[OSL 1812][Fountain]

Project overview

Project : Fountain – Project code : 1812

Time : 05 – 18 June 2018

Place : Hoa Tan Commune, Tra Vinh Province

Participants : 25 volunteers from Nanyang Technological Singapore and 4 EVG volunteers (including 2 members)

Achievements:

  • Built a water filtration system at Hoà Tân B primary school
  • Teach the pupils in Hoà Tân B primary school
  • Visit 04 households
  • Paint the wall in Hoa Tan B primary school
  • Organize outdoor activities for pupils at Hoa Tan B primary school
  • Culture Session, Culture Night, Vietnamese Cooking Class.

From EVG’s Volunteers

I joined 1812 Project with no special expectation in my mind. To me, it was simply a chance to do the volunteer work and contribute something in my ability to the community.

During the preparation before the project, I start to learn about Service Learning, about learning through Reflection,… and I start to engaged myself more also understand more about the philosophy behind the project, I started to understand the difference between Community Service & Service Learning.

I also learned how to run a project: how to plan, to prepare the logistics, to plan the budget, prepare for the unexpected situations,… everything was hard for me at the beginning but the process really taught me a lot.

The journey at Hoa Tan Province was indeed an open-minded experience for me. I love everything about it: waking up early in the morning to prepare the meals, living with 28 new friends, learning to take care of myself also other people…

I learned a lot through the journey. I was really surprised to know that to run the project, the Singaporean friends had spent more than 8 months for fund-raising, preparing the textbook and other teaching tools. I realized that my response here as a volunteer is not only about the community and the children but also the S-team & V-team beside me.

As a matter of fact, I was the one who learned a lot from everyone. I learned about teamwork, helping each other, never giving up despite how hard the challenge is, & improving always. I changed a lot thanks to the love from everyone.

What I remember the most was the smiles of everyone. As a member of V-team told me “This trip to me was really fast. It was indeed a great fun. And I even didn’t notice the time flies.”

Thanks to the positive attitude and humorous of everyone, the trip was so enriching and comfortable. We would keep the memories deep in our heart: the walk to and from school, the walk under the rain, the coffee breaks, the letters, the meals with a lot of laughing, the singing time…

Everything was like a dream. I would never forget this memorable and life-changing trip. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t join the projects sooner. Thank you EVG for giving us the change to learn, to experience, and to grow! We sincerely hope that you will keep on passing these meaningful chances to more and more Vietnamese young people!

 

 

[OSL 1811][Dynamic]

Project Overview

Project: Dynamic – Project code: 1811

Time: 4/6-18/6/2018

Place: Phong Thạnh commune, Cầu Kè district, Trà Vinh province

Participants: 25 volunteers from Nanyang Technological Singapore and 5 EVG volunteers (including 3 members).

Achievements:

  • Built Sports hall in CVC
  • Taught children at Phong Thanh B primary school
  • Visited 4 needy families in Phong Thanh commune
  • Organized outdoor activities for children
  • Organized Culture Night and Campfire

 

Project 1811 is an extremely impressive and unforgettable memory. First of all, I sincerely thank Mr.Harry Pham Van Anh and Ms. Thuan Trang for organizing these OSL projects in Vietnam. Thanks to this, Vietnamese volunteers have the opportunity to experience the service learning model in Vietnam. No need to go abroad but right here we practice English 24/24, it is a wonderful thing.

Besides, I would like to send my thanks to Vteam: Ms. Ngoc, Ms. Thuy, Dung and Thu. Thank Ms Theu for your good meals and your managing the children – I really admire you. Thank you Ms. Ngoc, you are a dedicated leader who cares us, even small things you will remind us and even though you are busy, you also spend time with us. Thank Dung, your participation made the project more fun, indeed you fulfilled your tasks very well and you are very good bonding with others. And thank you baby Thu, this project without you might have a lack, it was your innocent questions that made the atmosphere better and less stressful.

Not forget to give a thank to STeam. You are very enthusiastic, fun and willing to help VTeam. Sam, Richie, Willie, Jem and Iggy are really cute and make the most laughter for everyone. David and Fan, though I didn’t talk to you much, you are really warm. Each of you is a color that brings the project more brilliant. Thank you very much.

What did I learn after the project?
I learned a lot. About housework, I learned how to fry eggs, astronauts, learning how to cut Hanoi plum beautifully … About teaching, I learned to be flexible with each group of children, not to apply one method to every child. About construction, I learned how to wall, know how hard my father does because he is a builder.

Well, one more thing I learned is sincerity. The children here are very sincere. When I was about to go, they cried, one of them said, “If you were my sister, I would only stay at home with you,” and other asked me, “When will you come back?” The children also gave the crane paper in which they wrote for me, they also gave me a teddy bear and soup … The day I went, the kids also told me to put the stone in my hand. It’s a wish of luck and a promise to meet again.

