I’m taking a short break from writing the blog – back in July! – but before I go, there’s one quick message to share.
If you head over to the Blue Dragon website you’ll find something new. We’re running a Pay It Forward campaign in rural regions of Vietnam for families who need a helping hand.
Most people are familiar with the concept. You help someone start a farm or a small business, and the recipient of that charity ‘pays it forward’ by helping someone else in need.
A gift to help one person lift themselves out of poverty ultimately helps several families. It’s an impact multiplier.
Even better, our partner organisation Help For Hope is involved. They’re doubling all donations for this campaign to a total of $50,000.
(If, at this point, you would like to make a donation for this, you can do it here).
Helping families get out of poverty is a key strategy to ending human trafficking. And doing so usually takes a mix of ‘charity’ and ‘development’. Some people may rely on handouts in the short term: paying school fees for the kids, or cash allowances so they have a stable supply of food.
For the longer term, though, people need a way to look after themselves. In rural areas where there are few jobs, or for parents who need to stay home to look after children, this may mean starting a small business.
In the past year alone, Blue Dragon has helped 338 people start a business.
One of the great things about this strategy is that it starts with the strengths of the individual, not with their deficits.
The first step in getting someone started is to find out what they already have, what they can do, what they enjoy. And that’s why Blue Dragon has helped to start so many different types of businesses: small farms, food stalls, hairdressing and tailoring are among the many.
From there, a family may need training or technical support. When we buy a cow, for example, we need to make sure the recipient knows how to feed it. And when the cow falls pregnant, the family needs to know how to care for it.
So starting a business requires much more than ‘just’ money. A family may need training, mentoring and practical assistance for many months.
Blue Dragon’s Pay It Forward campaign does all of this: from taking care of basic welfare needs in the short term, through to preparing families to succeed on their own in the long term.
And as I say, your donation will be matched.
If this is of interest, head over to the website and make a donation.
It will be one of the best investments you’ve ever made.
Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation protects children from trafficking and exploitation.