Development of Community Volunteering Centre to Provide Long Term Support to the Underprivileged Youth and Woman in Phong Thanh commune, Cau Ke district, Tra Vinh province.

To tackle some social problems in communes that we serve, ECO Vietnam Group henceforth develops the Community Volunteering Centre, which hopes to strengthen the community self-help capabilities. And we will develop Community Volunteering Center in Phong Thanh commune, Cau Ke District, Tra Vinh province. The government have agreed to provide the land of 4,000 m2 for developing Community Volunteering Centre.

Community and Volunteering Centre being a physical centre will have different facilities that serve different purposes to tackle the various social problems.

The fist section of the Community and Volunteering Centre is the Community Library. Currently, there is no library in commune we serve, even in Primary or Secondary School (There are only kindergarten, primary and secondary school in this commune). With the library in CVC, ECO Vietnam Group aims to create the reading habit for local students. ECO Vietnam Group will work together with the schools and local community organization to utilize the Community Library.

The second section of CVC is these Community Center to organize a few classes for local young people and woman  like Dance, Local Ethnic musical Instrument, Drama, and workshop for skill, entreorenuers, fnancial literacy… The local students  do not has any extracurricular educational program. The local teachers heavily focus on the textbook and the government curriculum for their students. It creates the lacking of confidence and extra skills for their students. It also serves some vocational classes for women and young people such as: sewing, financial literacy, capacity building,….

The third part is Indoor Sport Hall. There are zero place for youth and children to play. We want to develop indoor sport hall with volleyball and basketball for youth age (10 – 25). Through sport, we want to educate and promote healthy lifestyle, sportsmanship, team player and many more.

The last part is Children Outdoor and Garden, we want to build the outdoor playground for the children (5 to 12 years old) together with small gardens (flowers, vegetable, sugarcane) to teach children to love their surrounding environment.

The building technique for the Community Volunteering Centre will aslo follow environmental friendly concept in which using local natural resource in local place. Therefore, CVC is a good example for the development who cares about the environment and match with the local context due to the fact that most of the local houses here using bamboo and earth as a material for building.

Community Volunteering Centre will also play as Educational Hub where different groups will come to learn about Community Development and Environments. CVC will host all the interested groups from Schools, Institutes, and Corporate to learn and at the same time to provide the support for local community.

We are actively looking for support from a corporate partner who shares our objectives of bettering the life of people in the rural area through the provision of funding for the building training house, computers and other equipments.

Community Volunteering Centre is the physical centre that serves many purposes

  1. Build up the reading habit to the students as well as providing support for their learning in School.
  2. Build up confidence and fundamental life skill in villagers (especially for youth and women) and engage them in useful and educational activities throughout the year.
  3. Provide the platform to educate youth in Vietnam about their role and responsibility in society
  4. Provide the convenient facilities for person, groups who want to come and support

How to achieve those purposes:

  1. Build up the reading habit to the students as well as providing support for their learning in School.

The traditional library section will comprise of shelves of printed books and readings, with an estimated 3,000 titles in both languages Vietnamese and English. We are aware youths will not have money to buy their own books for daily reading, reference books for knowledge extension and practice. The remaining readings are to facilitate training programs on social skills, survival skills, vocational skills etc. that would be covered in the next section of this paper, as well as youth magazines, periodicals, and novels.

CVC will work with both Primary and Secondary School for the library program. CVC will provide the list of the books that are related to the subjects that the students need to study in class. With this information, the teachers can assign the homework for the kids to come to Library and read specific book before going to class. Library will make sure that there are sufficient books together with good management so that every student in class is able to read book. With the cooperation from Schools, the students will slowly build up their habit to come to Library.

Moreover, CVC has a plan to organize educational game show once in every two weeks for the kids in Phong Thanh. The ideas come from some of the interesting TV game shows like pyramid, are you smarter than 5th grade… All of these in questions from one session are designed to come from two educational books. Therefore, before every game show happens, CVC will list down the title of two books so that the kids can borrow and read them first.

Besides, CVC will develop a monitor and evaluation plan for library to know how many people come to library every month and which book that they borrow the most. With the report, CVC management will know how to upgrade the library to match with the needs of the readers and still meet the objective for education.

  1. Build up confidence and fundamental life skills in villagers (especially youth and woman) and engage them in useful and educational activities throughout the year.