The project has closed but the pieces of memory are still here. Every project is always unforgettable. Thank you everyone for being a great piece in the 1811 picture in my youth.
Because we only have once a life to live so please enjoy the life, devote yourself and study all your best.

 

[OSL 1805][Youthsmile]

  1. Project overview

Project : YouthSmile – Project code : 1805

Time : 18 March – 31 March (14 days)

Place : Phong Thanh Commune, Cau Ke District, Tra Vinh Province

Participants : 24 volunteers from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and 3 EVG volunteers

Achievements :

  • Built a house for orphans
  • Taught Physical Experiment in Phong Thanh Secondary School
  • Upgraded the Physical Laboratory Phong Thanh Secondary School
  • Visited 4 households in the commune
  • Visited Pagoda
  • Went fishing
  • Organized Outdoor activities for children
  • Organized Culture night and Camp fire.1234567891112131516181920212225262829303132343536373839.jpg40.jpg41.jpg42.jpg45.jpg46.jpg49.jpg50.jpg51.jpg52.jpg53.jpg54.jpg55.jpg8
  1. Working process

Pre-project:

Before the project happened, Vietnamese volunteer had had about 1 month to prepare. We were introduced about EVG, trained about First Aid.

These conical hats were decorated meticulously by V-team as a present for new friends from Singapore.

The first day:

On 18 March, EVG volunteers gathered at EVG Hub to prepare all logistic. We went to the air port with Mr Harry and Ms Trang to meet volunteers from Ngee Ann Poly. Although this was the first time EVG volunteers attend an OSL project, they were ardent and excited for the first meeting. After taking picture, the group got on the bus and started the journey. On the bus, Mr Harry had s short introduction about ECO Vietnam Group and then everyone introduced their names, hobbies. We had first meal together at Trung Luong Restaurant. We arrived to hotel at about 10 pm, so after check-in, V-team had a meeting with Mr Harry and Ms Trang to prepare for Welcome Ceremony.

In the next morning, a Welcome Ceremony was organized by Phong Thanh Commune helped volunteers have more enthusiasm and trust for the coming days.

Working Days at Phong Thanh:

The next days, despite hard-working and working under new environment, everybody tried to learn and help together to overcome miserably hard position and challenges. The whole trip was witnessed sweat, happiness, sadness as well as friendship that maybe experience only one time.

Construction

Every day, the whole team would be divided into 3 small groups, one group would be teaching, one was construction and the  last one was “house keeping”. The “house keeping” team had responsibility to cook, clean up the house and “keep” the house while the others were working at school.

On 24 March, the whole group had a meaning morning for House Hold Visit activities at Phong Thanh Commune. S-Team had chance to know more about the daily life of local people and their difficulty. In the afternoon, everybody went to library to organize Library Event for students. Despite tiredness, everyone had a memorable weekend.

From Vietnamese volunteer

Tran Kim Oanh

It was such an honor that we had a chance to be a part of OSL 1805, which is the first but probably the best project in our life. There is no regret that we were there and have done that, dedicating a part of our youth to the betterment of Phong Thanh locals. Until now, in my mind there is still the feeling of joy when receiving the announcement from EVG that we were accepted as official volunteers for this programme .

In addition to the excited mood, I was very anxious and confused whether there is interaction with some Singapore volunteer or Not, .. etc … Thinking about all the miscellaneous things on life !!!!

Until the first meeting is not the mood, remember the first time I introduced the name on the bus down Tra Vinh: ” Hi! I’m Orin! ”, Everyone greeted, ” Hello, Orin! ” It seems that every anxiety has gone away half! Now everyone has been friends!

Thanks ECO VIETNAM GROUP for creating the environment for us to try our best. All activities in the OSL are the first time in my life to do such things !!

From getting up early to go shopping, teaching physics, going to build houses, going to visit households, holding a cultural exchanges, one-on-one translation, MC, … etc. Everything is new and there is no shortage of lessons, the lessons I get more, my heart is filled with the most sincere love. The joy of helping others, giving them the smile of emotion in me can not use words to describe. It is a precious experience that I have.

Remembering the construction, sunshine, we still grinned with sweat drooling on the cheek. Love the conversation, share with Thanh, remember her affectionate eyes. I felt like my sister in family. i thought Steam volunteers felt that ,too. I felt that they had all sentimental feelings and hope for each brick, painting in Doreamon that she really liked it in the bedroom. We hoped you have a favorite house, protected the sun and rain, and motivated you to study progress in the bright future.

Remembering the warm smiles and the warm welcome from the locals, remember the woman near the building always brought out hats for us, worried if we got sick! Remember uncle cut coconut for us to drink in the middle of the sun!

Remember the hours taught in class, remember the gaze is considered the physical experiments. Because this was the first time they have been practicing physics in the lab. Remember the bright face of children playing with the Steam. Remember when We karaoke on the bus.

And as we hear the local people, there are many unfortunate circumstances surrounding us, and they need help from others to make their lives better.

