Thursday, June 03, 2010

Pieces of paper

As I write, Blue Dragon staff are working in the countryside around Hue - in central Vietnam - in communities where dozens of families live without any form of official registration.

No birth certificates, no marriage certificates, no ID cards, no driver's licence, no land ownership papers.

I'm the first to admit that this is the 'less sexy' aspect of our work. It's hard to get people excited about registering families to receive official recognition from the government. But you just can't fight poverty if that basic first step has not been taken.

The staff are way out of town, along rivers and in beach areas, so I don't have a whole lot of info yet. All I know is that they've turned the usual procedure on its head. Instead of families having to travel to the nearest government office to apply, the government officials are out in the communities going from house to house with Blue Dragon staff to arrange the paperwork there and then. And on Day One, they registered about 40 families this way.

Pretty exciting stuff, if you ask me.


1 comment:

Caitlin said...

Wow, that really is amazing. It's taken three days and four trips to the police already for Mark's office manager to register at her new house, and it's still not done. Taking the officials to the people is truly radical and brilliant.

Another practical and sensible idea for fighting poverty from Blue Dragon. Well done guys.

PS: I feel for the staff out there - it's stinking hot down here!