Like stated above, CVC will organize some classes for youth and woman in Phong Thanh. These classes focus on extra educational curriculum to build up the confidence, basic skill and knowledge in Phong Thanh Youth and Woman as well as provide the places for youth to be engaged. CVC management intends to open the first class to introduce and teach youth how to play their own clutural musical instrument and the common musical instruments. Currently, there are only few people who fully understand Khơ Me culture as well as know how to play some specific instruments.  CVC target to ask them to tell more story to the kids and teach them to value their own culture.

A few interactive workshops for the kids will be organized as well to slowly change their ways of thinking, to encourage them to dream and to put effort in achieving those dreams.

CVC will develop some programs to enhance the skills for the students such as taking input effectively, process it and produce the output.

CVC management will also found some clubs for the youth to participate such as Planting a Tree club,Scout Club and Sport Club. The youth will gain more skills while working in these clubs.

Entreprenuership, finance literacy, micro Finance and other useful topics will be organized for woman in Phong Thanh commune.

ECO Vietnam Group has worked closely with HSBC VN for few collaboration projects within three recent years about Micro Fiannce knowledge and Finance Literacy for villagers in rural areas. EVG also has parnter with local univesristy- Hoa Sen University has promised to engage their students and lecturer to work with us for few workshop. In Hoa Sen University, they have four faculties such as Faculty of Language and Culture Studies, Faculty of Economic and Commerce, Faculty of Science and Technology, Faculty of Professional Education.

ECO Vietnam Group will also continue to work with groups from Nanyang Technological University to provide more support in term of software part: Educating and capacity building for villagers.

  1. Provide the platform to educate youth in Vietnam about their role and responsibility in society

CVC will also provide the platform for ECO Vietnam Group to nurture young people in Vietnam who are key of success for the country.  CVC serves as a platform for the character development of the participants through experiential learning and provide them with an occasion to practice servant hood through community project they are asked to be involved.

In the beginning phase, ECO Vietnam Group will work with school and univeristies in Ho Chi Minh city to embark a new interactive learning process called “Local Involvement Community Project” where the group of students will be involved in community and social work in Phong Thanh Commune. This project also hopes to bring about awareness among young participants of their role as citizens in today’s society and in understanding the social conditions of the host community so as to better serve and learn from them. This trip will help to sharpen their mindset to treasure more what they have in their life and share empathy for disadvantaged community and people in Vietnam.

CVC management also provide some workshops and courses that are related environment like Earthen Building workshop for Sustainable Building Material, Sustainability & Ecology, and so on. Fun activities are also available for participants such as making organic soap, making craft from recycled materials, trekking and tree-planting or participants could simply take some time to breathe in the fresh air live in the context that are very closed to the nature. Local youth and children in Phong Thanh commune join these workshops as well.

With the facility in CVC and great experience in ECO Vietnam Group, it will be enjoyable and enriching learning.

  1. Provide the convenient facilities for person, group who want to come and support Phong Thanh commune. Hence, Phong Thanh community will receive more support.

Last but not least, CVC will provide convenient and comfortable place to host more groups to come to Phong Thanh for supporting the community. EVG will also work with more corporate to get their support through Staff building, Corporate Social Responsibility or Staff Retreating program.

Statement of Needs

The percentage of drop out school is high ( 5% at secondary school and more in high school) in Mekong Delta River, especially in Phong Thanh commune. Those children who cannot attend school or stop schooling are subjected to a life of gruelling hard labour with little or no opportunity of bettering themselves or their families. Some who become “street kids” are likely to a life of crime, either as victims or perpetrators, with little hope for the future. These may result in unwanted pregnancies, diseases, hopelessness and loss of life. With the low education, local people still have the unsustainable method of cultivation and unhealthy lifestyle. Without focusing on youth development, the poor cycle of life could not be changed.

This place needs a plan for short term and long-term support. Short-term support refers to addressing the basic and urgent needs of the local people such as food, infrastructure for education and living, and so on. The long-term support refers to helping the change the mindset of people, especially for young generation in education, healthy lifestyle, sanitation, environment and so on. The youths are encouraged to go for school but schooling is likely to have a limited effect of bettering their lives as further studies beyond the high school level is usually out of reach for them.  Even giving them a chance to go further study in town, with their current mindset and lack of confidence, they could not get the good result and come back to change their community.

Introducing the Community Volunteering Centre will solve all of these problems and concerns. It gives all the necessary things to provide the short term and long term support for these communes.

