It’s easy to think of working in charity as a glorious and noble mission.
Sometimes it is: there are plenty of days I go home beaming, knowing that we’ve achieved something great and changed a life.
And sometimes it’s grimy and dangerous and frustrating. There are plenty of days that end with nothing but a question mark about what will come next.
This article, written by one of the most meticulous investigative journalists I have come across, was published just last weekend. It explores a case that Blue Dragon faced over 18 months from 2014 through to 2016.
A foreign man was abusing street boys in Hanoi. When we first heard about him, we knew nothing at all: not his name (he gave out fake names to the kids, and a different fake name to all his friends and colleagues); nor his nationality; nor where he lived. We also didn’t know that he had a long and documented history of abusing children in other countries, and worming his way out of trouble every time.
Blue Dragon exists to care for kids in crisis. We weren’t created as an agency to investigate crimes, but we found ourselves having to do so in order to protect the city’s children. With a long track record of finding and rescuing victims of human trafficking, we applied ourselves to working out who this mysterious guy was and figuring out how Vietnamese law could stop him.
There were many times that we thought we could not put a stop to this man. There were people who criticised us for taking on an investigative role. And there were many long, unproductive nights of working on the streets but achieving nothing.
Finally we succeeded, and Vadim Scott Benderman is now the first foreign person imprisoned in Vietnam for sexually abusing underage boys. But getting to that point was a very difficult and painful journey.
Had he not been caught, by now there would be scores more children who would have been through the experience of sexual abuse at the hands of Benderman.
The journey was long, but it in the end it was worthwhile.
Read the full article here:
P.S. We’re having our annual fundraising appeal right now, so if you want to contribute to the important work of Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, now is the time!