14 days was not long enough for us to learn a lot of things that we could change our way of life, our way of thinking. If someone asks me if I want the project to last longer, I will answer “yes”. I wish we had more time to serve, learn, understand each other as well as to be closer together.

The project has ended but the echo as well as the beautiful memories and all the things we learn will surely be with us in the future.

Once again thank you EVG, thank you everyone.

Le Thi Nhu Y

14 days with 1805 project, especially 11 days live in Cau Ke District, taught me lot of valuable lessons that I could not find in other volunteer works.  The first lesson is how difficult it is when organizing a project, especially a project relating to foreigners. We have to take care of their safety, their eating habit, and sometimes their belongings. It is more difficult when sometimes they do not realize the important to keep themselves safe. Many volunteer did not wear hats, mask when they did construction work. I think they drink too much, but I could not do anything because that was Mr Andy permission. In my opinion, they should drink in weekend only because if they drink every day, their image with local people can be affected. Some people said to me that “Nothing happen” however it does not mean “Nothing WILL NOT happen”. The second lessons is about how to communicate with not only Singapore volunteer but also local people like teachers, students. If there is any misunderstanding, it is really hard to explain later. With students, I need to be more patient and calm because they are still vulnerable and innocent. This was the first time they had chance to do physical experiments, there were many new things so I regretted that I did not have more time to explain more clearly for them.

Be a volunteer for this project is one of the most meaningful decision in my student’s live.  In the begining, it was really hard for me to know what I have to do and how I can communicate with S-team. I had to learn many things and notice every single details. However, the most difficult obstacle I faced is the language barrier. After talking more with them, I learned many interesting things from them like their responsibility, talent, friendship. I realize when we open our heart with others, they can feel it without too much words to explain. About teaching activies, I can understand how difficult it is when students from a rural school learn physical experiments with forgeiners. However, they tried their best to concentrate, to follow S-team’s instruction and listen my explanation. I can feel they had strong desire to learn new things and sometimes their excitement when conducting experiments by themselves made me feel really happy. I also had chance to play with them. I love their smile very much. Sometimes, they were still shy with S-team but thanks for S-team’s friendliness, many students were more confident and there seems to be no gap between them. About construction activitied, I can feel S-team effort when they wanted to complete the house on time. Althought, they did not know anything about building the house before they came here, they leared and followed instructor seriously. I also like the way they enjoyed their work (listening to music, joking, smoking and eating ice-cream). However the most memorable imagine in my mind is the attitude of Thanh and her family members. They treated S-team with all their heart and frienliness. I can not forget Thanh’s smile and tear in the last day, she have suffered too much misfortune in her life already. She has the right to be happy like anyone else. Finally, I would like to express my deepest respect to Mr Harry Van Anh and Ms Thuan Trang. I really apprecitate their contribution for the development of voluntary service as well as sustainable community in our country. I hope they will keep up their meaningful work and be a bridge to introduce more organization coming to Vietnam in future.

 

Project 1605: “I’M WITH YOU”

 

  1. Project Overview

Name: I’M WITH YOU

Time: 11/05/2016 – 24/05/2016

Location: Hòa Ân Commune, Cầu Kè District, Trà Vinh Province.

Participants: 16 students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – Hall 6 along with 4 Vietnamese volunteers.

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Achievements:

  • Finished 5 biogas tanks

 

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  • Taught English for local primary school’s kids

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I’M WITH YOU is a community project in Hoa An Commune with the participation of 16 students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – Hall 6, along with 4 Vietnamese volunteers.

This project aims to finish the installation of 5 biogas tanks for the local community as well as teaching English and science for local children at Hoa An A Primary School. Holding a joint performance called Culture Night is also a part of the project’s main objectives.

  1. Working Process
  • The First 2 days:

On 11/05 in the afternoon, Vietnamese volunteers along with Ms.Yen welcomed Singaporean volunteers from Nanyang Technology University at Tan Son Nhat airport.

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After greeting each other, everyone took a group photo and then headed for Ha My 3 hotel. The group rested at the hotel for about 2 hours and had a quick visit to Vinmart Supermarket (Vincom A Center) and Nguyen Hue walking street afterward.

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For dinner, we had a warm meal in a traditional Vietnamese restaurant with the presence of Mr.Harry (president of EVG). While on the bus, everyone had chance to know more about each other through the bonding game “Name Introduction” and teaching Singaporean friends the song “Con vit”.

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The group departed for Hoa An commune in the early morning of 12th May. Having arrived 2 hours earlier than the planned time, we were confused at first, but everyone quickly tried to set up the place, had lunch and prepared for the welcome ceremony.

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The welcome ceremony was also organized by the local authority in a friendly and warm manner.

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Then, everyone continued setting up the living space and having living orientation before dinner. In the evening, despite all the tiredness after a long day, we spared 45 minutes to teach Singaporean friends some Vietnamese songs with all of their eagerness.

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  • The Working days in Hoa An Commune:

 

Biogas: For the first few working sections on biogas, everyone was new to digging and biogas tank installation, so our work was a little bit inefficient.

