Thursday, May 23, 2013

A big win for Dong

Today there was an exciting announcement on Australian radio. Kathryn Freeman, a former volunteer at Blue Dragon in Vietnam, and now a Board Member of Blue Dragon in Australia, has won a notable award.

Kathryn entered a writing competition held by an organisation called The Footpath Library. She wrote about her relationship to one of the Blue Dragon boys, Dong, who was once a street kid but now works with us as a security guard.

Dong has had a massively difficult childhood, but at every step has made good decisions and, despite everything being against him, has made something of his life. In very large part he has succeeded because of people like Kathryn who have cared for him and made him believe in himself. He's an exceptional young man, and now is immortalised in Kathryn's short story, We held hands.

Dong and Kathryn at the Blue Dragon centre

I can't publish the story here (copyright!) but I have read it - and it deserved to win. In place it had me laughing; then I was crying; and finally I was doing both at the same time. It's a beautiful story. And it will be published in the August edition of Meanjin.

Congratulations, Kathryn, and accolades to you, Dong, for being such a star!

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