Directions: Near the Long Bien Market....contact them to set up a meeting.Phone: (+84) (0)24 37170544
I phoned and emailed BD with an interest in participating in their programs. In your initial sign up, you list your qualifications that you can share with the kids. I put down quite a few, ranging for teaching the kids how to swim, teaching them practical English, through to 'saving the stolen children, forced to work in prostitution in China' [being tri-lingual in Vietnamese, English and Chinese, i thought this would be a handy skill].
One of the workers emailed me back to say "thanks for your interest....actually, would you be interested in teaching the staff at BD English for free?"
WTF....no, I would not. I'm down to teach the kids for free, but the staff??
That's like going to a homeless shelter/food kitchen, and then cooking the food or building homes for the staff.
When I replied [nicely] to say that I didn't see how this would benefit the children, I got zero response.
I wrote again a few months after....still no response.
**edit, upon receiving feedback below**
Firstly, this is a place to leave feedback and opinions of various places in Hanoi. Look around. Plenty of restaurants and spas are receiving negative feedback. It happens. Not everyone can be satisfied, and you shouldn't take things personally. I'm sure we've all been guilty of calling the McDonalds staff idiots for mixing up our diet coke order for diet coke. Its just feedback. No need to get so defensive.
Unfortunately, in this instance, it just so happened that I'm not impressed with bd. No, it has nothing to do with the fact that I 'didn't get offered a volunteer position with bd'...in fact, you said so yourself...you emailed in July of last year to offer a tutoring gig, to which I didn't reply. This was on purpose, as I had lost interest in your organization by then. However, because I hadn't replied, I forgot about it, so I apologize for falsely claiming you never replied to me after your initial request that I teach your staff.
Secondly, as you pointed out in your private email to me (and really, was it necessary to both email me AND post in this forum? Your time could be better spent saving le kids, non?), you said sometimes your staff asks if volunteers would be happy teaching them english to help them progress or whatever...fine, but train your staff so when they ask, they don't simply sound like the 'yo, I run a soup kitchen, come cook for me and my staff' thing.
As I've mentioned, this is a site to place reviews, and occasionally you're gonna get a bad one. If everyone else thinks you're doing a good job, then who cares what one person thinks.
Wow, what a cool setup.
They are doing great things; offering kids beds, education, prospects and support. I've been writing some software for them recently, and have seen that the whole organization is well established, transparent, and dedicated to doing amazing things. If you are planning to do any voluntary work in this area - visit these guys - they are friendly, outgoing and welcoming.
I will firstly declare an interest; I have known Michael and Blue Dragon virtually since the inception of the organisation. I have helped them out quite often - only not playing with the kids, but in donating my time and expertise to write grant proposals for them.I DON'T work for free for organisations that only exist to help Westerners 'share their big hearts', trust me!
Blue Dragon is an excellent, grass roots organisation. They provide holistic assistance for disadvantaged children who have no other options. The model is effective and it works. Blue Dragon is truly a learning organisation (don't you just LOVE that catch phrase) as they modify their programs and assistance based on the REAL needs of the children, and experience. Having worked for many NGOs I couldn't say that about most of them.
Blue Dragon is also honest and cost effective (in fact, they run the place on the smell of an oily rag). This is one NGO that is not in it for themselves or their founder, but genuinely providing a necessary service to address real world problems faced by kids.
Blue Dragon is an amazing organisation, they support and even transform young troubled lives. They also create a wonderful, safe and happy environment where street kids can just be kids and have some fun.
When you meet the Blue Dragon kids, you can't help but be impressed by their confidence and zest for life. Especially those who have been off the streets for a while and now have new lives, training and working in restaurants, child care centres, mechanic shops, photography etc. etc.
Blue Dragon has a number of programmes to help kids to stay safe, to stay in school, to get off the streets, to train for a profession and even to escape child traffickers.
Blue Dragon offers the kids a whole lot more than football ...... but I hear they're very good at that too! :)
(no, I don't work for BD)
I've known about Blue Dragon for about 2 years, and have signed up to New Hanoian just to refute korikawa!
What a silly comment. Blue Dragon uses football as a fun activity that street kids can go to. Why is there a problem with that? It certainly isn't the only thing they do.
You give the place one star but don't seem to have any reason at all. What's wrong with people happily volunteering there? Is that a crime now?
Sounds to me like you know nothing about Blue Dragon. But then you go give 5 stars to KOTO. You wouldn't happen to be one of their staff would you?
If you like Blue Dragon Children's Foundation...