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However, due to the willingness to learn and the effort, everyone had gradually learnt how to make our work more productive.

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We tried to coordinate, assigned suitable tasks to suitable people, took over one another tasks if we were tired.

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Some were named “master digger” for boys and girls, “strong girl” during the biogas working days.

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Every biogas working day is a new challenge because different households have different biogas tanks’ sizes and digging sites, but we saw it as a game and made our best effort to complete our tasks while trying to learn and have fun.

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Moreover, we really appreciated the help from EVG’s local supervisors – Ms. Vy and Ms. Uyen, and the technician – Mr. Thanh, thanks to their helpful and timely guidance, we were able to finish the installation of 5 biogas tanks.

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We also want to extend our gratitude to the household owners for helping us in our work and treating us their local specialties with all of their hospitality.

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Teaching: Teaching was also an area that the project focused on and put a lot of effort because we saw the meaningful impact that we might have on them in the long term. On the first day, the children were very shy and we find it hard to control the 70-student class effectively.

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From the second day on, the students were divided into two classes, so it was much easier. Along with the exciting and stimulating lessons, the children were more confident and involving.

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The volunteers taught the children simple topics like greeting, animals, days and months, personal hygiene, etc., through colorful teaching materials, short songs, funny demonstrative gestures and so on.

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We were impressed by their willingness to learn, their hunger for new knowledge and novel teaching methods.

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Every day, both the “teachers” and “children” came home and could not wait until the next lesson. Not only the children learned our lesson, we learned a lot from them as well. While we can choose what is good for us, the children there just have what someone chooses to give them, which makes us cherish more what we have now (education, facilities, urban environment, etc.). In the final lessons, both children and volunteers were sad and some even cried when saying goodbye.

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Housework: Along with teaching and construction works, housework was also an   important part of our time in Hoa An.

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The housework team was responsible for keeping the living area clean and helping the cook to prepare meals before everyone getting home after work.

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They did a very good job by preparing iced lemonade or coconut to ease everyone’s thirst in the boiling hot weather every afternoon. The housework team also went to the local market with the cook, it was also another cultural experience for the volunteers to get immersed in the local culture.

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  • Culture Night

 

It was a fantastic night which helped the local people know more about EVG, Singaporean volunteers, help S-team friends learn more about Vietnamese culture and people. There are a lot of lovely performances by the local students, EVG members and Singaporean volunteers. The most special was the Vietnamese song “Mot con vit” performed by Singaporean volunteers and a joint dance of both V-S teams through which any language, culture barrier disappeared and we all became one.

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After the culture night came the campfire, joined by S-V volunteers and children of Hoa An A primary school, we danced to the music, run around the fire and sang happily with each other.

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  • Agricultural exchange.

 

This is the activity that most of us are curious about and look forward to doing it. We walked to the farm on a peaceful countryside road under the shade of bamboo trees, being excited to do an activity we had never done before.

 

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After having been instructed how to planted cucumber, we worked hard despite the hot morning sunshine.  All the tiredness seemed to disappear with our jokes and chats. This activity not only taught us how to plant cucumber with coconut organic compost but also showed us how hard the lives of Vietnamese farmers are.

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  • Visiting households

We visited the local poor households in the afternoon the day we had agricultural exchange with the local farmers. Having been tired for hard-working labour activities, two Singaporean members being sick and having the cultural night ahead, we divided into 3 teams, two teams of 3 to 4 members to visit the poor households.

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We were surprised at first because of the difficult plight of those poor households. Not only were they impoverished but also having fatal diseases. Each household has different stories which touch the deepest parts of our hearts. Those memories of the household-visiting experiences are the most memorable moments to us throughout this trip.

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  • Feelings of Evg volunteers:

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Bảo Ngọc (Ane):

Project 1605 has gone – 15 days together, at first I thought that it would be a very long time (and I also intended to register any projects which were a little bit shorter than this one: D) but when I actually experienced 15 days, I realized half of a month wasn’t enough, I want to stay there much longer. Right now it is still a mix of feeling inside me, I miss the feeling of digging, filling each piece of land in order to install the biogas bags, I miss the feeling of standing in front of a class, in front of the children who were only about 9-10 years old and called “Các em ơi, các em àaaa” every time I wanted to draw the attention of students with the lessons from S-team, I miss the feeling of chatting with the S-team and V-team members on the ways walking from our work sites to the living area, I miss the feeling of saying the sentence “Mời ăn cơm” (good appetite) and then everyone just focused on eating after a hard-working day, I also miss the feeling of playing the super “brain corruption” but very funny and interesting bonding games with the S-team like black magic, how many memes jump over the wall, bang bang… oh noooo, I do really miss those feelings!

1605 – I’m with you, has left many feelings, memories, the bloody experience, valuable lessons, the truths of life which are unforgettable. 1605 is actually a burst-into-tear project for me, with this project, I had seen the tears of happiness, sadness, moments of tiredness and also the tears of feeling stressed, and also I could see the smiles, the anxiety, the happy faces because we had contributed a little bit of effort on enhancing the quality of lives for the unprivileged communities surrounding us, these were actually the breaking emotions.

Thanks EVG, thanks NTU – hall 6 members, thanks V-team for everything, thank you all of you guys for giving me a chance to experience a full-filled and memorable project like this!

Hải Yến (Amy)

I involved in this project in a lucky and accidental way. I got rejected for project 1609 but then accepted to this amazing project after asking for the second chance. It has been a challenging yet life-changing experience to me. I’ve got more truly friends, learnt from all the great people who have different perspectives to teach me and have many memorable moments that I really cherish.

For the 2 weeks with new friends in a new different environment, it felt like I’m back the real world with my phone totally being broken, losing connection to the world. I felt alive, great and there are no-words-to-describe-how-wonderful-it-is!!!! Even for the time being when I’m back home, the afterglow in me seems to ever exist.

Finally, I would like to thank Eco Vietnam Group for giving me the opportunity to involve in this amazing service learning project. I really appreciate what you have done to make it happen. Thank you!!!!

Hằng (Hana)

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing for me is to leave the project early when my happiness had just started. Because when I left, I began to realize the true value. Anyway, I had a few memories with my friends. 8 days together, sometimes it had made me sad and disappointed, and I thought I would give up. But thanks to the whole team’s encouragement, I tried and felt the joy in the last minute.

I want to thank you sincerely to the V-team and S-team for helping me, sharing my work with me when I didn’t feel better.

Finally, I want to thank ECO Vietnam Group for giving me the opportunity to experience. 8 days together, although the learning outcomes I wanted to learn were not perfect, until I know what I need to do to improve them in the future. Maybe I need more experience.

Phụng (Na)

When participating this project,I didn’t think I must prepare many things like that. I simply thought it’s an usual volunteer trip. The first day of this project,I felt very tired because the workload is relatively more. Our rest time became fewer,worked all day was very tired but we must have reflection at night. There were some reflections lated until 2 am. In addition,the environment was one of the reason that made me want to give up:many mosquitos,hot weather,no wifi,homesick,… and I had a big problem  is it was hardly for me to connect with S-team because of the language barrier and I was very shy. But when I wantted to give up, Ngoc,Hang,Yen encouraged me and I started to involve with S-team. Thenceforward, everything becam easier. I was more confident, open-minded and began to get used to being there. Through the project,I studied many things from V-leader,S-team and Hoa An’s people. It made me stronger and mature. This trip not only taught me many useful things but also gave me many great memories,help me create good relationships with international friends. I sencerely thank ECO Vietnam Group has created an opportunity for me to work and learn many useful things

 

1510: “ PINE“ Projects

  1. About the project
  • Name: PINE
  • Time : 22/11/2015 – 30/11/2015
  • Place : An Hiep Commune, Ba Tri district, Ben Tre province
  • Participants: 15 students of Yishun Junior College, 3 teachers from Singapore and  5 volunteers from  Việt Nam (included  2 members of ECO Vietnam Group)
  • Achievements:

+ Complete a toilet for An Hiep 2 primary school.

+ English teaching for local children

+ Visit 5 poor households.

PINE is one of OSL Projects in last project season of 2015 at An Hiep Commune, Ba Tri district, Ben Tre province,  in association with  18 volunteers from Yishun Junior College, 3 volunteers from Việt Nam and the support of 2 members of ECO Vietnam Group, to complete 2 toilets of An Hiep 2 Primary School – make opportunities for local residents to develop and improve their living & education condition, especially for the local children there.

The main activities of project includes: complete 2 toilets at An Hiep 2 Primary School, teaching English for local children at An Hiep 1, do house working everyday and organize cultures night with local residents.

  1. Activity Process

22/11/2015:

  • 15:00 pm, 5 volunteers from Việt Nam and Mr.Harry ( President of EVG) and Ms.Yen (Director of EVG) gathered at Tan Son Nhat airport.
  • 15:00 pm, Vietnamese team met and took picture with Singaporean volunteers at the airport.
  • 16:00 pm, started to go to Ben Tre
  • 18:00 pm, arrived at Ben Tre, checked in hotel
  • 19:00 pm, had dinner at Ben Tre

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  • 20:00 pm, back to hotel and slept.

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23/11/2015 – 29/11/2015:

Main jobs in 7 days here at An Hiep: building toilet at An Hiep 2 Primary school, teaching English for children at An Hiep 1 Primary School ( from 3 grade to 5 grade), doing houseworking, visiting poor household and organizing Cultures Exchange with local residents..

  • Building toilet at An Hiep 2 Primary School:

The first day when we came to construction area, the builders had arrived before , prepared everything for us to begin. Our main mission is completing toilet ( includes 1 for men and 1 for woman).

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The main work when we built the toilet was mixing the ciment, putting the brisk and plastering the wall.