Sustainability of the CVC

Fund raising events such as annual work camp that are supported by ECO Vietnam Group and other organizations and other projects will ensure to cover overhead cost of the Community Volunteering Centre. The CVC will be managed and developed by both ECO Vietnam Group and local commune (Including Local government and authority). In the following years along the development of the project will come opportunities for self-sustain. Community Volunteering Centre will definitely receive support from every group who come to learn and stay in CVC.

The CVC will be state of Art, the great achievement of all time in Sustainable Community Development and Environment Conservation. It will be the great example in this field.

 

Phong Thanh Commune

(4 hours from Ho Chi Minh city. Commune has it own clinic. The hospital is 15 km away from commune.)

Phong Thanh is one of communes in Cau Ke District. This is an agricultural commune, which is divided into two regions, namely mainland and island. Phong thanh holds a population of 14,000 people. The commune is considered the poorest region of Cau Ke District with the poverty rate of 20%. Phong Thanh commune has special characteristic since 30% population is minority race. The Khơ Me people mostly live in Hamlet 2 of Phong Thanh commune and live under poverty line due to their lacking of education and poor awareness of economic and society. Therefore,Hamlet 2 has a poverty rate of 50%.

Project 1602: ” DAYLIGHT”

 

  1. About the project:
  • DAYLIGT Project
  • Time : 2/1/2016-14/1/2016
  • Place : Phong Thạnh Commune, Cầu Kè District, Trà Vinh Province
  • Participants: 20 students of Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)  and 5Vietnamese volunteers (including 2 EVG members)
  • Achievements:

+ Complete part of community library and toilet

+ English teaching for local children

+ 32 solar lamp-streets

 

Daylight is the second project at Phong Thanh Commune but it is newly performed and worked under connections between Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and ECO Vietnam Group to build up Community Volunteer Center. Most of the students enrolling in this project have different educational background but they had tried their best to complete tasks with all their heart’s content. The main focus for Daylight project is to develop vital facilities as well as construction works around community library. Furthermore, there are chances for students to practicing English teaching methods in primary level and conversely treating children well with better education and new teaching technologies. During 14 days of the project, 20 students from SUTD, the official participation of 5 Vietnamese volunteers and the support of 2 EVG members has come and worked in their high sense of responsibility and willingness to fully help unfortunate people and experience their own youth time in Vietnam rural area.

The main activities of this project include: be supportive of helping workers to complete library toilet, teach English at Phong Thanh A Primary School, do housework everyday, organize Cultural Exchange and Culture Night with local residents.

  1. Activity process:

2/1/2016

  • 8.00 am, 5 Vietnamese volunteers with Harry (EVG’s president) gathered at Tan Son Nhat airport.
  • 9.00 am, Vietnamese team met and took picture with Singaporean volunteers at the airport. After official greetings, we took the tour bus and went straight to Tra Vinh province.

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  • 12.00 am, had lunch at Minh Tam
  • 2.00 pm, we arrived at Phong Thanh Commune.
  • 2.15 pm, we started to clear up dust and sand in many rooms before staying here for nearly 12 days and shared rooms with another team – 1601, who also comes from SUTD.
  • 5.30 pm, dinner time and tidying the kitchen and washing dish.
  • 8.30 pm, bathing and resting time.

3/1/2016:

  • 7.30 am: we ate breakfast and after that set up Welcome Ceremony at People’s Committees Center in Phong Thanh Commune.
  • 8.00 am to 9.00 am: Welcome Ceremony was taken place.

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  • 9.00 to 10.00 am: SUTD students were divided into two groups to pay a visit to 4 local households. Staple food were brought along with the group to give to these poor people. Apart from this, teams and local residents had a chance to know each other.

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  • About 15.00 pm, after bonding games between V-team and Sing-team, all members of the Daylight project had joint working with 1601 project to help pack up all of wooden-related bars, water bottles and tools for house construction to community library and took team photo.

4/1/2016 – 13/1/2016:

The main jobs in 9 days here were: continue building and completing the toilet, teaching local children English (grade 4 and 5), solar street-lamp construction, doing housework and running Culture Night with local residents.

  • Teaching English for local children

 

We have English teaching lessons everyday from Monday to Friday, one class in the morning and one in the afternoon, each lasts for about two hours. We had indoors and outdoors activities based on lesson plans prepared a day before coming to class. Through different simple lessons about English language studies, we provide local kids to adapt new teaching methods used commonly nowadays, namely communication skills, team working skills, leadership, etc. After daily lessons, we all gathered the kids together to review what they had learnt and most remembered importantly and then game play began. We all hopefully expected the lessons we had given to them would lay something foundation to shape their bright future of their study and own personality.

