Relentless hope

In the face of endless suffering, how can we keep helping those in need?

People often ask me how I manage to keep going.

Blue Dragon’s work is intense. It’s rare for a day to go by without us receiving a desperate call for help from someone in slavery or meeting a homeless child in a terrible situation.

The numbers tell a slice of the story.

Since the start of this year, we’ve rescued 118 people from slavery: brothels, forced marriages, and forced labor.

In the same time, we’ve helped double that number of street kids – about 240 so far.

It’s only human for the constant exposure to traumatised, terrified people to affect us deeply.

Meeting children in desperate situations is both traumatising, and what keeps us going.

And it does. Among the staff of Blue Dragon – the social workers, psychologists, lawyers, counselors – there’s often someone experiencing their own stress or even burnout. On occasion, people need to take time off work or seek professional help to deal with their own emotions and psychological responses.

Both as individuals and as an organisation, we try our best but we have our limits.

Finding the way forward

Taking care of ourselves in the face of constant stress is the only way we can keep going. Being there for each other as a supportive team makes a world of difference. From an organisational point of view, there’s much we can do to provide for staff wellbeing and support people when they need it.

But in the end, the most important thing of all is hope.

We keep going because we believe it makes a difference. It’s worthwhile.

Even when we fail; even when we encounter cases that we’re unable to help; we know there’s still someone else waiting for us who we can help.

Should there come a day that I no longer think my contribution matters, I know I wouldn’t be able to continue.

What drives me – what drives all of us at Blue Dragon, from our frontline staff to our donors and partners around the world – is our relentless hope that our world can be better.

And so, no matter how hard things get, we continue.

Thank you to all who make Blue Dragon’s efforts possible. While our work continues, I’m taking a break from writing the weekly blog during July. I’ll be back with more stories of hope on August 4.

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