Mixing the ciment was really a new and interesting experience for all of us. In the very first time, we just could only look at the way the builder worked, his skill and learned that a needy texture contained: sand, ciment, water with an exact proportion. And the proportion for putting the brisk and plastering the wall was also different. Because of all those difficulties and complicated things, as well as our clumsiness in the first time working, everything turned out not to be so easy and quick. In spite of all these barriers, all members of building team everyday still tried all their best to complete their mission the best way they can. Sometimes, because of the state of the work that day, not all members could have work to do, it was the time we felt useless .This situation occurred more in the first days, and then, the next days, when everyone got used to their work and learn more things, they could themselves found their work that they could do. I think this improvement was really good and useful.

Making a hole is also a challenge for all of us. This job requires not only patience, but also needs the coordination of team. The first time we have done, most of team felt tired and wanted to give up because the result is not easy to clear, sweating profusely like rain but it seems we will never know when this work get finish. However, little by little, things changed, their skill was improved day by day, by the support of the builder, the hole finally was completed through 2 non-stop working days.

During the work, we could not forget the enthusiasm of all you guys, who was in charge of making the hole, bringing all needy tools, from ciment, brisk to water. Sometimes they was quick, sometimes they was slow, but they all met our demand when we needed.

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Results:  We completed 70% the toilet. There was a little regret, we could not go to the end to see a perfect result, anyway, everybody did try their best, made efforts as much as they can for the work. We learnt a lot about the patience both in work and in life, the we shouldn’t be afraid of any challenge. We need to learn the way to always be ready whenever the unexpected things come, learn how to listen others more and more, how to try our best for all thing we do.

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

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  • Teaching English for local

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.

Teaching is a happy, interesting and joyful job. Having opportunities to meet, to teach,to play and work with the cutest kids must be the luckiest experience for each of us. The children are all cute, active and kind. Not just teaching, we also learned many important things from them, especially their spirit to learn, to find about new things, their spirit to win, to overcome all the barriers that make their learning not just easy as children with better conditions in other places.

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Teaching was not a simple task. On the contrary, it was so difficult and complicated in many times. First, it was difficult to control the class well. They are all children, they are active and sometimes naughty and hyperactive. They just cannot concentrate on the lessons all the times. Second, because of language barriers between S-team and V-team, between S-team and the local children, sometimes the result is not good.. When we looked at the class and realized that not all could understand the lesson well, we felt so sad and disappointed. We wanted to bring as much as knowledge that we could, because the children are really precious.

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We focus on teaching them small and simple conversations, not vocabulary. Because we want the kids to become more and more active and confident in communicating by English.  Besides, we tried creating games during the lesson with small and special gifts to attract them. Not only stopped at teaching English, we also taught them Science, for example, the animals model.

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Results: We made sure that after each lesson, at least 80% students can understand and remember what we taught, that they can be confident when have short conversation in English. Moreover, day by day, we are closer with the kids, not only taught, we also played with them after class, talked with them, sang with them. We understood them more and more, love them more and more. We made them understand that: everyone all loves them and hope them have better learning condition. Teaching activity was also a great chance for us : V-team and S-team became more closer, deleted our gap between us, helped us interact with each others more, and helped us have better teamwork.

  • 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. All we had to do is: set up the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner, wash dishes, and toilet everyday. 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.

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All the logistics needed were well-provided by ECO Vietnam Group and local government. The works were divided to the team 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..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.

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

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 Culture Night:

The Culture Night was on stage from 6h30 pm to 8h00 pm, and then Camp Fire till 9h30, with the attendance of  Principal of An Hiep 1 Primary School, Represent of ECO Vietnam Group, local residents ( especially cute kids), V Team and S Team.

We had performances of Principal, the children, V-Team, S-team, a traditional dancing performance of both team. S-team brought some Singapore traditional food to the children. This was amazing experience for both of V-team and local residents.

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

 

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Results:  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. Although we made some mistake but anyway, that night will be unforgettable for everyone.

Thoughts about the project

Thoughts of Loan, a Vietnamese volunteers of ECO Vietnam Group:

During 9 days without works, studying… left behind the noise of HCM city and set my foot to the new land, do things I have never ever done, meet the people I have never ever known before.

Nine days is not long enough but it left the nostalgia that takes a long time to forget. This was the first time I had stepped out of border, came out of my shell to live with enthusiasm.

Nine days with all feelings and so many different works: happiness, sadness, crying, tired…but never wanted to give up, never ever.

Live in the love of the common people, new brothers, new friends, but I felt I have met them for a long time. They are so gentle and kind. S-team is people who are friendly and happy. I have never imagined that I can make friends with foreigners but now I realized a lot of things, that we can do it if we really want it enough, I need to come out of me shell to live a meaningful life.

This was also the first time I could do what I want, and I realized my enthusiasm when I am a teacher here. Thanks you – ECO Vietnam Group because bringing me an opportunity, a meaningful trip to do  helpful things for out community.

