CNN Hero Founder, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, Vietnam
Michael Brosowski, 38, is the founder and CEO of Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in Vietnam.
He grew up in Sydney, Australia and living in considerable hardship – first in the city and later on an isolated, outback farm in north-west New South Wales – he experienced firsthand the deprivations and social stigma associated with unemployment and poverty.
After completing an Arts/Education degree at the University of NSW, Michael worked for four years as an English and ESL teacher in Fairfield, Sydney. Caring for the welfare of his students who were the children of mostly South East Asian refugees, Michael’s passion for youth development was born. Later, Michael then worked at UNSW in a Gifted Education Centre while studying a Masters of Education.
In 2002, Michael moved to Vietnam to work in the Education sector, but in early 2003 he established Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in response to the overwhelming needs of street children in Hanoi. With no experience or funding, the early days were extremely difficult, but with help from local people who shared Michael’s concern for child welfare, Blue Dragon soon began to take on a life of its own.
Blue Dragon now serves the needs of more than 1000 highly disadvantaged children around Vietnam. This includes the street kids who have ‘fallen through the cracks’ of all other organizations; children and youth who have been trafficked either domestically or into China; and children with disabilities.
Michael and his organization have pioneered new approaches to helping children in crisis in Vietnam, including case-based social work interventions, and grassroots legal advocacy services.