Hoa survived sex trafficking. Sinh escaped labor exploitation. Blue Dragon works to ensure they and thousands of other Vietnamese children and families can overcome hardships and build new lives away from poverty and danger.
When Hoa (The names of children have been changed to protect their identities.) travelled to China from Vietnam, she couldn’t imagine the stark horror that awaited her on the other side of the border. The teenage girl left her home in southern Vietnam filled with hope. She had been promised a job that would allow her to build a future away from poverty. But Hoa had been deceived.
The woman who presented her with that life changing opportunity was in fact a human trafficker who had sold Hoa to a brothel.
She had not yet turned 16, but in a flash Hoa was forced to leave her childhood behind. When her exploiters introduced Hoa to her first customer, she decided there and then that she would not stand for it. Determined to have either freedom or death, Hoa ran towards a window and jumped.
Much like Hoa, when 13-year-old Sinh left his home in the majestic mountains of northern Vietnam in pursuit of a better life, he never thought he would wind up sleeping on the streets.
Life was always hard for Sinh’s family, but when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and jobs began evaporating, their struggles became greater than ever.
Convinced he had to relieve his family’s burdens, Sinh travelled over 2,000 kilometers to Saigon to find work. Instead, he found homelessness and slavery.
After being forced to work 14-hour days for no salary at a garment factory, Sinh seized an opportunity to escape and sought shelter on the streets.
The road towards recovery
Hoa and Sinh have been through unimaginable hardship. They both have painful, traumatic experiences to recover from. But they know they are not alone in their healing journeys.
Hoa is one of the 1,778 survivors of human trafficking assisted by Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. And Sinh is among the 627 street children and runaways Blue Dragon has reunited with their families.
A monk who found Sinh sleeping on the streets contacted Blue Dragon for help. Blue Dragon worked with the boy and his family to accompany him home, ensure Sinh and his brother have everything they need to stay in school, and helped his father develop a stable source of income.
When Hoa was rushed to a hospital in January, the doctors realized something terrible had happened to the girl and immediately contacted the authorities. Blue Dragon’s Rescue Team coordinated Hoa’s repatriation and have been caring for her and her family ever since. With support from Blue Dragon, the teenager has healed from her physical wounds, is making great progress towards her psychological recovery. She is now training to become a hairdresser.
Blue Dragon’s mission is to provide exceptional care for Vietnamese children and families in crisis while creating long-term change for a better world. To achieve that goal, the care Blue Dragon provides does not end with rescue. The team of social workers, psychologists, teachers and lawyers ensure children like Sinh and Hoa have everything they need to live in safety and dignity in the long run.
Once children such as Hoa and Sinh regain their physical safety, Blue Dragon provides nutrition, medical and psychological care, accommodation and legal representation, and helps them return to education, access training, and find jobs that they love.
You can rescue Vietnamese children from danger and help them build bright futures by donating to Blue Dragon: www.bluedragon.org/donate
This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt