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DRAGON TALES

School’s in Session!
Did you know? Children in Vietnam attend school for about four hours a day in rural areas, six days a week, from September to May. Most days begin with a test!

Excited for the school year to begin!
It’s back to school time in Vietnam and nervous students everywhere are asking: Will I like my teacher? How much homework will I have? Who will I sit next to? The Blue Dragon children have to worry about these things – and just a bit more. This September might be the first time they’ve attended school. They might be worried about how their family is going to manage without their income. They wonder: how am I going to continue my education? ‘Thao’ is one of the 800 disadvantaged students Blue Dragon supports in rural Bac Ninh province. She’s just 14 years old, but she really gave us something to think about. “My biggest goal is to graduate from high school, but after that I’m not sure if I should go on to university. First, my family is poor so they might not be able to support me. Second, my mom is pregnant and she needs money for the new baby. Third, everybody thinks just because I’m a girl I shouldn’t be learning; that if I finish university, I’ll find a job away from home, marry someone far away, and not help my parents. Also, I’m not sure if I can pass the entrance exam. Many people in my area have graduated from university but they can’t find a job, or some of them have to pay a bribe to get a job. My family cannot do that. That’s what I think.” After reading what Thao had to say, we’ll be doing everything we can to encourage her to continue her education and get a great job afterwards! But we can’t do it without your help. The gift of your sponsorship will keep children like Thao in school, where they belong. Need more information? Visit our sponsorship page to learn more.

Getting ready for classes...

A Big Thank You to all our sponsors who support a child’s education – your $28 a month is making their dreams a reality.

info@bdcf.org
www.streetkidsinvietnam.com

DRAGON TALES

Highlights
Halong Bay, Here we Come!
In June, Blue Dragon’s kids with disabilities got out of the crowded city on our annual Disabilities Trip to Halong Bay. Everyone had a fantastic time splashing in the water and enjoying the beautiful scenery. The trip was also a chance for their tireless caregivers to recharge and refresh. The kids, families and our staff were treated like royalty by our friends at the Ha Long Pearl Hotel, who greeted every child with a thoughtful gift — and a flower! Thanks for a great trip!

Vietnam September 2012

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225 children rescued to date
Up to now, Blue Dragon has rescued 225 children who have been trafficked. We’re gaining enormous expertise in this area – and that means we’ll be able to rescue even more children. Blue Dragon was recently consulted for an article in Thanh Nien News on child labour and trafficking into sweatshops and factories. We highlighted the need for families to be consulted and supported during the process of rescue and beyond. Our founder, Michael, was quoted as saying that, once the children are home from the sweatshop, there remains a lot more work to do. “For example, we must ensure the children’s families are safe and well. We must also pay attention to the needs of the whole community.” This could mean supporting a child’s educations or building a road for the community to help them access markets - which we were able to do with support from Rally Indochina and Cooper Investors. It was all smiles in Halong Bay Did you know? According to UNICEF, about 52% of children with disabilities do not attend school in Vietnam

Latest rescues

Since the last edition of Dragon Tales, we’ve rescued nine more children. Eight were rescued from garment factories in Ho Chi Minh City and are The girl rescued from China was now back home.One girl was rescued from brought across the border to China, and hers is an Vietnam by Blue Dragon staff amazing story...but not all the details can be released just yet as the trafficker has not been caught. We’re thrilled to tell you she is back in Vietnam and safe with her family. Keep up to date with this and other trafficking stories on the Blue Dragon Blog: www.vietnamstreets.blogspot.com

Have you met Bluey the Dragon?
Thanks to everyone who is keeping up with the New Centre’s progress by watching Bluey at work. He’s been a busy dragon, as you can see from his videos! What do you think Bluey should get up to next? Let us know at info@bdcf.org

info@bdcf.org
www.streetkidsinvietnam.com

What’s New at Blue?
A New Centre for street kids is about to open!