 

END OF FILE

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

1511: “CHANCE COMES FROM ALL LITTLE THINGS “

 

 

  1. ABOUT THE PROJECT:
  • Apple Project
  • Time : 21/11/2015 – 30/11/2015
  • Place : Hòa Ân Commune, Cầu Kè District, Trà Vinh Province
  • Participants: 20 students with 3 teacher of Yishun Junior College and 5 Vietnamese volunteers (including 1 EVG members)
  • Achievements:

+ Complete the building a toilet for students.

+ English teaching for local children

APPLE is the first project in a series of projects at Hòa Ân Commune and also the last project in project season of 2015, in association with 20 students with 3 teacher from Yishun Junior College, the official participation of 4 Vietnamese volunteers and the support of 1 EVG members, to teaching English and help complete the building a toilet for primary students – contributed to improve living & education condition of local residents, especially for the local children there, create conditions for development of education at  local.

The main activities of this project include: build 1 new toilet and fix 2 old toilets, teach English for local children, do housework everyday and oraganise  the Culture Exchange with local residents.

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  1. ACTIVITY PROCESS:
  • 21/11/2015:
  • 13:00 pm, 4 Vietnamese volunteers with 1 EVG’s member and Mr Harry (EVG’s president) gathered at Tan Son Nhat airport.
  • 15:00pm, Vietnamese team met and took picture with Singaporean volunteers at the airport.
  • 7:00 pm, had dinner at Tín Thành, Trà Vinh Province
  • 8:00 pm, checked-in at Hoàn Mỹ 2 hotel.
  • 22/11/2015
  • 6:00 am, checked-out at Hoàn Mỹ 2 hotel.
  • 7:00 am, started the trip to Hòa Ân , everyone had breakfast on the bus.
  • 8:30 am, arrived at Hòa Ân, all members unloaded logistics to two hall together.
  • 9:00 am, had a Wellcome Ceremony at Hòa Ân commune.
  • 10:00 am, everyone was divided into 3 teams to set up a toilet and 2 hall.
  • 12:00 pm, had first lunch at Hòa Ân.
  • 13:00 pm, prepared and divided into 3 teams to ready for moving to the workplace : building team; teaching team and housework team.
  • 13:30 pm, had the first a working session at Hòa Ân.
  • 17:30 pm, had the dinner.
  • 18:30 pm, bathing and resting time.
  • 23/11/2015 – 27/11/2015:

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The main jobs in 5 days here were: continue building and completing the new toilet, renew old toilets, teach English for local children ( primary school and secondary school) ; do housework; run Culture Night with local residents.

  • Building the toilet

Building the toilet in Hoa An B primary school is the first experience of team.  There are two small toilets in here but it was too old and downgraded for students to use. So bringing for them a new toilet was necessary. We had to build a new toilet for boys and restore two old toilets for girls.

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In the afternoon of the first day in local, we went to the construction site, the walls of new toilet was being built to the sixth or seventh brick lines. And our mission was: continue put bricks to the walls, to plaster and whitewash the walls. Beside it, we had to make the sand to the same level, mix the cement, bring bricks and sand, clean the old toilets before restore it. Everybody was always full of energy for the days since we started. There were 7 or 8 people of S-team and 2 people of EVG-team for a construction day. We divided works for every small groups and began to do it. Then we changed for ensuring that everybody could try the same experiences.

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Building the construction was harder than we thought. The first bricks which were putted were so clumsy and ramshackle. It was too difficult to get cement enough and put it in a straight line. We plastered the wall together, we tried our best to plaster up the wall but it could not. Mixing the cement or whitewash the walls has its own difficulties and it made us very embarrassed. After the building workers helped us to complete what we did, we yelled: “Wow!!! Oh no!! What is it?? That is great!!” “We are building or we are making it worse”. J. But everythings was better when we observed the building workers again and were instructed enthusiasm by them. Everybody made 100% effort in our works. So working is very hard but very happy when we worked together and saw the results after that.

But one problem was happened. We saw very a lot of garbage in here and were treatment by fire. So we had a discussion to solve the problem in that night. The days after, beside building, we had a team to collect the garbage and grass to one place to treatment. So we had a lot of things had to complete.

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In breaks, although we were very tired but all people, especially S-team always went out and played with the primary student where we were building. The children in here are so cute, we very happy when played together.  Difficult to understand, team and the children in here were very closely although we are different about language.

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So building the toilet was a meaning thing, we had a lot of memories and  lessons in here. We tried our best to contribute a little bit part and hope the students have a better life.

 

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  • Teaching English for local children

From Monday to Thursday: we have English teaching lessons, one class in the morning and one in the afternoon, each lasts for about two hours.

On Friday: we organize outdoor games for local children.

Teaching is a happy, interesting and joyful job. Having opportunities to meet, to teach,to play and work with the cutest kids must be the luckiest experience for each of us. The children are all cute, active and kind. Not just teaching, we also learned many important things from them, especially their spirit to learn, to find about new things, their spirit to win, to overcome all the barriers that make their learning not just easy as children with better conditions in other places.