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1602_5

 

Teaching with kids bring out a lot of joyful and happy moments when we could revive our naïve instinct from childhood back to life. Observing those innocent eyes we caught when standing on the platform and pose our pictures about particular topics. Not only that, we also surprised about the way they acted. Noisy as they were, they were very well-behaved when we teachers told them to be quiet and students from SUTD were very willing to spend their time to play with them and speak some Vietnamese just to make them laugh.

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Teaching somehow could become barriers for us to get through, on the other hand. There are some assumptions that we never got in touch so close with these kids when we were in the commune, but it turns out that everything worked well with this. The main problems would lie on lesson plans because we always wondered whether the lessons would help children and they could easily understand what we meant. Sometimes the reality was not as we had expected, especially combining games after each part of lessons. Sometimes we felt discouraged and worried before going to class because we were afraid of that children felt bored and refused to be present in our class. However, later on we were fine because the kids always were right in the class and things were ready when we got to school. The thing is in each day we went to class, we encountered new faces among those present and stayed close to class time and then again we had to review carefully and considerately about the previous lessons. We did try our best to bring good knowledge about daily lives and English study for all the kids we had taught because we wanted to captured every best moment with them.

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Result : We always made sure that the lessons must be repeatedly taught so that the children grade 4 and 5 would remember most of the lesson part specializing in colors, subjects, morality and discipline and the habits of acting orderly in certain group or community, how to use technological computers, how to tie shoelaces in sequence and etc. The happiest thing is that they day by day have improved themselves and pushed themselves to be confident in making short conversation in English. Moreover, we are closer with the kids, not only in class, but also in extra hours besides class like Culture Night and Tour Visit to some famous places near our accommodation. Although grade 4 found the lessons hard to catch up but they were on high focus and eager to try everything just to improve their English skills. Teaching seems to not be so hard as other tasks we have to accomplish in the commune mainly due to the laugh we got when teaching and playing with kids. They were welcome us very sincerely without any manipulations and they shines our project to be more significant and cheerful.

  • Toilet construction

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We built toilet next to community library. Thanks to masons and a 12 year-old boy, every work we did was smooth and nothing had serious damages. The brick foundation of the toilet had already done before we walked there and see. Our mission at that time was to complete these responsibilities: mix mortar, overlap bricks to build a square shape for the restroom and put ceramic tiles on the wall.

Mixing cements were never easy and required lots of efforts, especially for those who did not try it before, but it was worth a try. It is interesting to combine all the materials including cement, sand and water and stir all together in a hole under the appropriate proportion the mason told us. During the first day of the project, it would not be easy to fill out the tasks of sweated working, but we still got over it after the next few days. We even surprised a couple of days later because we did all the constructing stuffs ahead of time without any flaws.

During the work, we cannot forget all the enthusiasm of all male volunteers, who was in charge of bringing all needy tools, from cement, brisk to water. Sometimes they were quick, sometimes they were slow, but they all met our demand when we needed.

 

 

 

 

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The final stage is to mix ceramic brick to the wall and one of female member did a great job and even more dedicating than the male ones.

Assuming that we got used to construction so fast, we did our best to finish and switch to help solar street-lamp team.

Results:  We complete 90% the toilet and we were there standing in front of our achievements with joyfulness and pride. After the trip, we acknowledged that working as a mason is not easy at all, but we still broke out our limits to complete the toilet construction in the best way as we could. We were also proud that we were close together to solve the problems and language and cultural barriers to unite to work for the community.

Thank you the builders so much for helping, teaching and supporting us day by day, despite all our clumsiness and recklessness.

  • Solar street-lamp construction

 

The installation looked really difficult when first encountered but the work was actually not hard as many of us thought before if we could understand and apply its principles of operation in a proper way. SUTD students are experts of these and were willing to give some instructions to Vietnamese volunteers. It did not require lots of muscles to complete 36 streetlamps but to make the tasks smooth, we would need to be patient and careful about what we did and the installation to link pipes, electricity wires and solar panels. The preparation was the most important part because we have to make sure that the utilities fitted together in the exact proportion, but we could not deny that the reality did not happen like the way we thought it would be. We faced few problems during the setting, which were the insufficiency of installing tools and materials, street-lamps malfunction and foundation for streetlamps. On finishing the streetlamps, we acknowledge some of our drawbacks in our preparation sections and immediately fixed them as soon as possible. We one more time needed the supports from the masons and we were grateful that they always were there when we were in troubles. Things have done after all and we one more time stood together to enjoy what we achieved. It is expected that all these lamps would alternate all expensive and wasting conventional energy and protect the environment.