DRAGON TALES
Vietnam September 2012

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Thanks to your generous support, renovations are nearly complete and we are moving this month! We can now increase • The number of disadvantaged children we help at our centre: from 60 to over 100 every day • The number and type of activities we can offer: from four classrooms to six and a multipurpose room • Our connection to street children: a location that’s easy to find and a purpose-built Drop In Centre

Construction is almost finished on our new Drop In Centre!

We’re going on a great ride for a great cause
Once a year, Rally Indochina organise an exclusive group of committed motor bike riders to follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail, from Hanoi to Saigon. The ride is an amazing adventure and it raises significant funds for trafficked children. Last year, they donated a massive $60,000+ to Blue Dragon. Registration for next year’s trip in April is now open – and places are filling fast! More info at www. rallyindochina.com

We’re meeting our Supporters
• In August, we hosted Ambassador David Carden, the American Ambassador to ASEAN, who spoke with us about trafficking issues in the region.  • In October, we’ll host a group of 19 students from the Canadian International School in Singapore. Through their fundraising efforts, they’ll work with us in a rural school to improve facilities and conditions for impoverished students. • In July, Hutt International Boys School helped out with the construction of a playground in Hue. Thanks guys!

We’re improving our monitoring and evaluation System
Urban Care is a social enterprise based in Viet Nam offering system solutions for aid organisations. Over a two year period, Urban Care will donate their time to build a monitoring and evaluation system which will help Blue Dragon ensure that our work stays effective and efficient as we grow. Our administrative costs are very low (about 6%), so this donation represents something we could never dream to develop without this generous assistance. Check out the Urban Care blog for more.

We’re getting ready to ride the rails
The Intrepid Foundation is once again showing their great support for Blue Dragon by matching dollar for dollar any funds raised for the Ultimate Train Challenge, to be held in April/May 2013. Participants in the Challenge, many of whom are travel bloggers who report on the event, travel from Lisbon to Saigon by train. The person who has clocked up the most ‘train miles’ will win prizes donated by Intrepid Travel. Interested in joining or donating? Visit Your World No Rules or The Intrepid Foundation.

info@bdcf.org
www.streetkidsinvietnam.com

DRAGON TALES

Featured fundraisers
Vietnam - September 2012

Vietnam September 2012

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Ten year old Rosie made and sold jewelry at her school fair and raised $40 for disadvantaged kids in Vietnam. Thank you so much for all your hard work, Rosie! Bellerive Primary School in Tasmania, Australia have supported Blue Dragon for the last few years. Last term the student council organised a Sausage Sizzle, raising a delicious $308! Magnus learned about Blue Dragon at Tanglin Trust School in Singapore. On his 9th birthday, he raised an impressive $300 by asking for donations instead of presents. Happy Birthday Magnus! Staff Profile: Hoang Van Quang

Staff from Barclays in Singapore held a Diversity Chef event to showcase Barclay’s work in the Diversity Culture stream. They each gave a short presentation about the food and its importance to their culture. Guests tried all the dishes and generously donated to the collection bags that were passed around. This event raised $1,350 SGD which Barclays have generously matched dollar for dollar.

Michael Hoekman created a Blue Dragon running team of family and friends in Sydney. They’ve finished two races to date, with at least two to go. Keep it up, guys love those shirts!

Does your organization have a matching donations program? Want to get involved in Blue Dragon by donating your time to fundraise? We’re happy to help you with ideas and materials! Email info@bdcf.org to get in touch.

What’s your typical working day? The first thing I do is check networks and printers and do maintenance. I help staff install software needed for their work and I also teach IT to kids as well as supervise the Drop In Centre. What is the best thing about working for BD? Young staff, working with children and being flexible at work. What would you tell others about BD? It’s a safe place where kids can be loved and taken care of, and it brings children back to school to fulfill their dreams. What are you looking forward when BD moves? More space for staff and more classrooms for children. We know you’re having your first baby... how are you feeling? Very excited. Very tired but very happy.

info@bdcf.org
www.streetkidsinvietnam.com

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