While in Hoi An enjoy a hearty Vietnamese meal in a restaurant staffed by ex-street children. Part of the profits goes to education, health and food for street kids and orphans.
What to experience ?
The Blue Dragon Restaurant is located on the river front in a building consistent with Hoi An’s ancient charm and cultural heritage. A place to relax with a drink, the Blue Dragon restaurant is far from being a run-of-the-mill eatery, and the friendly service and delicious meals are served by staff from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The menu features many local favourites, and is a good illustration of authentic Hoi An legendary cuisine and refined local culinary culture.
The restaurant displays products created by beneficiaries of the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. This includes honey, sports shirts, artwork, greeting cards, photos, and jewellery. The young people involved in producing the merchandise earn money from their sales.
Private cooking classes are available that offer the opportunity to have a hands-on experience and learn about the local cuisine. You are able to select which items from the menu you want to make, and then work alongside the staff to prepare the dishes together.
How does it help ?
Mr Nam, who works with street kids, opened the restaurant as a private business in 2003 with funding from the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. In return, Mr Nam donates % of its profits back to them and also contributes by training children. Some have gone on to work as waiters and trainee chefs at The Vine, one of Hanoi’s finest dining establishments.
This donation from his restaurant supports three projects run by the foundation:
- The Hoi An Street Children’s Centre Home receives donations for school fees, food and health insurance for 60 students.
- The Step Ahead programme, based in Hanoi, supports 300 street children.
- Stay in School helps 750 rural youngsters continue their education in Bac Ninh province.
To date, the Blue Dragon foundation has sent 2,315 kids back to school and training – provided accommodation to 113 persons – served 239,193 meals – built or repaired 49 homes for families – distributed 29,784 litres of milk and 27,974 kilos of rice – reunited 95 runaway children with their families – helped cure 814 kids – put 5 teens through drug rehab – obtained legal registration papers for 611 children – rescued 131 trafficked children- placed 64 teens in jobs and played 1011 games of soccer!
Note: The Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation was founded in 2004 by Michael Brosowski, Pham Sy Chung and Gonzalo Serrano, who started teaching Hanoi street kids English, maths, art and yoga.
Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation
Hoi An, Quang Nam Province