Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Blue Dragon Book Fair

Writers and Readers Week is over. Looking out the window, it seems that summer is over (if it ever arrived.) But the good thing about living in Wellington is that there are always lots of interesting Readers' and Writers' activities on - whatever the weather (which is just as well.)  Last week I went to the launch of David Hill's wonderful new picture book "The red poppy", illustrated beautifully by Fifi Colston.

This week, it's the turn of the Fundraising book fair for Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in the Ngaio Town Hall from 9.00am to 1pm on Saturday 24 March. This is a fundraiser for the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation in Hanoi, Vietnam. All proceeds will be donated to Blue Dragon to support its work in providing education and training for kids in crisis in Vietnam.

Books - and access to books, whether in bookshops or libraries or second hand book fairs - are something we take for granted, but in countries like Vietnam and Laos, they are often a luxury and in many villages there are no books.

On holiday last year, we visited the public library in Luang Prabang (Laos)  and bought some books in Lao for US$2 each to put into a book bag hanging up on display. When the bag was full with 100 books, it would be taken out and distributed to village schools as part of the National Library's Book Bags for Lao Kids project. You can find more about it here: http://www.lao-kids.org/book-bags.php

We didn't get to visit the Blue Dragon children's home in Hanoi, but we did enjoy an excellent meal at the Blue Dragon cafe in Hoi An, which also supports their work. If you are travelling through Vietnam, it' s worth looking out for restaurants like these (Streets restaurant in Hol An is another one, or KOTO in Hanoi) which provide training and support for street children.


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