Children and teens who run away are highly vulnerable to all sorts of abuse. The sooner we get them off the streets, the better.
Once they are home, my team does not always hear from them again. We manage to stay in touch with some kids, but others may change their phone numbers (that happens a lot in Vietnam!) and if they live far from Hanoi, we might not get the chance to see them again.
On Friday last week, Blue Dragon's lawyer, Van, was in the countryside helping a trafficked girl with a legal issue, and it occurred to him that he had been in this area before.
Some years ago, Van had had quite an adventure taking a runaway boy named Cuong back to his family. I wrote this story about what happened in September 2007.
So on Friday, Van decided to drop in and see how Cuong was going!
Cuong is 18 now, and a very happy young man. He works with his father on building sites and since returning to his family after his stint on the streets, Cuong has had no further problems at home.
Interestingly, he remembered all of his Blue Dragon friends by and was interested to know how they all were. Van rang me, and I had a chance to talk to Cuong over the phone for a few minutes.
It sure is a nice feeling to catch up with a kid we helped 4 years ago, and to know that his life is on track!
Cuong and Van in 2007...
Cuong and Van on Friday!