 

 

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 1602_!51602_171602_181602_16

Results: there are completed 36 streetlamps in total located around library community. These lamps would provide more additional and conditional to improve quality of living in the commune as well as the library. As we said streetlamps improving the commune because towards the streetlamp installation, local people would see its benefits and gradually use this renewable energy equipment as an alternative of conventional electricity equipment.

 

  • Housework

This was done by a team included 4 to 5 Singaporean volunteers and 1 Vietnamese volunteer, we changed the team doing housework everyday so that they could try other work too. Because we cooperated with the other project 1601 so we have lots of human resources to make household chores effortless. However, we still had to cope with problems such as mosquitoes, excessive dishes everyday. All we had to do is: set up the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner, wash dishes, clean the sleeping place and toilet once a day. Moreover, we also helped the cook prepare the food, dessert, sweep the school yard, replace the garbage bags and take the garbage around the school.

All the logistics needed were well-provided by ECO Vietnam Group and local government. The works were divided to the teams very clearly. But the S-team was not used to washing dishes or cleaning stuffs, so the housework did not bring the best results in some first days, especially in the very first day. Later, when we got used to the cleaning work, we cooperated and did it more efficiently. The living and activity environment were clean and met the requirements.

Results: All housework was done with high responsibility and willingness to cooperate. 

Culture night

The Culture Night was on stage from 6h30 pm to 8h00pm, and then Camp Fire till 9h30, with the attendance of Vice President of Phong Thanh Commune, Representatives of ECO Vietnam Group, local residents ( especially cute kids), V Team and S Team.

 

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We had performances of local police, the children, V-Team, S-team, a Vietnamese traditional dancing performance of both team. We danced various types including group singing, flash-mob and acoustic playing.

Camp Fire was organized with enthusiasm and enjoyment of all people attended. We danced and played together in a warm and joyful atmosphere.

We ended the event with a mini game for the kids, then gave gifts to them.

Result: The performances occurred in a warm and friendly atmosphere with a lot of laughs. All the kids and the people came and enjoyed the show and the Camp Fire. All the kids were given gifts. Security was well controlled. We all had a successful night.

  • Thoughts about the project

 

Thought of Tri, Vietnamese volunteer of ECO Vietnam Group:

EVG 1602 PROJECT “DAYLIGHT”

Feelings after project  8:00 pm, Nov 6th 2015, feelings of confusion, hesitation with a bit of hope, desire; and I  decided to register for the project.  It was not a hard task to fill in that form, but I had to be careful because I got rejected last time. Days passed, I got the result of the application form round with happy, and it was much happier when I also got  through the interview round. Tri the Great was the chosen one.

Prepared for the project  …

Ran the project

During that whole time, I received many complaints, kicks as to my way of working, attitude under the title of ‘leader’ (I know the reasons for such things happened).  With my point of view of an open, liberal one, I accepted my mistakes but… not yet change. Memorized it, but… left it there, deal with it later.

And it came to an end of the project, leaving a mass mess in my mind. There were joy, happiness, sadness, inferiority; having no idea where to start, unknowing which one to solve first, I chose to… go to… sleep.

I have few friends, whenever and wherever  I met them, I talked to them about my  journey with a proud attitude, a bit arrogant: it was so meaningful, helpful,… but in  my mind, angrily thought ‘how come I  know it was such that  perfect when  I don’t even think about it?’

A  place  where  the  cool  wind  blows  gently,  the  green  grass  blended  with  faded  yellow grass covers all around, a place which are spacy enough, airy enough in the  center of Sai Gon, perhaps there is only this place. Feeling exhausted after running more than three kilometers.

Poch!  I sat down. “hey, feel easy, slowly, take a deep breath!  What should I do now? Yes, let’s think of what I have learnt after a tiring month of preparation and two hard weeks of running for the project in the mosquito-covered area.”

And, I realized many, many things that turned me to be felt inferior to everything around.  But I made up my mind shortly after that and decided to change step by step.

About  my  teammates,   I   met  them  there,  each  person  with  individual  style,   individual way of thinking,… with desire and passion to grow higher, better. I felt so lucky because I have understood and learned from my friends in many aspects: character, thoughts,…  Thank you a lot!

