids we have been helping.

This is the first time that I've met some of the children; in November and December we organised some rescue trips, taking kids out of factories in Ho Chi Minh City and bringing them home, but until now I have not met any of the kids. Although I've seen the photos, I was still shocked to see how tiny the children are - I still can't understand how anyone could make them work 18 hours a day in a factory. Here are 3 of the kids... See what I mean??

For this year's Tet party, we took the children to a nature reserve and hot springs centre, so they could spend a few hours playing and making all the noise they wanted. They really had a great time - and they needed it. Coming home from the factories is just the first step in a long process. Most of these children have really difficult lives; one boy, for example, is 13 and only just now learning to read and write. Another boy, aged 14, studies in Grade 1 - alongside his much younger brother. Forget all romantic notions of 'happily ever after'; it's downright embarrassing for kids to go to school in circumstances like that. I have incredible respect for these teenagers.

Here's a group photo of the kids with their Tet gifts...

... and here are the kids on the slides. Beats working in a factory!

Meantime, in Hanoi, our staff have been working with the little guy below (pictured with his mum). The boy has had an eye infection that festered and almost blinded him; a few days in hospital, and some surgery on both eyes, has given him back most of his sight.

So Blue Dragon is entering the Year of the Tiger with some great achievements. We're proud of these kids!



kerstin said...

.....and I'm proud of you and your team for the work you are doing!!!

Anonymous said...

And we're so, so very proud of you all! Chuc mung nam moi, Blue Dragon! Thinking of you all today and sending over lots and lots of love.