 

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Teaching was not a simple task. On the contrary, it was so difficult and complicated in many times.

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Ø First, it was difficult to control the class well. They are all children, they are active and sometimes naughty and hyperactive. They just cannot concentrate on the lessons all the times.

Ø Second, because of language barriers between S-team and V-team, between S-team and the local children, sometimes the result is not good.

However, we improved this job day by day  thanks to the reflection after each teaching session. We wanted to bring as much as knowledge that we could, because the children are really precious.

We focus on teaching them small and simple conversations and vocabulary. Besides, we tried creating games during the lesson with small and special gifts to attract them. Not only stopped at teaching English, we also taught them how to do good personal hygiene and Science.

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Result : We made sure that after each lesson, at least 80% students can understand and remember what we taught, that they can be confident when have short conversation in English. Moreover, day by day, we are closer with the kids, not only taught, we also played with them after class, talked with them, sang with them. We understood them more and more, love them more and more. We made them understand that: everyone all loves them and hope them have better learning condition. Teaching activity was also a great chance for us : V-team and S-team became more closer, deleted our gap between us, helped us interact with each others more, and helped us have better teamwork.

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  • Housework

This was done by a team included 4 to 5 S-team people and 1 EVG-team, we changed the team doing housework everyday so that they could try other works too. All we had to do were: fill full all tanks of water, turn off lights, help the “master chef” prepare and set up the tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner, wash dishes, clean two halls and toilet twice a day, sweep the yard, through the garbage… So we had to get up at 5:30am

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All the logistics needed were well-provided by ECO Vietnam Group and local goverment. The works were divided to the team very clearly. EVG-team always instructed, found a lot of things to S-team do, and of course did it together. J We usually  asked: “are you ok?” all people said: “ok”. But we knew they were always more tired when did the housework. J We made it by the ways as fun as possible. The living and activity environment were clean and met the requirements.

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

  • Culture night

From 5h30 pm to 6h00 pm, we serve dishes made by S-team to everyone.

The Culture Night was on stage from 6h00 pm to 8h00pm, and then Camp Fire till 9h30, with the attendance of Vice President of Hòa Ân Commune, Vice president of ECO Vietnam Group, local residents ( especially cute kids), V Team and S Team.

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We had performances of the chidren, V-Team, S-team, a performance of both team.

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

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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  Vietnamese volunteer of ECO Vietnam Group:

Before going to the project, each of us had learned and we were aware of the service model of ECO Earning Vietnam Group very much. However, all would have  stopped  the only theory if we hadn’t joined in volunteer trip in Tra Vinh. For each of us, although we were very tired but the trip was an experience  a lot of the joy and pride.

We get a lot of the care and support from the local government as well as local people, especially M.s Linh, during the day project implementation. After Culture Night, water ran out but all volunteers of Vietnam hadn’t  the bath, a police of commune led us went to the house of  Ms. Diem’s parent. Here, we got a chat and know more about the condition of her parent  as well as the people here. They gave us the gift of the village they had.

During the days of the project activities, we like to be grown up, matured through each day and really understand deeply about service learning model. We have learned a lot from the experiences we have been in this project and it will help for our steps in the future easier.

Thank organization EVG gave us the chance to participate in this trip and has joined with us to prepare for 1511project. Thank local government, local residents of Hoa An helped us as well as the affection of them for us. And also thank students with  teachers from Yishun Junior College school always work closely with us to complete the project in the best way.

Thought of Diễm, Vietnamese volunteer of ECO Vietnam Group:

Before the project began operating, I have always been obsessed by the thought, the worry of myself, although there are silly worries. During the first day of the project,  Singapore team, local residents and other members of Vietnam team proved to me that all my worries are in vain.

Later that day, along with everyone, I have a lot more confidence. All of us have actively to create the topic to talk together, a chance to know  more and more about each other. Really happy when  we understand each other in all actions. Overall, I think Singapore friends are really lovely, estimable and extremely cute. Hopefully, we will have the chance to see them again.

We really liked the people here and really thankful them when they  always ready to help us when we need a help, grateful for the sentiments of the people here for us, especially the students. They often went  to the place we had work to talking with us, playing and propose  with us for them to work together. I still remember the last afternoon when we finished  the teaching and building, after school, all children went  to the committee and bicycle closed the entrance, car of 16-seat should not be parked in the road outside the committee.

I grew up a lot during the project, on a day has passed when I acted to improve myself, simultaneously, I discovered the problem in myself, then I thought of the action to solve the problem to come the next day I was acting along my thought. Just like that, I’ve learned so many things that even I  did not think about before.

I am relly want to sent thanks to the organizing EVG, thanks for Singapore friends as well as locals and especially thank the members of the EVG team give me the opportunity to explore and develop myself  more than  what I hoped.

END OF FILE

 

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