SMU: April + May 2017

Since 2013, Hearts for Hue has been running the so-called Community Service Program, with the support of the Singapore Management University and Eden Christian Academy (New Zealand)

Several are the objectives that Hearts for Hue seeks to cover through this Program with the sponsorship of the Singapore Management University and Eden Christian Academy

–       To improve the facilities of the kindergarten and primary schools of the poor rural areas of Hue Province, in an effort to offer to the children of these areas the best possible environment to develop their personalities;

–       To offer to the children attending the kindergarten or primary schools of Hue the possibility of having a first contact with people whose mother tongue is English;

–       And to foster the relationship among students of different Asian countries.

A description of the project would not be complete without a reference to the Vietnamese students that at every Program serve as volunteers during the stay in Hue of the Singaporean students, developing tasks as important as to act as translators during the English classes in kindergarten and primary schools, and to assist and help the Singaporean students. Let’s us say that volunteers act as ambassadors for their country and are encouraged to perform their tasks bearing in mind that condition.

During April and May, three different groups from Singapore and one group from Eden Christian Academy implemented four different projects

– Project Phoniksa II ( from 24/4 to 6/5) at Hoa Mi 2 Kindergarten, Quang Dien District
– Project Hue Hope VII (from 30/4 to 15/5) at Huong Chu Number 2 Primary School, Huong Tra Town
– Project Triveria IV (from 27/4 to 11/5) at Vinh Phu primary school, Phu Vang District
– Project Eden Christian Academy (from New Zealand) ( from 20/4 to 27/4) at Vinh Thanh Primary School, Phu Vang District

Sharing two weeks with these students has been a quite interesting experience and a great atmosphere has reigned throughout the stay.

At our arrival at school, the children went out to meet and welcome us with colorful bouquets of flowers as a present. The welcome and the photograph of all students and children at the entrance stairs were the first steps to gain children confidence.

The students divided the work into three different work teams: one was in charge of the English classes; the second team had to deal with the construction of a fence, a green library, and a football field; and the third and maybe most important team was in charge of cooking our meals and to buy the ingredients at the local market.

Special reference must be made to the cooking team. We all loved their food and some of us were introduced to various Singaporean specialties. Teaching is a profession that requires very skilled people and that involves a high degree of responsibility. It is not easy to stand in front of a classroom and teachers should be aware of the influence that their words and acts may have upon the children, especially when they are kindergarten children.

Our amateur teachers were very skilled and they gain the confidence of children in few minutes and children enjoyed playing and learning with the foreign teachers and their Vietnamese assistants. Or at least that’s what we understood from their smiling faces when they left the classroom.

Of course, construction is a profession that requires very skilled people too. And it also happened that the students were healthy and strong young people, willing to build the kindergarten fence as it was the fence of their own houses. Construction of the fence was completed on time with no further problems, save for the hot temperatures in peak hours of the day.

Students and volunteers also had time enough to enjoy other activities, as visiting the bamboo village, harvesting sugar cane, learning to select the leaves of canella leaf tea and exploring Hue city during maybe the best season of the year: Hue Festival.

At the closing ceremony, the children of the kindergarten and primary school performed for all of us the wonderful show. The faces of all participants revealed that the visit of the students of the Singapore Management University and Eden Christian Academy to take part in the Community Service Program of Hearts for Hue has been a success.

Mr Agustin – Hearts For Hue Volunteer

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Volunteers and students celebrating a completed project

Community service teamwork

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