This year’s Blue Dragon Book Fair, held in Wellington, raised a record $10,400 – all of which goes to Blue Dragon Children’s Centre in Vietnam to support its work in rescuing young people who have been trafficked.
To date, Blue Dragon has rescued more than 600 people who have been trafficked. Many of the young women are sold to brothels or into forced marriages in China. Other young people are taken to factories in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City, where they work 18-hour days every day of the week with little food and money.
The trustees are delighted with the money raised this year. The cold weather and occasional rain did not deter buyers, who were queuing outside at 8am on Saturday 23 May ready for the doors to open at 9am.
The stream of people was steady throughout the day and the use of an Eftpos machine for the first time made transactions very easy.
Students from Wellington College with barista training kept up a steady supply of coffee and book buyers were very happy to hand over another dollar for a piece of one of the slices, baked by some of the trustees.
“It was a hugely successful book fair,” said trustee Sue Gifford. “It was great to have Sarah from the Blue Dragon Taupo group with us, plus the many helpers who turned up on Friday night to sort and then on Saturday to lend a hand.
“We had fantastic books this year. The day was cold and wet in the morning, which seemed to drive people inside to the good books, good company and good coffee – and yummy pieces of slice, which we easily sold at the door as the happy hunters departed.”
Last week, the trustees sent $NZ13,700 to Blue Dragon’s Hanoi bank account. This was made up of $10,400 from the book fair, which included some generous donations given on the day. There was also an amount of $982 from a supporter’s fundraising effort and the remainder came from people who make regular contributions.
The next event from the New Zealand branch of Blue Dragon will be a movie fundraiser later in the year.