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DRAGON TALES

The Street Ambassador


15 year old Cuong* was living on the streets of Hanoi before he met Blue Dragon. Cuong now lives at one of our shelters, where he has thrived with the right support and nurturing. As it turns out, he has a talent for spotting children in crisis and introducing them to the safety of Blue Dragon. He recognizes kids who are new to the streets by observing clues, like whether or not they are wearing shoes. Cuong knows what a street kid looks like, and what they feel like: alone and scared, with nobody to turn to. One day, Cuong introduced our team to a boy who had run away from home or more precisely, biked away after an argument with his parents. The boy was so angry, he took a bag, some money and bicycled all the way to Hanoi from a neighbouring province. Cuong met him on the street, and told him he could eat a good meal and have a rest at Blue Dragon. The boy came to our centre, and after meeting with a social worker decided to go home and work out the problem with his family. We cant imagine what might have happened to him if he had been left to fend for himself. Instead, our team brought him home and the boy has now returned to school. By introducing street kids to a safe and healthy environment, Cuong changes lives. We are proud he has become an Ambassador for Blue Dragon.
Cuongs gone from sleeping rough to helping get kids off the streets

March 2014

Chuc Mung Nam Moi!


Happy Year of the Horse! The Ninth Tet Awards in January celebrated Vietnams Lunar New Year and kids achievements during a fun-filled night of games and performances. The fashion show was an exciting highlightall the clothes were inspired by healthy food. Some of the outfits were made completely of vegetables!

Were now on eBay


Do you love online shopping? Blue Dragon Childrens Foundation USA is now on eBay! When you sell an item on eBay, you have the option to donate anywhere from 10% to 100% of proceeds to benefit children in crisis in Vietnam. If youre shopping, you can also donate to Blue Dragon at checkout. Visit our eBay page to learn more about this easy way to fundraise.

Rescues in the news


This is one of the best articles about Blue Dragons rescue work that I have read, says Michael Brosowski, Founder and CEO of Blue Dragon, about an investigative piece featured in Brandeis Magazine. Read the full article here.

www.bluedragon.org

info@bdcf.org

Whats new at Blue?


Learning to work together
The brightly coloured Early Intervention Centre at Blue Dragon for children 5 to 10 years is a great way for the youngest kids in our care to learn to work together, especially around lunchtime. The children are very responsible and cooperative. While the food is cooked by an adult staff member, the kids set the table with bowls and chopsticks; after enjoying their meal, they even take charge of clearing the table by bringing their dishes to the sink and making sure there arent any spills. Learning how to take care of the centre and each other is a great skill for these little ones! March 2014 Page 2

Visitor Highlights
TRAFFIC, an organization committed to ending the illegal wildlife trade, has been coming to Dragon House to talk about how children can stand up for the environment. Thanks for sharing this important information. In January, US Consul General Rena Bitter met children and staff at our centre in Hue, where we coordinate the rescue and care of trafficked children. Consul General Bitter saw firsthand the impact of funding provided by the US Government. Twice a week, Blue Dragon children and staff welcome visitors to Dragon House as part of their tour with Intrepid Travel. Travellers are treated to a visit around the centre and Breakfast with the Stars (the kids!). Intrepid generously match any donations dollar for dollar.

Congratulations to Yen!
Yen, who has been with Blue Dragon since high school, has just completed her degree at the University of Civil Engineering; she received a rare near-perfect score in her final thesis. Yen is currently interning at the engineering firm of one of our Blue Dragon supporters. Well done, Yen! If you like hearing about the Blue Dragon kids, sign up for our blog and receive stories directly to your inbox.
Yen the Engineer at work

www.bluedragon.org

info@bdcf.org

Getting Results
An act of courage
In 2013, Blue Dragon rescued a 17 year old girl named Hanh* who was trafficked to a brothel in China. She was held for six months before she found a mobile phone she could use to call for help. Over the phone, Blue Dragons antitrafficking team successfully engineered Hanhs escape and safe journey home. But theres more to Hanhs story. While on the phone, Hanh quietly revealed there was another Vietnamese girl in the brothel who had also been kidnapped. Her name was Thi.* Make no mistake: what Hanh did was extremely courageous. If a brothel guard had overheard plans of an escape, Hanh and Thi would surely have been beaten and the phone taken. It would have been safer for Hanh not to say anything at all. In spite of the dangers, Hanh risked her own escape to help Thi because she still had hope: hope that if one girl could be freed, so could two with the help that was on the way. Blue Dragon rescued both girls two days later and brought them home to their worried families. Today, they have returned to high school, and our team remains in close contact. Hanhs story is an important lesson. Her act of courage reminds us that even in the most desperate of situations, we are all capable of changing a life.
The girls just after their rescue

March 2014 Page 3

Kids helping kids!