I have some close friends. Oh gosh!  I can’t stop talking when meeting them. They asked me about my trip to Tra Vinh province. With confidence and pride, I did share what I had been through, lessons I had learned and tell them about people whom  I had met…

That’s it! Time passes, I’m still heading forward to my idol, finding new challenges.

“Gold is just in your way, feel to find it”

1602_20

 

END OF FILE

But not end of life! Keep moving forward! And you’ll see!

 

Gia Bac Community Volunteering Center

Gia Bac Community Volunteer Center was founded in early December 2013 by a group of volunteers from Vietnam and Nanyang Girl’s High School from Singapore. To this day, the center has been fully developed.  The center has a large main room built and has been in operation since early 2014. Gia Bac Community Volunteer Center places importance in becoming a comfortable and friendly learning environment for students in Gia Bac. This is a place where the children can come and play; learn as well as interact with each other. There are hundreds of cultural and science books available for them to read and enhance their knowledge. Furthermore, all the learning facilities are well equipped with adequate tools to create the ideal learning environment.
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In addition, there are public restrooms which consist of 6 toilets and 6 bathrooms for the benefit of the students studying in the library. The building fund is supported by BeCause Vietnam non-profit organization and ‘Lan Toa Yeu Thuong’ fundraising event hosted by ECO Vietnam Group.602104_10152063905960977_770150898_n

The Gia Bac community volunteer center is the brainchild that ECO Vietnam Group has cherished for so long. Our mission is to provide an excellent environment that can facilitate effective learning for Gia Bac students and increase their desire to read more and to learn more. Our long-term plan is to eliminate illiteracy and help the students to learn critical life skills for their future. EVG hopes to achieve our long-term plan, and at the same time, fulfill the dreams of Gia Bac children by continuing to establish and maintain the activities in the center.

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Community and Volunteering Center

“It was a painful, yet proud, journey to build this library …”

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Forewords

Volunteering is a journey of new experiences and challenges, new encounters and new endeavours. This is how ECO Vietnam Group understands the meaning of Volunteerism. Therefore, we always do our best in what we are doing, we always keep moving forward, push through all hardships and embrace all the lessons we learnt, joyfully or painfully.  The making of Gia Bac Community Library is a living proof -with much tear, sweet and pride- to testify our belief and enthusiasm in this journey of volunteerism.  

A LONG JOURNERY CAME GIA BAC. 

The Cause

Gia Bac, since the 1st time EVG came to it until now, has become another home, a tenderly calling to many EVG members and volunteers in and outside Vietnam. We want to bring a better life with better education to the lovely people in this poor land of our fatherland. With that cause, we have built kitchens, maintained roads, raised funds, sponsored scholarships and it was just a matter of time until we had enough forces to build a community library. That time was December 2011.

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The Challenges

Starting from December in 2011, EVG partnered with the Singapore Management University (SMU), Saint Andrew’s Junior College (SAJC), and Dunman High School (DHS) to start developing the first part of Community and Volunteering Centre (CVC) Project, EVG Community Library. This is a dream we shared with Gia Bac community – children and adults, with our partners and volunteers – Singaporean and Vietnamese students who love this place as much as us do. We all worked hard for days of hard labours from digging dirt, laying the very first brick to making doors and walls from dried -bamboo leaves, arranging the interior design. We did with our burning heart to serve the people we love, the children we saw much potential in.

However, as a matter of fact, we couldn’t build the library with only love and enthusiasm so we seek help from professional constructors to build the library. However, halfway the process, the constructors decided to abandon the unfinished building and left as they were tired and bored with the living condition in Gia Bac – where surrounded by mountains and forest.

The Saviours

Left with a half-done library, EVG put the faith in our unwavering volunteers to finish building it. Around 20 Vietnamese volunteers made a commitment to stay in Gia Bac until the library is completed. They surely bewildered us with their passion, talent and forbearing spirit to overcome all the hardships and challenges during this time. EVG always owns them our gratefulness.

As a result, in April 2012, EVG was able to proudly inaugurate and bring the Community Library into operation in Gia Bac. This event lays a very important foundation for the CVC Project to develop in the future. This library will not be possible without the contribution and devotion of the students, partners, and volunteers.

The Pay Off

All of our pains and hardships were paid off when we saw a group of children came to the library, picked up books, and read enthusiastically. Their expression of endless joy and their echoing laughter when they play with their friends in the library are worth everything that we had to go through. When almost a hundred of children came to EVG Book Fair we knew that we had made the right decision in sacrificing so much to build this library.

We are convinced that this library will open opportunities for these children to a better feature if we do not give up.

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