The past weeks have been hard on the Blue Dragon team. Sorry for the silence, both on the blog and on Facebook, but it's difficult to 'get back to normal' while everyone is still grieving.
We haven't been sitting about listlessly, though. We still have more than 1300 kids in our care who need us for support, and many of them have also been affected by Nghia's death.
Over the years, Nghia had lent a hand to many other young disadvantaged people, and recently he was looking out for his older brothers and a group of boys who were unemployed. These kids are all devastated, and Blue Dragon has had to step up to help them through these weeks.
More than a month ago, I wrote about our sadness at one of the kids from our Shelter being detained to a Reform School for 2 years. We believe he has a case for being released, and are still working on that, although the signs are all bad so far.
A lot of effort is also going in to our search for a new centre. Some time during this year, Blue Dragon needs to move out of its current building, which means our drop-in centre, classrooms, lunch room, and office all need to relocate. This is a major undertaking, and finding a new building (or land) which can fit us all in is taking a long time. Much of my own time over the past 2 weeks has been out looking at buildings - I feel like I know enough to become a real estate agent now. But it's been draining, and I look forward to having some good news about our plans.
The strength of our kids and staff has kept Blue Dragon going through these tough times. Now, just as Nghia would want, we must all be strong for the kids who need us.
And a quick note of thanks once again to all who have been in contact with messages of support. These have been very much appreciated.