Sunday, January 09, 2011

A little magic, and everything's OK

Recent weeks - and perhaps months - have not been easy.

My last few blog posts have highlighted some very complex cases we're involved in, including some kids who are in very difficult circumstances, and then there was the blog late last year about a strange and difficult situation that our organisation has been in, regarding a robbery at our shelter.

During all of this we've also been preparing for the one big event we hold each year in Hanoi: the Tet Awards, which brings together all of the children receiving our support, past and present, to celebrate their achievements over the last year.

Tet Awards is a big deal for us. This year's was held today at the Hilton Hotel, which straight away tells you that this is a pretty special affair. The Blue Dragon kids are rarely treated to such luxury.

The whole point of the event is to give our kids 3 messages: You are someone special, you are important, and you are cared for. Planning an event that imparts such ideas takes a bit of thought.

Of course, there was lots of singing and dancing. The ceremony kicked off with a dance to "Waving Flag," the anthem of the 2010 World Cup. Our own trophy, for winning the U14's division in the Hanoi Youth Football League, might not be quite as big as the World Cup, but I can tell you that among our kids it's been just as much celebrated.

Our kids then organised a fashion show, woven together using fairy tales from around the world...

an Indian dance...

...and a ballet about a disabled girl wanting to go to school.

One of our kids read a poem that he wrote about his mother, and we finished with a Vietnamese song - "Toi Yeu" (I love).

Being an awards ceremony, there were also a few speeches. Two former beneficiaries who now have jobs helping others (including one who works at Blue Dragon) spoke to the children about hope for the future.

Mrs Lan, whose association for children with disabilities partners with Blue Dragon, praised the kids for their amazing achievements. And 4 of our older 'kids' who no longer need support from Blue Dragon spoke briefly about their lives, telling us all what they're doing now and reminding us how far they've come.

And then there was the Special Awards - 10 award categories in which we recognise the kids who have made an outstanding effort in areas ranging from "Academic Excellence" to "Creativity" and "Strength in Adversity."

Tet Awards is just a 2 hour event, but for our organisation it's the highlight of the year. Along with 320 or so kids, there were dozens of parents and grandparents; there were some Ambassadors and representatives of embassies and NGOs; and there were Blue Dragon staff, former staff, and volunteers.

Sitting on the carpet of the Hilton ballroom, watching our kids shine in so many ways, it occurred to me the challenges we face are nothing when compared to the strength of all the people in that room.

The magic of Tet Awards somehow made everything so much simpler than it has seemed in recent months.

I know we'll get through - and there will be more challenges to come, and we'll get through them, too.


Terynn said...

I love hearing you "brag" about the children, volunteers and graduates of Blue Dragon. It is wonderful to hear how they SHINE.

Best wishes and prayers for a successful, peaceful New Year.

Michael Brosowski said...

Thanks, Terryn. Yes, I do indulge in some bragging, don't I? Just can't help myself! They're such wonderful people!

Van Kim said...

Ahhhh , i have missed an Amazing night ! but congrats to you and the all the kids . You are all always some one special on over the world - at least to me . Congrats again.

natalie kell said...

Oh my goodness, i'm so glad the TET awards turned out so great! It's awesome that all of the children were able be awarded for their well doings! I am back at home in Atl, Ga and we are now having a huge snow storm! Haha, very different from Hanoi. Tell the gang I said hello and I send my love!
Natalie Kell

Amy Ha said...

it's just so beautiful to hear about such a happy events. you all deserve the biggest cheers!

lots of hugs xoxox