What is Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation?
Blue Dragon is an Australian charity that aims to make a lasting change for kids in crisis throughout Vietnam. Since our small beginnings in 2003, Blue Dragon has become a powerful force for change on the streets of Vietnam, both in the cities and in the rural areas where poverty is widespread. Blue Dragon offers Vietnam’s most disadvantaged families the chance to turn their lives around, providing practical solutions to the daily problems that are keeping poverty alive.
For children in Vietnam who are born into poverty, there is little hope for the chance of a better life. More than 75% of the population lives in rural areas, where rice farming is the major industry and whole families earn as little as $1 – $2 a day. Children from the countryside are often forced to quit school and move to the cities to find work on the streets, where they are at risk from all sorts of dangers such as crime, sexual exploitation, drug abuse, and disease.
Blue Dragon believes that the best way to end poverty is through education and training. We provide opportunities to children in rural and urban areas, to give kids a chance to study wherever they are. To ensure success, children are offered social, legal, and academic support services, including accommodation. We do all we can to help each child along the path to achieving their dreams.
Who do we help?
Blue Dragon helps kids in crisis throughout Vietnam, includ- ing street kids; runaways; victims of trafficking; children with disabilities; young rural-urban migrants; kids affected by drugs and HIV/AIDS; homeless families; child prisoners; and the rural poor.
What does the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation do?
Every year, Blue Dragon…
- Sends over 800 kids to school and training Provides accommodation to over 60 kids
- Distributes over 500L of milk and 2400kg of rice to hungry children
- Reunites up to 40 runaways with their families Takes over 100 children to visit a doctor Obtains legal registration papers for nearly 50 children Rescues over 20 trafficked children
- Plays over 300 games of soccer
- Blue Dragon’s central aim is to get children into school and to keep them there with the ultimate goal of improving their employability and long-term prospects. To achieve this, many other tasks are undertaken. Accommodation is provided or repair/refurbishment of their existing home if living conditions simply aren’t suitable. Out-of-school tuition is provided to help children study. Books and stationary are given to those who can’t afford them.
- Medical care is paid for in some extreme cases where it can save the life or lifestyle of a child. To date, two instances of cosmetic surgery (one facial tumor and one hare lip) have been funded or part-funded by Blue Dragon. These two operations have allowed the afflicted children to return to an education that they were previously excluded from as a result of their conditions. Another boy, seriously injured by a gang wielding knives and machetes, was nursed back to health with the help of Blue Dragon and returned to an almost normal life afterwards.
- Child trafficking is a major issue in SE Asia, and Blue Dragon now tackles this as a permanent part of its workload. Two staff members work full-time on locating and rescuing children who have been bought, traded or kidnapped by child laborers. The parents of many of these children believe they are sending them to a better life with an opportunity for education and a proper job. However, this is not the case and the children find themselves working 15 or more hours per day with no pay, and living in cramped unsanitary conditions.