Ly,* 13 years old, is a naturally curious girl. Since meeting her three years ago, Blue Dragon has seen her interests evolve as she encounters new experiences at her school in rural Bac Ninh province. She has thought at times of becoming a painter, a doctor, a fashion designer even a scholar of Vietnamese literature!
Reading relaxes me, says Ly

Hanh, Thi and other rescued girls on a trip with Blue Dragon

Did you know? In Vietnam, most children in public school are enrolled for halfdays. Some students attend extra tutoring sessions, but children from poor families who cannot afford to do so are always at a disadvantage. If youd like to sponsor a child like Ly, write to sponsorship@bdcf.org

Ly has motivation to study and more: she also wants to make a difference in her community.

Last year, Ly started a reading club with her twin brother and friends so that all the kids in her village could have access to books. During the summer I wanted to open a small library and I did that with a lot of friends in the village. Reading books relaxes me, she says. We are proud of Ly for encouraging reading in her community. By helping others, she brings Blue Dragons values to life.

www.bluedragon.org

info@bdcf.org

Featured Fundraisers
March 2014

Unite and change a life


When you think of a get-together with friends, what do you see? A dinner party? A night at the movies? How about making a difference for a child in need? A group of friends in Tasmania have commited to supporting the education and care of three disadvantaged girls in Vietnam. They regularly collect funds, and have even organised a successful Fashion Show fundraiser. The women have a range of backgrounds: psychologist, PhD supervisor, jewelry shop owner, science and maths teacher, firefighter, and social worker. But they are united in understanding what it means when girls can increase their access to education. The girls these wonderful women are assisting are also diverse: a young woman rescued from a brothel in China who has started her own business, an 11 year old girl from rural Bac Ninh province, and a university student from Central Vietnam studying for her teaching degree. If you are inspired to gather like-minded individuals to make a difference, please contact us at info@bdcf.org.

Sign up nearly closed...


...for Rally Indochina 2014! The ride kicks off 14 April in Hanoi. Will you be there?

Wellington Book Fair


The annual Blue Dragon Book Fair hosted by Blue Dragon Childrens Trust New Zealand will take place Saturday 5 April, at the Ngaio Town Hall in Wellington. You can find CDs and plenty of good reads.

Are you in Sydney?

Update your wardrobe for a good cause! You can do just that on 27 March at four Blue Illusion boutiques in Sydney, NSW. Fashion parades will be held at their Mona Vale, Burwood, Mosman and Balmain locations. Donated books are still Enjoy the parade of unique needed! Find out more on the Blue Illusion looks. Proceeds will support children in need in events Facebook page. Vietnam. For more information, email info@bdcf.org.

More upcoming events in New Zealand and Australia listed on the next page!

Staff Profile: Nguyen Thi Huong Lan Educational Psychologist Since September 2010 What is your role? I give career advice to youth over 15 years old, conduct workshops on life skills and values, and provide counselling support for kids and staff. What is your favourite part? My work is very rewarding. Its not just about how much the kids or local communities change I also see many positive changes in myself, too. What have the kids taught you? One of the most meaningful lessons is for me as a parent. If parents could be a little more responsible, loving and caring, there would be fewer kids who are so unhappy. What do you think of relationships kids make at Blue? Many kids have bad memories of previous caregivers, so its hard to build relationships. Actually, relationships may not be hard to start, but theyre easy to break if kids dont have good social skills! But after being in a safe, friendly environment, kids show us a much more positive side. Theyll display a willingness to help others, and weve seen many kids find best friends at Blue Dragon!

Blue Dragon Childrens Foundation is an Australian grassroots organisation. We rely on support from donors, sponsors and fundraisers around the world to continue our work with disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.

www.bluedragon.org

info@bdcf.org

DRAGON TALES
March 2014 Are you in Australia or New Zealand in May and June?

Save the Date!


Australia fundraisers
Saturday 10 May: Sydney Quiz with a Cause with food by Miss Chu, the Queen of Rice Paper Rolls Randwick Town Hall, Randwick 7pm Reserve your table today with TryBooking.com Saturday 17 May: Dinner with Michael Brosowski Bay Tinh Vietnamese Restaurant, Marrickville 7pm Space limited to 40 people. Book now with TryBooking.com Sunday 25 May: Melbourne Trivia night, with great prizes and Trivia fun Richmond Town Hall, Melbourne 7pm For more information, email claire@bdcf.org

Michael Brosowski, Founder and CEO of Blue Dragon, will be at the following events to share inspriational stories about the organisations pioneering work. It would be great to see you there!

New Zealand fundraisers


Saturday 31 May: Vietnamese Banquet and Auction. Come and join your community for some fantastic prizes. Venue TBA, Taupo For more information, email claire@bdcf.org Thursday 5 June: Charity boxing match and auction organised by our friend Dean Spicer ABA Arena, Auckland Time TBA You can find out more, and book tickets, by emailing deanajspicer@icloud.com. Saturday 7 June: Charity Ball organised by Catherine Spicer Venue TBA, Wellington You can find out more, and book tickets, by emailing deanajspicer@icloud.com.

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