Monday, March 15, 2010


Blue Dragon works with about 900 kids throughout Vietnam.

Whenever I tell someone that statistic, I am always asked: Who do they live with? If the Blue Dragon residences only hold up to 50 kids, then where do the rest of the kids live?

In fact, nearly all of the kids we work with have some family, somewhere. It might just be an uncle who lives in the countryside, or a grandmother; but there's nearly always a relative to be found.

Most of our kids live with either their mother or father, or a grandparent. The typical story of our kids in Hanoi is that a parent is either dead or in prison, and the child is being raised by relatives.

Over the last weekend, one of the Blue Dragon staff was out in the countryside trying to track down the parents of one young boy who has only just joined us. He claims to have no idea at all of who or where his parents are, but he was able to lead us to a family who he lived with for a short time before coming to Hanoi. It's a bit like following a trail of crumbs, but we're on the way.

As an organisation, we have to make a real effort to involve parents and the community. The pics below are of parents and carers of the children in our Hanoi programs; we gathered them all together one weekend to talk about what we're doing, and how we're helping their children. In Hoi An, too, where we run a home for 30 kids, the relatives are invited to meetings from time to time, and encouraged to visit whenever they can.

Even street kids usually have families somewhere. Part of the work of a charity like Blue Dragon is helping the kids find their relatives and keep up contact with them.

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