Project 1610 : “JUMP HIGH”

  1. Project overview

Name: JUMP HIGH

Time: 25/05/2016 – 07/06/2016

Location: Phong Thạnh Commune, Cầu Kè District, Trà Vinh Province

Participants: 16 students from Nanyang Technological University along with 4 Vietnamese volunteers (including 1 EVG member)

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Achievements:

–           Teaching: 2 classes of students in Phong Thanh A Primary School, reaching nearly 30 students

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–           Construction:

+ 3 swinging horses

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+ 1 teeter

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+ 1 foot bridge

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+ 1 string bridge

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+ 1 table

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  • Organized a library event for local children

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  • Organized a Culture Night

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  1. Working Process

The First 2 days:

The morning of 25/05/2016, the Vietnamese volunteers together with Ms. Linh from ECO Vietnam Group gathered at the airport to welcome the volunteers from NTU. Everyone greeted and quickly took a group photos, then moved onto the bus.

The group went to the restaurant for lunch at HoChiMinh city then headed for Phong Thanh commune.

At around 7pm, everyone arrived at the Commune. The group then had dinner and cleaned up things. Then, everyone helped out with arranging the logistics and sleeping areas.

On 26/05/2016, the group attended the Welcome Ceremony. After that, the Singaporean team moved to the new sleeping areas and received the Living Orientation. In the afternoon, the teaching team and construction team headed to their workplace.

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The work days in Phong Thanh:

Construction seemed to be the most tiring and difficult job for everyone. We were supposed to finish 6 items for the playground, including swinging horses, string bridge, foot bridge, tires, table and teetars. We spent our time to doing things like cutting the woods, sanding the surface, screwing the components together and decorating. Everything started quite roughly at first because almost no one is used to the working tools and overwhelmed by the complexity of the items. However, when the volunteers became more familiar with the workload as well as when communication was improved, the group managed to finish what we can within our ability in the context of the current situation.

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Teaching was also another interesting work during our days in Phong Thanh commune. Along with the sessions in classrooms, we also had sessions outdoor, which created so much fun and memorable moments for both the kids and the teachers. At first, the number of the students was much lower then expected. But then, with the efforts of everyone, more students came to class and the number even reached up to 20 once. It cheered up everyone and teaching ended up being the most favorite job to the Singaporean volunteers.

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Along with teaching and construction works, housework was also an essential part of our time in Phong Thanh. The housework team played an important part in the project by making sure everyone came home to clean living areas and good meals. Going with the cook to the market also interested our foreign fellows.

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Household Visits:

Outside the primary works, the volunteers also had 2 household visiting sessions, during which we talked with the local people to get to know more about the stories of their lives, the way the get by, the struggles they are going through, etc. They were valuable moments that raised our awareness about the social responsibility as well as enabled us to appreciate what we have more.

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Fishing:

We’ve got the chance to actually get into the water and caught the real fish with our hands. That day, more than 20 fishes were caught by us and we were the winner. It was by all means one of the strangest but most exciting moments as almost all of us had never done this before.

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Sports Exchange:

On Sunday, we had a sporting event when we played volleyball with the volunteers from 1608. Only a few of us knew how to play but we we did happily join the matches. At the end of the day, it was not about winning or losing the game anymore, and what really mattered was that we got to know each other more and had more friends.

 

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Library Event:

It was for sure one of the most interesting parts of the journey, in which we had the chance to organize an outdoor event for the kids to have fun. The evening before the event day, we realized the local kids were not informed about the event yet. Then, the Vietnamese volunteers and the EVG members went together to the households and the library to inform the kids about the event. It was a huge joy for all of us seeing the children coming to the library that day. With our 3 games (and other games of 1608), we were able to get the kids engaged in the activities. Looking at how cheerful they were when coming home with gifts in their hands really makes us feel so happy.

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Culture Night:

Culture Night was the night of performances from the locals, EVG and also the Singaporean volunteers. The Vietnamese volunteers also joined with our Singaporean fellows in a song about friendship. It was definitely one of the most remarkable moments of the journey. After that, we had the campfire when everyone gathered around the fire dancing, singing and holding hands in friendship and unity.

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Reflection and Bonding games:

We had only 3 joint reflections during the journey, during which we sit back together and shared with each other our feelings. Throughout the project, we tried to get closer by playing the bonding games known as BUDDY-BUDDER and Confessions. The moments when the BUDDER was revealed and the confessions was read out were definitely those that stay in our mind in years to come.

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The duration of 14 days of project 1610 actually did leave us the impression, unforgettable memories and experiences. The EVG volunteers became closer and closer over the general meetings, working time and joint reflections, dissent to understand each other better day by day, to listen to self-improve and develop. Despite our leaving Phong Thanh, our sharing love, friendship, empathy… are always there in the palm of each person.

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