Finding trafficked kids, and getting them away from their "employers" is an exciting and rewarding part of our work.
However, it is only a part of our work. Once the kids are free from the traffickers, our job is to ensure the kids are safe, and can return to their communities and schools.
This part of our work is even more difficult than getting the kids out of factories. It involves finding out why the children were trafficked in the first place - getting to the source of the problem, and then developing the cure.
One of the common causes is a lack of community awareness of the dangers of children going to work far from home.
Another is a family's inability to pay school fees, which causes the children to drop out and then have nothing to do.
And sometimes, families let their kids be trafficked because the family home is simply inadequate.
When we take the trafficked kids home, we have to quickly evaluate the child's living conditions. If the physical building is obviously run down, too small, or (as sometimes happens) non-existent, our top priority is to build a new house.
Here are 2 houses which we have just built for kids who we rescued from factories last December.
... and another:
Apart from fulfilling the very important role of providing a safe roof over the heads of the children, the construction of a new house tells the families that they were right to bring their kids home; that their life is now getting better and they needn't fear the future.
You might notice that we don't put a plaque on the new houses, which is the standard practice for "charity houses." We don't want the families to feel indebted to us - this is their house, which they need and deserve, so we don't need to put the Blue Dragon name on it.
In coming months, we plan to build some more houses in Hue, but there's one that stands out as particularly urgent. This is for one of the boys, named Xiu, who we brought home just a couple of weeks ago. His house is in a perilous state and I can't imagine that it will survive the coming typhoon season.
Anyone with a $2000 - $2500 who wants to change the life of a family - drop me a line at email@example.com!